Career and Technical Education Programs

  • Alachua County Public School students have a wide variety of educational choices, including college and career preparatory courses offered at all high schools. For example, Newberry High School students have options to take Digital Design, Culinary Arts, and Agriculture courses even if they are not part of the Criminal Justice career academy on campus. To find out which courses are available at each school, parents and students should refer to the course offerings at their zoned school or contact the Career and Technical Education Department at 955-6847.

    Students in CTE programs have the opportunity to participate in internships and/or work-based learning. Health programs, for example, may do a clinical rotation in a local hospital, Vet Assisting students seeking their certification, volunteer for 250 hours in a local veterinary clinic. Many of our CTE programs have learning labs that offer work-based learning opportunities, such as the Automotive program, Culinary programs, and Agriculture programs. Beyond that, all CTE programs focus on employability skills and project based learning that emulate real world work environments.

    Alachua County Public Schools also has sixteen career academies offered through the Career and Technical Education Department. Students in career academies have access to relevant curriculum, highly-qualified teachers and outstanding facilities and equipment. Transportation to these magnet programs is provided through satellite bus service.

    Magnets Programs

    Institute of Graphic Art and Design – Professional Academies Magnet @ Loften High School

    This program will focus on graphic design skills, graphic arts, and commercial art. Students entering this program will take specialized classes in two-and three-dimensional art, as well as digital arts courses to prepare them for a future in a highly competitive artistic workplace. Students in the Institute of Graphic Art and Design will also have the opportunity to earn college credits and earn industry certifications in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.

    Academy of Criminal Justice – Newberry High School

    The Academy of Criminal Justice is a magnet program for students interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession, law enforcement, court system, or corrections. The coursework includes constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedures, judicial process, law enforcement, and much more. Students will have the opportunity to earn nine college credits at Santa Fe College, and a 911 Telecommunications certificate.

    Academy of Robotics and Engineering – Professional Academies Magnet @ Loften High School

    Students will be provided with a foundation in content and skills associated with robotics and automation, including artificial intelligence, electronics, physics, and principles of engineering. In addition, students will learn rapid prototyping utilizing 3D printing technologies. The third and fourth years of the academy will focus on Applied Information Technology. Students in this academy have the opportunity to earn a number of industry certifications including Autodesk Fusion 360, Autodesk Inventor, Python, IT Fundamentals, and Network Security.

    Academy of Future Teachers – Gainesville High School

    In this academy, students will learn about educational technology, classroom management, student assessments and communication skills. Students in this academy will have the opportunity to learn about the profession of teaching and will have the chance to participate in internships in local schools during their junior and senior years.  Students in this academy have the opportunity to earn the WordPress Certified Editor certification.

    The Academy of Media Production Technology - Professional Academies Magnet @ Loften High School

    The newest academy, Academy of Medica Production Technology, offers students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in filmmaking. Learn the power of visual storytelling by using lighting, camera angles and special effects to create videos, short films, webcasts, and more. Students will prepare for initial employment in the Media Production field as equipment operators, camera assistants, sound equipment operators, editing operators, grips and lighting equipment operators, set builders and visual effects artists.

    Academy of Health Professions – Gainesville High School

    AHP provides classroom and clinical learning experiences at Shands/UF, NFRMC, SF College, Walgreens and skilled nursing facilities for students interested in health-related careers. The program articulates with the EKG Technician, Dental Aide, Physical Therapy Aide, and Certified Pharmacy Technician, Nursing, and Emergency Medical Services programs at Santa Fe College. Students prepare for certification as a CNA, Pharmacy Tech, EKG Tech, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, or EMT.

    Academy of Gaming and Mobile Apps – Professional Academies Magnet @ Loften High School

    Students in this program will create their own video game using various programming languages. Technology combined with a strong emphasis on programming prepares students for further education and careers such as a Game/Simulation Designer, Game Programmer, and Game Software Developer. Students have the opportunity to earn several industry certifications including Unity Certified User: Artist, Programmer, and VR Developer.

    Academy of Entrepreneurship – Buchholz High School

    The Academy of Entrepreneurship at Buchholz High School is a four-year program for students interested in entrepreneurship, marketing, and business management. This program is recognized as a national model. Students are encouraged to develop projects in areas of specialized interest. Business plan competitions, internships, workshops, leadership opportunities, and travel are all part of the experience. Students in this academy can earn the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification.

