Career & Technical Education


Career and technical education is a term applied nationally to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.


Interested in pursuing a CTE program? WCC offers more than 100 different degrees and certificates in CTE fields. We suggest starting the process by discussing your interests with an advisor from our Advising and Counseling department. Below are a few examples of CTE programs that have been deemed high-wage, in high-demand and requiring high-skill.

SkillsUSA - National Association
Michigan chapter

Student membership is $14 each. Contact lead instructor Alex Pazkowski for information.

National Society of Professional Engineers  Engineering and pre-engineering majors can join for free.

Local Michigan Chapter

SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)
Student membership is $35 per year

Many CTE programs culminate with students taking an industry recognized certification or licensure exam. Often study resources are provided at WCC, and in some cases even a practice exam. The license/certification gives the student sort of a “stamp of approval” that they meet the industry standards for that profession. Oftentimes just having that license/certification allows the student more upward mobility and flexibility to move within that industry.

Each industry often has one or more state or national Associations. Members of these Associations are committed to their profession, serve as subject matter experts, and often offer networking and ongoing training for their membership. While there is often a yearly membership cost, student memberships are greatly reduced (often less than $50 per year). The connections students make within an Association can stay with them throughout their lifetime. They are often a source of camaraderie and where future job openings within that industry are shared. There may even be a student club at WCC tied to that Association. If not, students can still join the state or national Association as an individual member. If unsure about which Association to join, speak with a faculty member about which would be the best fit for your short and long-term goals.

Manufacturing and Automotive Programs
ASME - American Society of Mechanical Engineers 
Individual student membership is $25, but is free for first year students.

AMPP – Association for Materials Protection and Performance (national group)  
Here is the MI chapter
They offer a scholarship, WCC students can apply. 

SME- Society of Manufacturing Engineers
No student chapter at WCC, but individual student membership is $20 and gives access to job fairs.
Students can join here for $20 per year. 

Transportation Technologies Department
NIASE (ASE) Automotive Service Excellence
Offers ASE certification exams. 

Heathcare Programs
American Dental Assistants Association 
Cost $35/$45 with insurance to join for one year

National Student Nurses’ Association 
Students can join for $27 for one year + state dues

Michigan Dental Association 
No membership fees.
American Physical Therapy Association, Michigan chapter 
$80 to join national association
$10 to join MI association 

Michigan Society of Radiologic Technologist 
Students can join for $10 per year.

American Society of Radiologic Technologist 
Students can join for $35 per year.

Association of Surgical Technologist 
Reach out to instructor for advice on individual membership or bundling with exam and study guide.

American Association of Medical Assistants (national group) 
Students can join for $36 per year.
Michigan Society of Medical Assistants 

Washtenaw Economic Club - $100 per year to join as Young Leaders, can attend 2 meetings. 

American Marketing Association (national) 
Detroit area Chapter - 

Adcraft Detroit - A non-profit advertising organization based in Detroit.
$25 per year for students. 

 Liberal Arts
Michigan Press Association - $10 for student membership 

National Press Photographers Association - $75 for student membership 
The Association for Women in Communications, Detroit Chapter (has members from all over SE Michigan) – currently revising membership structure, but should be affordable for students.

CTE Programs at WCC can provide students with an upfront and fast track to mentors. Mentors are those people we look up to for their leadership, professional advice, or other qualities we admire. Finding a mentor does not need to include a formal request to them. You can have a mentor that is a teacher or coach without them even knowing it. However, sharing with them what you admire may help them be even more intentional about passing on their knowledge and advocating for you. Our WCC faculty and staff come from diverse backgrounds, and chances are you will identify with one or more of them—and we could all use a mentor for personal or professional growth.

Each program at WCC has a designated Academic Advisor (to plan out your degree and/or obtain transfer credit) and Success Coach (to help navigate college and overcome obstacles). The team also includes additional staff who help in a myriad of ways depending on the students’ needs.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation offers over $1 million in scholarships each year to thousands of students. Open to high schools seniors and current students in associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees in manufacturing, engineering, or related programs. Students can be part-time or full-time students, but must have at least a 2.0 GPA. Scholarships can be used for tuition, fees, lab, book or course fees. Awards range from $2,500 – $20,000.

While there are 60 different scholarships, students only need to complete ONE application for all eligible scholarships. 

Learn more about SME Education Foundation scholarships or begin the application at the SME Education Foundation website.

Scholarship applications are accepted each year from Nov. 1 – Feb. 1.