We take those interests and nurture them. With access to hundreds of exploration opportunities, students visit work sites in a field they want to know more about and talk to professionals. Students take the skills learned in the classroom and apply them on the job through shadowing, internships and apprenticeship opportunities. Our goal is to help students identify their passions, explore what they love doing and make a career out of it through intentional planning. Career and Technical Education is a transformative approach to preparing students to be successful in college and their future career, and it’s another way DPS is redesigning the high school experience.
This is learning made real, and your bright future starts here.
With a focus on Colorado’s most in-demand industries, DPS offers hundreds of career-related courses at many levels — from introductory all the way to college-level classes. Through engaging, hands-on projects, students learn critical thinking skills and are empowered to generate solutions. Projects encompass real work — from building a graphic design portfolio to dusting objects for fingerprints in forensic science labs.
Students work with their counselor, teachers and parents to take these early sparks of interest and develop them into an Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP).
Students take the skills and insights learned in school, and step outside of the classroom to “try on” different careers. DPS offers many on-the-job training opportunities at various levels of depth, with job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships. Some of these opportunities are even paid!
This culture of learning gives students an idea of what employers will expect of them, and what it takes to be successful in college and their career. Students not only expand their professional networks, but can even earn money while learning through paid opportunities.
Change your mind about a career field? That’s what this is all about. We hear that all the time, and that’s a good thing — it’s what we call progress. Isn’t it better to explore all kinds of careers while in high school — for free — to figure out what you really might like instead of waiting until you’ve paid for tuition in college? Try something on, and if it doesn’t fit, change your mind, again and again.
The Denver Public School Career Readiness Capstone (Career Capstone) is a competency-based graduation option for students to demonstrate career readiness. Students who complete the Career Readiness Capstone are equipped with the knowledge, experience, and credentials to access in-demand, livable-wage careers. The Career Capstone is designed to be accessible to all students enrolled in district-approved CTE pathways.
DPS requires all students to graduate having a plan for after high school that is meaningful to them. Students will work with their counselors, teachers and families to develop and complete their personalized Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAPs). Through this personalized career and academic planning process, students are empowered to learn about themselves and evaluate their path to success by exploring career and college options. ICAPs are also commonly aligned with a student’s CTE pathway curriculum.
DPS uses RIASEC to help students understand their career interests. RIASEC stands for 6 characteristics: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. The RIASEC test asks questions about your aspirations, activities, skills, and interests in different jobs to help you discover careers and fields of study that are likely to satisfy you. Your RIASEC results can also help inform your decision about which CTE pathway is likely best suited for you and your interests.