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Career and Technical Education Program

Milton Hershey School students learn how to weld through the school's Career and Technical Education program.

Preparing for the Future

Milton Hershey School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program and its 12 career pathways prepare students for college or career. The program combines tailor-made instruction and hands-on learning with the ability to gain industry-recognized certifications and real-life experience through internships, co-ops, and pre-apprenticeships. Learn more about this hallmark MHS program.

CTE Career Pathways

Read about each of the 12 Career and Technical Education program career pathways at Milton Hershey School.

A Milton Hershey School student working in the greenhouse as part of her career and technical education classroom.

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Agriculture has deep roots at MHS and is a natural career pathway. Today, the field is so much more than basic farming!

A Milton Hershey School student with his instructor in the Automotive Technology career pathway.

Automotive Technology

In the Automotive Technology pathway, students get hands on. They drive their learning within this modern and increasingly high-tech field.

A Milton Hershey School business teacher works with a student in the classroom.

Business/Financial Management & Accounting

Students learn the fundamentals to prepare themselves for leadership beyond MHS.

Career and Technical Education at MHS

CTE has been engrained in Milton Hershey School’s history for more than 100 years. Our founders were purposeful about working training into the school’s curriculum. They wanted students to learn the necessary skills to lead fulfilling and productive lives. Today, the CTE numbers speak for themselves:

  • 45% of MHS alumni are employed in a field that matches what they studied at MHS
  • 58% of MHS alumni earned a college degree that matches their career pathway

Hands-On Learning

CTE and integrating STEAM into programming is a focus at MHS. It is included in our 2020 Vision Strategic Plan. MHS curriculum aligns with the current job market to prepare students for 21st century careers, with a focus on 12 CTE career pathways. Unique pre-apprenticeship and postsecondary apprenticeship opportunities are being developed within many of these pathways to support evolving student interests and needs.

Review the Strategic PlanRead Mr. Hershey's CTE Beginnings

Early Exposure to Narrow Career Interests

The Career and Technical Education program is part of Milton Hershey School’s whole child approach to education. This helps students overcome obstacles that stem from poverty. Career and technical education can break down barriers. It empowers students to discover their unique talents and passions at a young age. It gives them the tools to pursue their interests.

Students gain skills and knowledge that put them ahead of their peers. Whether entering the workforce or continuing their education, they are ready to thrive. The CTE program is infused at all levels of education at MHS.

Elementary Division

Each year, third- and fourth-graders attend the Design Your Future CTE Fair on campus. They learn about the career pathways and participate in activities.

Middle Division

Fifth- through eighth-grade students participate in CTE curriculum. Their learning integrates:

    • Robotics
    • Computer programming and coding
    • Mock crime scene investigations
    • Additional areas of focus

Senior Division

High schoolers further explore the pathways before narrowing their interests. Ultimately, they select and study one for the remainder of their MHS education. Each student completes a four-credit CTE requirement prior to graduation.

A Milton Hershey School engineering student works on a computer during class.

CTE By the Numbers

All students can earn state- and nationally recognized certifications. Within our 12 career pathways, students have more than 90 industry-recognized certification chances.

  • 100% of 2015 to 2019 graduates earned at least two industry-recognized certifications
  • 1,679 total industry-recognized certifications earned by the Class of 2019
  • 91 students in high school interned in 2019 (highest in internship program history)
  • 69 graduates in the Class of 2019 gained authentic work experience through internships and co-ops
Milton Hershey School Middle Division students work in the wood shop during a Career and Technical Education class.

Outstanding Teachers and Facilities

The CTE experience at MHS features:

  • State-of-the-art facilities that simulate real work environments
  • Instructors who are experts in their fields
  • Specialized classes that reflect the needs of employers everywhere

Local experts serve on the advisory committees of each career pathway. This ensures the school’s curriculum, certifications, and workplace experiences meet high standards. It also helps to make sure these elements are always relevant in the current workplace.

Authentic Work Experiences

MHS seeks to build upon the technical skills students gain in CTE classrooms. Through the development of strong partnerships in the business community, we are doing just that. We are proud to offer students meaningful internship, co-op, and pre-apprenticeship experiences. These experiences match their chosen career paths.

Students can work in authentic work environments. They learn directly from professionals. It is a constructive way for students to explore a particular career or industry. It also introduces them to employability skills such as time management and organization.

Read about Internships and Co-OpsRead about Apprenticeships

Milton Hershey School students work together on a project during a Law, Public Safety & Security class.

Skills Gained

  • Solidify career goals
  • Gain employability skills
  • Enhance technical skills
  • Gain self-confidence
  • Build a professional network
Milton Hershey School students work in a lab as part of their health science class.

College Classes Offered

MHS offers 13 college classes through its CTE program. The program gives students the ability to earn college credits while still in high school. They can assess whether college is the right path for them.

  • (4) – Health Science: Pennsylvania College of Health Science
  • (4) – Health Science: Harrisburg Area Community College
  • (2) – Law, Public Safety & Security: Lebanon Valley College
  • (2) – Business/Financial Management & Accounting: Lebanon Valley College
  • (2) – Business/Financial Management & Accounting: Carlow University

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.