The Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE), provides technical assistance and support for the improvement of existing state-approved career and technical education (CTE) programs and the development of new CTE programs for secondary students attending career centers, intermediate school districts, and local school districts in Michigan. A current listing of the CTE programs eligible to receive funding is located on the OCTE website. Students enrolled in state-approved secondary CTE programs have the opportunity to acquire skills that prepare them for successful career entry, advancement, and/or continuing education. CTE program choices should relate to the career goals identified in the students’ educational development plan (EDP). 

These skills should be transferable, as well as career specific and basic to students’ education, providing them with the foundation for lifelong learning.

The primary objectives for secondary career and technical education programs are:



To provide students the skills needed for employment now (wage earning), and broad transferable academic, employability and career skills, allowing students further employment/education flexibility 


To acquire an awareness of the structure and future trends within high skill, high wage and high demand industries, to increase student options for occupational choice in the pursuit of a career, and provide the requisite knowledge and skills for continued advanced education and training 


To provide both school and work-based learning experiences in order to bridge the gap between education and the world of work



The OCTE has aligned current state-approved career and technical education programs into seventeen career clusters consisting of the sixteen (16) national career clusters and a (17th), approved by the Michigan State Board of Education as follows:


Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources

The production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing, and development of  agricultural commodities and resources including food, fiber, wood products, natural resources, horticulture, and other plant and animal products and resources. Programs in this cluster should provide an extend program for the teaching staff. This will allow for the enhancement of student learning outstand of the traditional school day and year. It is recommended that eight weeks be provided for staff that teach 100% in this cluster. 


Architecture and Construction

The Architecture and Construction Career Cluster includes careers in designing, planning, managing, and building structures.


Business Management & Administration

Careers in planning, organizing, directing, and evaluating business functions essential to efficient and productive business operations.



Prepares individuals for careers in the designing, planning, maintaining, generating, transmission, and distribution of traditional and alternative energy.


Government & Public Administration

Planning and executing government functions at the local, state and federal levels, including governance, national security, foreign service, planning, revenue and taxation, and regulations.


Hospitality & Tourism

Preparing individuals for employment in career pathways that relate to families and human needs such as restaurant and food/beverage services, lodging, travel and tourism, recreation, amusement, and attractions.


Law, Public Safety, Corrections, & Security

Planning, managing, and providing legal, public safety, protective services, and homeland security, including professional and technical support services.



Planning, managing, and performing marketing activities to reach organizational objectives such as brand management, professional sales, merchandising, marketing communication, and market research.


Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Planning, management, and movement of people, materials, and goods by road, pipeline, air, rail, and water and related professional and technical support services such as transportation infrastructure planning and management, logistics services, mobile equipment, and facility maintenance.

Arts, A/V Technology, & Communications

Designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, and publishing multimedia content including visual and performing arts and design, journalism, and entertainment services.


Education and Training

Planning, managing, and providing education and training services and related learning support services such as administration, teaching/training, administrative support, and professional support services.



Careers in planning, services for financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management.


Health Science

Planning, managing, and providing therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services, and biotechnology research and development.


Human Services

This diverse career cluster prepares individuals for employment in career pathways related to families and human needs.



Planning, managing, and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products and related professional and technical support activities such as production planning and control, maintenance, and manufacturing/process engineering.


Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics

Planning, managing, and performing marketing activities to reach organizational objectives such as brand management, professional sales, merchandising, marketing communication, and market research..


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