JOSHUA CLINE and Kassidy Campbell, both PPS students, learn culinary skills at Westinghouse High School, June 21.

Pittsburgh Public Schools product Angela Mike received her cosmetology license—before she even finished high school.

How did she do it? Personal desire, of course. But without the special elective-style courses offered by some Pittsburgh Public Schools like Westinghouse, Mike would never have obtained her license so soon.

Almost 30 years later, she’s vowing to make sure all connected with PPS—students, parents, family and friends—know about the district’s current Career and Technical Education (CTE) division.

“It fast-tracks students in career areas that they may be very passionate about,” said Mike, the executive director of the CTE division since 2010. “So if you always dreamed of being an engineer or in the healthcare field, a nurse, a doctor—there are programs you can take in high school and get a jumpstart in your career, three periods a day for three years.”

There are currently 15 CTE programs in six high schools across the district: Perry, Brashear, Carrick, Milliones/University Prep, Allderdice, and Westinghouse. Each school has its own number of programs. For example, Perry has the Cosmetology, Health Careers Technology and Information Technology programs, while Carrick offers Business Administration, Sports and Entertainment (B.A.S.E.), Carpentry, and Culinary Arts, among others.

Other CTE programs include Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Technology, Emergency Response Technology, Engineering Technology, Entertainment Technology, Finance Technology, Machine Operations, Multimedia Production and Coding, and RHVAC.

Mike said over 500 high school students are enrolled in CTE programs. Students have the ability to enroll in CTE programs at their current or home high school, or be transported to another nearby school for the CTE program’s three periods.

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