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Career & Technical Education (CTE)

The Career & Technical Education department is a consortium of the Business & Finance, Family & Consumer Sciences and Technology & Engineering departments.

As comprehensive, standards-based instructional programs the focus of CTE is to enable students to demonstrate individual creativity and achievement through the use of advanced technologies and 21st century skills. Through the use of Mac and PC computer labs, authentic pre-schools, culinary labs, 3D printers and manufacturing labs, CTE students cultivate skills that improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities. CTE students routinely participate in problem-solving activities that reflect current workplace practices and develop career awareness, time management and communication skills. In collaboration with School Counseling and Advisory, students will work to establish a four-year Student Success Plan (SSP) based on their career aspirations and interests. The SSP guides students toward skill development that aligns with college and career preparation. Specific career clusters and their associated pathways are highlighted below.

Brian Cohen

Department Supervisor of Business & Finance, Family & Consumer Sciences, and Technology & Engineering

Mission and Goals 

The mission of the Career & Technical Education department is to integrate core academics with 21st century skills that develop and empower problem solvers through critical and analytical thinking.

Department Goals:

  • Continued implementation of the Rigorous Curriculum Design model
  • Improve instructional practice through the use of embedded formative assessment.  Investigate and implement effective strategies and best practices related to formative assessment within course teams
  • Continued development of common assessments through crosstown collaboration
  • Continued growth on the Perkins CTE Federal Assessment
  • Foster opportunities for teachers to engage in discipline specific training and in the collaboration of best practices
CTE logo

Middle School


Helping student’s gain the skills required to succeed in today’s challenging world including critical thinking, problem solving and the ability to drive advancements in STEM. The Technology & Engineering Department puts the “T&E” in STEM.

Our program goals seek to enable students to:

  • Advance technological and information literacy
  • Apply creative problem solving and critical thinking skills within the design process 
  • Understand the impacts of technology on society
  • Collaborate to enhance experiential learning and communication in a diverse environment
  • Develop STEM career awareness and exploration

Grade 6 Focus: Exploring Technology

In 6th grade Technology & Engineering students look at how technological systems affect people, society, and their environments. Technologies are artifacts we have designed and engineered to solve problems and improve the world around us. Students will begin to examine the benefits and consequences of technology by designing and testing aerodynamic vehicles, building model structures, and programming. The units of study introduce the engineering design process, CAD software, 3D printing, coding and computer science principles.

Grade 7 Focus: Engineering, Manufacturing and Robotics

Through the exploration of engineering and manufacturing 7th grade Technology & Engineering students use the engineering design process to discover the world of modern manufacturing and the field of robotics. The units of study include technical design through CAD, manufacturing processes, the safe use of equipment within a production environment, robotic design, assembly and coding within computer science principles. 

Grade 8 Focus: Communication, Graphic Design and Computer Science

In the 8th grade students use the principles of design and the engineering process to solve various challenges. Units of study introduce students to the graphic design process, the creation of messages through visual communication and engineering principles with an emphasis on CAD software, 3D printing, engineering, digital photography, coding and game design. With a strong vertical articulation within the middle school Technology & Engineering program, students prepare for advanced approaches to STEM careers at the high schools.

High School

Business & Finance
Family & Consumer Sciences
Technology & Engineering

Business & Finance

The mission of the Business & Finance Education Department is to develop the use of technology, business and economic concepts, and ethical principles that are essential to all citizens in a global economy. Business & Finance courses promote the application of acquired skills to numerous disciplines and tasks. The Business & Finance curriculum prepares students with the knowledge and skills necessary for advanced study in post-secondary education and career preparation. Through a rigorous and comprehensive course of study, students are exposed to business pathways in accounting, finance, marketing and information technology. Business & Finance Education offers college credit for select courses as noted through the College Career Pathways (CCP) program partnership with Connecticut community colleges.

Mission: Develop essential business skills, innovative technological proficiency, and financial literacy.