    Academy of Finance – Buchholz High School

    The Academy of Finance offers a planned sequence of specialized academic and technical courses including skills in accounting, macro and microeconomics, business math, banking and credit, computer technology and applications, financial planning, insurance and real estate investments, international trade, and securities (stocks and bonds). Finance students operate the Bobcat Branch, an official branch of the Florida Credit Union, on the Buchholz campus. Students can earn their Quickbooks certification.

    Academy of Automotive Technology – Professional Academies Magnet @ Loften High School

    This program allows students to explore career opportunities and requirements of a professional service technician. Students study safety, tools, equipment, shop operations, basic engine fundamentals, basic technician skills, automotive general electrical systems, starting and charging systems, batteries, lighting, and electrical accessories. The shop is a NATEF certified facility and the instructor is an ASE Master Mechanic. Students have the opportunity to earn a certification from the Florida Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) or various ASE Entry-level certifications.

    Academy of Fire & Emergency Medical Services – Professional Academies Magnet @ Loften High School

    Students attending this academy are introduced to the healthcare fields and public safety careers. The cadets are trained as Emergency Medical Responders, Fire Fighter I, and also have the opportunity to dual enroll at Santa Fe College in the Emergency Medical Technician program. The curriculum covers basic fire fighting skills in Fire Fighting 1, 2, and 3. The Health Science courses cover the basic medical skills in CPR, patient assessment, and first aid. Students have the opportunity to earn their Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certification and/or their Fire Fighter I certification.

    Academy of Agriscience – Santa Fe High School

    This academy is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in animal science, agritechnology, or ornamental horticulture. Students receive classroom instruction with hands- on labs that better prepare them for continued education in a college or university. Agriculture is the second largest industry in Florida and is a multimillion dollar industry that is becoming increasingly more technical and business oriented. Santa Fe has a 20 acre land lab and a state of the art facility, including artificial insemination equipment. Students have the opportunity to earn several agricultural industry certifications.

    Academy of Veterinary Assisting- Santa Fe High School

    Students wishing to pursue a career in Veterinary Assisting will take Vet Assisting 1, 2, 3, and 4 in this program.  Veterinary laboratory techniques will be taught while students gain hands-on knowledge both at school and during 250 hours of volunteering in local veterinary clinics.  Students in this academy are highly motivated and involved in the local chapter of FFA.  Certifications for this program include Certified Veterinary Assistant as well as other agricultural industry certifications.

    Institute of Biotechnology – Santa Fe High School

    Students in this program have the opportunity to enter and excel in this promising, growing career field. Graduates may enter the workforce in positions for inventory control, material logistics, environmental monitoring, or they may continue their education at post-secondary levels. Biotechnology is the technological application of living organisms or their derivatives, such as DNA, proteins, or cells, to make or modify new products or processes. Students have the opportunity to earn the Biotechnician Assistant Credential (BACE) through the University of Florida and the Agricultural Biotechnology Specialist Certification.

    Institute of Culinary Arts – Eastside High School

    This program prepares students for careers in the hospitality and food service industry. While students operate the Hungry Ram Café and Restaurant, they learn skills in areas such as safety, equipment, baking, ice carving, grillwork, kitchen management, and entrepreneurship. Students have the opportunity to participate in paid internships as well as many unpaid workforce experiences. Students can earn ServSafe, Certified Food Safety Manager and Certified Fundamentals Cook certifications in this academy.

    Academy of Agribusiness- Hawthorne Middle High School

    This academy will allow students to explore the scope of the Agriscience industry; animal health and nutrition; maintain and service facilities, tools and equipment; examine the scope of career opportunities in and the importance of agriculture to the economy.  Hawthorne’s agriculture program sits on 20 acres which includes 20 pig pens, 16 raised garden beds, and an area of citrus research.  Students have the opportunity to earn several agricultural industry certifications.

    Please contact the Career & Technical Education Department at 955-6847 with any questions or for additional information or visit

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  • Xello

    Florida is introducing Xello as its online career planning and work-based learning coordination system. Academically researched and scientifically validated, Xello’s award-winning program puts the student at the center of their planning experience. Students document their journey as they build self-knowledge, explore post-secondary options, create plans, and continually reassess as they take in new knowledge, skills, and experiences.

    You can find the ACPS-specific Xello page in MyPortal, in the second folder titled Professional Development. If you have any questions, you may contact the Career Specialist (certified school counselor) for the district, Dr. Jill Geltner at 352-955-6847 or