The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) is committed to building career pathways for all Rhode Island students. RIDE aims to significantly expand career and technical education (CTE) in the state, as a part of Prepare Rhode Island (PrepareRI). PrepareRI is a statewide initiative that unites many partners — including Rhode Island government, private industry leaders, the public education system, universities, and non-profits — around a common strategic plan to improve youth career readiness. PrepareRI aims to close the gap between what students learn in school and what they need for high-demand jobs. The initiative was built on the belief that all young people, regardless of their previous background or intended career, will need some form of postsecondary credential and practical work experience to be successful. RIDE-approved CTE programs play a critical role in this effort. PrepareRI’s goals are: 

  • All career CTE programs will be aligned to Rhode Island’s high-skill, high-demand career fields
  • All high school students will graduate with college credit or an industry credential
  • All high school students will have access to a meaningful work-based learning experience, such as an internship or an industry project in a relevant career field
  • All students will have career awareness and exploration opportunities beginning in elementary and middle school, and individualized learning plans based on their unique strengths and interests 

In an effort to continue to ensure high quality career CTE programming for all RI students, RIDE is releasing a CTE program approval process during the fall of 2019 for programs to open in the 2020-21 school year. These programs, designed to prepare students for careers after high school, may be proposed by any public high school in the state and can be accessed by all Rhode Island students regardless of their home districts. Further, approved programs in industries defined as high-skill, high-growth are eligible for state CTE categorical funding. 

To learn more about PrepareRI, visit

To learn more about CTE in Rhode Island, visit


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