Business & Finance is a competency-based instructional program at Conard High School and Hall High School that enables students to:

  • Function as financially literate citizens
  • Understand globalization
  • Demonstrate interpersonal, teamwork, and leadership skills
  • Elevate undeveloped skills to a greater depth of knowledge
  • Develop habits, attitudes, ethics, and legal awareness of personal and business issues
  • Develop career awareness, technological knowledge, and related skills
  • Connect high school experiences to College Career Pathways

Business & Finance Pathway

Through a rigorous and comprehensive course of study, students are exposed to business pathways in accounting, finance, marketing and information technology.

Communications Pathway

Our curriculum prepares students with the knowledge and skills necessary for advanced study in post-secondary education and career preparation.

Family & Consumer Sciences

Family & Consumer Sciences focuses on skills needed to successfully manage resources, not only as individuals, but as group members within the family, workplace, and community. With a variety of courses offered, Family & Consumer Sciences helps students develop skills in the areas of self-confidence, setting goals, developing values and making educated decisions. These courses prepare students for daily life challenges by providing opportunities to express individual creativity. Family & Consumer Sciences students develop career pathway awareness, 21st century skills, an understanding of relationships and life management skills surrounding nutrition, health, consumerism and parenting. 

Mission: Empower students to make informed decisions about their well-being, relationships, and resources to achieve a balanced personal and professional life.


  • Develop career awareness and 21st century skills to facilitate the transition from school to career
  • Develop an understanding of human growth and life-span development
  • Examine the relationships among individuals, families, communities and the environments in which they function
  • Develop life management skills including nutrition, consumerism, and parenting skills
  • Use leadership and teamwork skills to collaborate with others to accomplish common goals

Health Sciences & Human Services Pathway 

These courses prepare students for daily life challenges by providing opportunities to express individual creativity.

Hospitality & Tourism Pathway

With a variety of courses offered, we help students develop skills in the areas of self-confidence, setting goals, developing values and making educated decisions.

Manufacturing Logistics Pathway

Introduction to Fashions

Retail Fashions and Merchandising

Technology & Engineering

Mission: Examine technologies past, present, and future and to provide students with the tools and skills necessary to become productive 21st century citizens who are able to make informed decisions about the designed world.

Technology and Engineering is a rigorous, project-based program at the middle and high schools that enables students to:

  • Advance technological literacy for all students
  • Apply interdisciplinary learned skills for implementing the design process
  • Collaborate to enhance collective learning experiences in a diverse environment
  • Develop career awareness to make informed and educated occupation decisions

Communications Pathway 

Graphic design, photography, digital media, and video production

Manufacturing Logistics Pathway

Manufacturing, woodworking, automotive, and transportation technologies 

CTE STEM Pathway

Students can explore an area completely new to them; gain greater depth in an area of interest; and continue their career awareness and planning pathway. 

Other CTE Programs


Conard student-led preschool - The Children’s Place

Dear families and friends;

The Conard student-led preschool The Children’s Place continues to be an integral part of the Introduction to Early Childhood and Early Childhood Careers courses. High school students enrolled in these early childhood courses work directly with district toddlers under the supervision of Family & Consumer Sciences teachers in an environment filled with play, paint, and reading areas.  

Conard’s laboratory preschool will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the first semester, starting on October 13 and ending on January 5. The time of the program is 9:20am - 10:50 am. 

This program is open to West Hartford families with children who are 2 1/2 to 5 years of age. If interested please send an email to Jennifer_Vauter@whps.org at Conard. Include “Fall 2022 Preschool” in the subject of the email and make note that we will need both you and your child’s first and last names, mailing addresses, and the child’s date of birth in this email.

We will hold an orientation for all interested parties on Tuesday, October 11 from 9:30-10:00 am at Conard. You will have a chance to tour the room and meet some of our high school student teachers.

Lastly, payment for the program is $90 payable to Conard High School by check or cash. If you have any questions feel free to contact me via email.  

Thank you for considering The Children’s Place.   

Jennifer Vauter

Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher
Director of The Children’s Place preschool
Email: Jennifer_Vauter@whps.org
Phone: 860-231-5151