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 10th and 11th 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 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 for the program(s) they would like to apply for. After completing a shadow experience, students may apply online from the CTC website. Click here for more information about the CTC shadowing process and to request a shadow experience.
Q: What is a shadow experience?
A: The shadow experience gives the student an opportunity to experience the program they are interested in applying to. On the day shadowing takes place students ride a bus from their high school to and from CTC for half of the day. They participate in classroom activities and can 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. Click here for information about the shadowing process.
Q: What determines if I get accepted?
A: Many CTC programs are competitive. Due to space and safety concerns, only a limited number 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 acceptance notifications are sent out via email to students and a list is sent to each high school counseling department.
Q: What if I do not get accepted?
A: If you do not get accepted to the program(s) you applied for you will be on the waitlist. A waitlist placement is not necessarily discouraging, as there are many changes that occur and spots in the program(s) become available. You are still eligible to shadow and apply to other programs that have open seats. 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 up to two programs. Students interested in shadowing two programs will have the ability in the Shadow Request Form to request an optional second shadow or send in an additional Shadow Request Form at a later date. Maximum of two shadow experiences per student each school year. Students who shadow two programs have the option to submit an application for both programs indicating a 1st and 2nd choice. 2nd choices will be considered if a student is not accepted into their 1st choice program. A shadow experience is required for all applications.
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 dual enrollment 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. A bonus is that almost all of the programs at the CTC offer articulated and/or dual enrollment 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?