Why Start in Middle School?

Middle school Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs expose students to a variety of careers and industries, helping them explore and connect their interests and passions to their future education and career goals. These programs help students develop foundational skills that can be transferred to a wide range of programs in high school. Understanding their own interests and the opportunities offered locally gives students confidence when making course and pathway selections as they enter high school, which has been proven to lower dropout rates of at-risk students.

Make the Connection

Want to explore how your interests connect to careers?

Take the Career Assessment

Share your results with your school counselor to learn more about your career and course options.

Find a Middle School Program

DC CTE is proud to work with public and charter schools across the District to offer CTE programming and career exploration starting in middle school. While programs are not offered at every middle school yet, we are working with school leaders to offer at least one CTE course in every middle school starting in the 2024–2025 school year.

Active Middle School Programs

DC Public Schools


Grant Year

CTE Programs and Courses

Charles Hart 2021–2023 Learn more about the courses and programs offered at this DCPS middle school here.
Eliot-Hine 2021–2023 Learn more about the courses and programs offered at this DCPS middle school here
Kelly Miller 2021–2023 Learn more about the courses and programs offered at this DCPS middle school here
Stephen Kramer 2021–2023 Learn more about the courses and programs offered at this DCPS middle school here
Hardy 2022–2024
  • Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Green Architecture
  • Medical Detectives
John Hayden Johnson 2022–2024
  • Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Green Architecture
  • Video Production
  • Design and Modeling
  • Digital Arts and Technology
  • Medical Detectives
Wheatley Education Campus 2022–2024
  • 5th grade – Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Flight and Space
  • 6th grade – Health Science using PLTW Medical Detectives curriculum
  • 7th grade – Engineering using PLTW Automation and Robotics
  • 8th grade – Culinary Arts, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

District Charter Schools


Grant Year

CTE Programs and Courses

Friendship Public Charter Schools: ArmstrongBlow Pierce, Chamberlain, Ideal, Southeast, Woodbridge 2022–2024
  • Makespace
  • Microschool
  • Capital Experience Labs (CapX): Robotics, Rocket Making, Engineering, and Design
  • Career counselors train 8th graders to use Naviance along with college and career readiness plans
Sojourner Truth Public Charter School 2022–2024
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Computer Science courses
  • What Would Sojourner Do? Speaker Series
  • Career Cluster Shadow Days
Monument Academy 2022–2024
  • Healthy Living and Life Skills
  • Financial Literacy Program with support from Junior Achievement with Biztown
  • Finance Park Programs
  • “Planning for our Futures: Career Exploration” Program
  • Monument Design Class
  • Culinary and Cosmetology clubs
Howard University Middle School 2022–2024
  • Health Science
  • Business
  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Information Technology and Arts
  • Audio/Visual Technology
  • Communication
DC International School 2022–2024
  • Informational Technology
  • Health Sciences

Bring Programs to Your Middle School

Middle School Expansion Grant

Applications for the 2022 Middle School Expansion Grant closed on October 3, 2022. This school year, 12 schools will be awarded funding to begin their first year of building out middle school CTE programs and four schools will be continuing their 2nd year of grant funding. Another eight middle schools will be awarded grant funds in the 2023–2024 school year. Check back for more information and the application opening in June 2023.

Funding Opportunities

Explore DC CTE Programs of Study to see which ones align with your school’s interests and needs.

Access program awareness resources to connect students with career learning and life readiness.

Expand Your Middle School Offerings

Build community through Career & Technical Student Organizations.

Extend student learning with summer CTE Program opportunities.

Does your business or organization want to support CTE learning for middle school students?

DC CTE connects organizations who can offer industry-related events, workplace tours, mentorship, internships, and more with local middle school students. Contact Francesca Glover with information about how your business or organization would like to get involved at Francesca.Glover@dc.gov, or fill out our contact form.

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