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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I get into a CTC program?

A: Enrollment into a CTC program is through a competitive application process. For most programs, students may apply in grades 9, 10, and 11.   Acceptance is based on attendance, GPA, and a shadowing experience designed to measure aptitude and interest. Some programs have pre-requisites and additional acceptance criteria, and some are only available to 10 th and 11 th graders to apply. Specific course information is outlined in the individual program descriptions and in the FCPS course guide.

Q: When can I apply?

A: The shadowing and application process begins in November each year and runs through February.  You may apply at any time during that time period.  Applications are accepted after February only for programs that still have available space.

Q: How do I get an application?

A: Students interested in applying to a CTC program must first schedule a shadow experience through their high school counseling office to come visit the program(s) that they would like to apply for. An application is given out at the time of the shadow experience and is available online.

Q: What is a shadow experience?

A: A shadow experience gives the student an opportunity to experience the program they are interested in first-hand. Students spend two class periods at the CTC in the program they are applying for. They participate in classroom activities and are able to meet with and talk to the instructor and current students. The shadow experience is also a part of the acceptance criteria. Instructors evaluate students during their shadow experience on their use of time, enthusiasm and attitude, how well they follow directions, and their aptitude specific to the program being shadowed. Skill level and knowledge of the specific career field is not as important as a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.

Q: What determines if I get accepted?

A: Many CTC programs are competitive.  Due to space and safety concerns, only a limited amount of seats are available for each class. To improve your chances of being accepted into the program of your choice be sure to do the following:

        • Have consistently good attendance, not just the year you are
          applying to CTC but all through your school years. One of the goals
          of the CTC is to prepare students for post graduation success. An
          important characteristic to have is reliability and dependability.
          Good attendance in school is a good place to start.
        • Maintain a good GPA (grade point average). A consistently good GPA
          shows that you are willing to do the work that it takes to meet the
          expectations set in front of you.
        • Show a positive attitude when you come for your shadow experience.
          A willingness to learn and grow is a key factor successful people
          possess. It is not necessary to have all the knowledge from the
          start but it is essential to be open to learning and to working hard.

Q: How will I know if I got accepted?

A: At the conclusion of the shadowing and application process in February, acceptance and wait-list letters are sent out, and a list is sent to each high school guidance department.

Q: What if I don’t get accepted?

A: If you do not get accepted to the program you applied for you are still eligible to shadow and apply to other programs that have space available. You may also shadow and re-apply the following year if you are still within the appropriate grade levels.

Q: How many programs can I shadow and apply for?

A: You may shadow and apply for two programs.  

Q: How will I know what programs still have space available after the initial application deadline if I want to apply for something else?

A: Updated lists of open programs are sent to each high school counseling department on a regular basis starting in March and continuing through the summer until the start of the next school year.

Q: What do I get from my CTC program?

A: Students completing a CTC program receive intensive career specific skill training that may include on the job experience, mentoring from individuals in the field, industry certifications and licensures, apprenticeship training, and up to 20+ articulated or transcripted college credits. Specific benefits are included for each program in the individual program descriptions.

Q: Will my CTC program help me to prepare for college and career after graduation?  

A: Yes. It is advantageous to prepare for college and complete a CTC program. We encourage students to do both so that they have more options when they graduate. An added bonus is that almost all of the programs at the CTC offer articulated and/or transcripted college credits.

Q: Can I still take other elective classes such as AP Courses, band, theater, etc. and enroll in a CTC program?

A: Yes. There is enough flexibility in your high school schedule that you will be able to fit other elective courses into your schedule and still attend the CTC.

Q: Where can I find out more information about CTC?

A: You can find information about CTC on our website, in our brochure, at our Open House, from your school counselor, and you can also contact us directly at 240-236-8500 or at kristen.daly@fcps.org.