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Health Careers Education

Program that helps students gain insight into the health care industry, explore health-related areas, and prepare for career entry/postsecondary education.


The Health Careers Education (HCE) program is based on the comprehensive needs assessment of vocational education programs in the state plan submitted under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998. The health careers program presents information to students early in their education program that will cause them to consider a career in health care; to integrate the health careers curriculum across the disciplines; and to design cumulative, articulated content across the levels of education.

Health careers education programs operate at the high school and adult levels to achieve the goals and purposes as follows:

  • Implementation of standards-based curriculum
  • Use of standards-based assessment systems
  • Continuing integration and sequencing of core academics and health careers context
  • Incorporation of instruction in all aspects of the industry
  • Curriculum and program strategies reflecting workplace needs
  • Instructional and support services responsive to the needs of students
  • Expansion of program articulation efforts with postsecondary options
  • Improvement of guidance services
  • Use of technology

Program Goal

The goal of the HCE program is to establish a rich, rigorous, integrated health careers path, kindergarten through employment, to serve students from every school in California. Establishing quality integrated programs that are accessible to all students will enable them to fulfill their individual career goals and will help meet the health care industry's human resource demands.

Benefits for Students

  • Enables students to make career decisions consistent with their aptitudes, interests, abilities, and academic achievement.
  • Provides a program of instruction that prepares students for postsecondary education and for employment.
  • Enables more students to achieve higher levels of academic and career preparation.
  • Provides added relevancy and meaning to the students' educational learning from kindergarten through employment.
  • Eliminates the need for remediation for students in the health careers program who wish to enter postsecondary education or employment.


2015–16 Grant Awards
Provides a list of schools awarded continued funding for the Health Science Capacity Building Project for the 2016–17 program year.


Health Careers Resource Consortium External link opens in new window or tab.
A statewide resource center that supports health careers education through technical assistance, professional development opportunities, resource documents, career path marketing materials, and summer Educator Internship Institutes. Resources for educators, students and health care industry partners are available through the Health Careers Resource Consortium Web site.

California Health Occupations Students of America (Cal-HOSA) External link opens in new window or tab.
A student organization whose mission is to promote career opportunities in health care and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. Cal-HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult, and collegiate students enrolled in health occupations education programs. Membership in HOSA is restricted to health occupations students.

California Career Pathways Consortia (CCPC) External link opens in new window or tab.
Five individual consortia/projects have been involved in Career Technical Education and Tech Prep for a number of years: the Agriculture Project at Modesto Jr. College; the Business Project at Allan Hancock Community College District; the Health Services Project at Kern High School District; Engineering Project at American River College; and the Industrial and Technology Project at State Center Consortium. The mission of the CCPC is to offer a variety of services, products, and technical assistance to providers of career opportunities and education.

Health Care Foundation Standards External link opens in new window or tab.
The standards reflect the skills and knowledge, both academic and technical, necessary to pursue a full range of opportunities within the health careers cluster from entry level to management, including technical and professional specialties.

Health Care Foundation Standards Assessment
A Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) is available at National Consortium on Health Science and Technology Education External link opens in new window or tab. .This assessment will provide a certificate for students who pass both academic and technical skills necessary to pursue a full range of career opportunities within the health care cluster, including technical and professional career specialties.


The Health Careers Education Program is administered by:

Cindy Beck, Health Careers Education Programs Consultant

Career Technical Education Leadership and Instructional Support Office
Career and College Transition Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814

Questions:   Cindy Beck | | 916-319-0470
Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 19, 2016
Recently Posted in Career Technical Education
  • Capital Outlay Form (DOC) (added 13-Jul-2016)
    Form to request and justify Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (CTE) capital outlay expenditures.