August 18, 2022. For many parents, AP courses are the gold standard to offer their children a head start in preparing for success after high school. CTE courses are sometimes viewed as secondary opportunities. For many students interested in learning in-demand industry skills through CTE courses, AP exams may seem too far out of their comfort zone. And lastly, many AP teachers lack content knowledge and teaching experience in CTE pathways and vice versa.

At Downey Unified School District, we aim to solve these problems with AP4CTE. Our AP Seminar and AP Research courses marry the two worlds of AP academic structure with CTE’s current industry content. Students with all academic interests can benefit from this College and Career Readiness opportunity. AP teachers join forces with CTE teachers to tailor course reading and research materials to specific CTE pathways. In both courses, students take a deeper dive into the research side of the industry that complements the skills they are learning in their pathway courses.

This project journal chronicles our journey, asks for your ideas, and hopes to open doors to make AP courses more accessible to all students.