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Arts, Media, and Entertainment Industry Sector

The Arts, Media, and Entertainment Industry Sector prepares students to join the global workforce and become the creative communications leaders for the 21st century.


The California Department of Education established the Arts, Media, and Entertainment (AME) industry sector to support high school students interested in pursuing careers in California’s thriving creative workforce. AME programs align with California Career Technical Education (CTE) Model Curriculum Standards which define the knowledge, skills, and practical experience students should have to pursue their chosen profession through post-secondary, professional skills training, and/or apprenticeship training. AME programs build on traditional arts programs to include a comprehensive career readiness component. In 2019, the sector has grown to serve 231,000 students and is the largest CTE sector in the state of California.

Arts, Media, and Entertainment Industry Program Summary

The AME Industry Sector is a California Department of Education program designed to identify and develop curriculum, standards, instructional resources, and assessment strategies for teachers, students, guidance personnel, curriculum planners, and administrators. Leadership in the AME Industry Sector is fostered through partnerships with a variety of media and entertainment industry partners and key representatives from the California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California Postsecondary Education systems. The program identifies tools, resources, strategies, activities, and standards to assure that students are offered challenging, relevant academic and career-related experiences. Through on-going implementation of high quality, standards-based programs, students may access a range of sequential courses of study developing skills in various AME Industry Sector career pathways, as well as focused in-depth study of specific AME Industry Sector careers.


CDE services for the AME Industry Sector are located within the High School Innovations and Initiatives Office. The CDE assigned AME Industry Sector Lead and participating industry partners support implementation of a quality standards-based program of instruction for AME.

The specific services and program objectives include the following:

  • Provide technical assistance and monitor the work of industry sector grant recipients to ensure compliance to state and federal laws and regulations.
  • Assist with statewide AME Industry Sector work groups and advisory committees.
  • Promote the development and implementation of AME Industry Sector professional development activities through programs and services provided in statewide and local seminars, conferences, and workshops.
  • Promote the inclusion and expansion of AME Industry Sector activities in elementary and middle school career awareness programs.
  • Establish programs and initiatives that will develop new ways for business and industry to work closely with schools on an ongoing basis.
  • Analyze and share innovative approaches to bridge the gap between school and the world of work to create a variety of opportunities for a free flow of arts industry information, resources, and career-oriented experiences for students.


AME instructional programs provide pre-professional level training to prepare students for careers in creative industry.  AME courses can be aligned with the 2019 California Arts Standards and submitted to satisfy A-G (F) requirements for university admission. AME programs should provide:

  • New and existing resources, strategies, activities, including standards-aligned curricula to assure that students are offered challenging, academic and career-related experiences.
  • Opportunities for work-based learning and industry connections.
  • Learning opportunities and partnerships that increase career guidance and educational relevance leading to improved student involvement and achievement and preparation for continued education and careers in the AME Industry Sector.
  • Arts-focused career and academic curriculum that includes industry-based standards.

Arts, Media, and Entertainment Industry Sector Pathways

AME pathways are sequential focus areas that allow students to advance their studies in a particular art form and gain pre-professional career and post-secondary preparatory experience at the high school level. Students must complete 300 hours (or two consecutive years) of standards-aligned intermediate and advanced level coursework in one of the career focus areas to complete a pathway. Workforce Pathways Guiding Policy Principles define high quality CTE and establish essential elements for programs to follow. Components of a successful pathway include a professional or technical core, academic connections, a work-based learning or internship program, student, strong industry advisory, leadership, and student support services, to name a few.

Design, Visual and Media Arts

  • Graphic Design:  Students utilize industry standard digital design tools, processes and systems common to careers in graphic arts and media production. Close examination of topics include: web design, marketing, art and copy preparation, graphic design, publishing, image generation and assembly, graphic reproduction operations, binding and/or finishing related to digital imaging, printing, and digital production. [Calpads codes 7210-7212]
  • Animation: Students refine artistic and technical animation skills to prepare for specific career paths in the animation and visual effects (VFX) industries. Students learn about computer generated imagery (CGI), anatomical accuracy in drawing and design, learn the fundamentals and physics of movement, execute creative story development, and explore visual communication and computer generated imaging through a variety of animated formats and industry standard software. [Calpads codes 7213-7215]
  • Visual and Commercial Art: Students refine skills in digital and traditional 2-D and 3-D mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography common to careers in fine arts, photography, and commercial art.  Students will design, produce and exhibit art as a communication and marketing tool for industry specific purposes, and examine topics such as arts management and arts education, copyright, curation, exhibition, archiving, and monitization.  [Calpads codes 7216-7218]
  • Media Arts: Students focus on the design aspect, artistic qualities and interaction between media sources in live, recorded, print, and web-based productions. Students develop artistic skills and learn to address industry specific challenges through cross-disciplinary media arts applications and industry standard software.  [Calpads codes 7219-7221]

Performing Arts

  • Professional Dance and Choreography: Students refine multi-genre technical, performance, and choreographic skills for live and recorded performance to prepare for careers in professional dance.  They design production elements (i.e., staging, lighting, film, projection, costuming, and sound); perform for multiple audiences;  explore careers in commercial, educational, and concert dance; and learn about the business side of dance including licensing, company and studio management, and self marketing. [Calpads codes 7230-7232]
  • Professional Music:  Students build on technical knowledge to prepare for artistic career paths in the music industry. They refine skills in instrumental, vocal, and/or digital music composition, arrangement, performance and production. Topics such as music monetization, contracts, licensing, and navigating the music industry are explored.   [Calpads codes 7233-7235]
  • Professional Theatre: Students prepare for artistic careers on the stage or screen.  They learn to create, perform, and direct for live audiences and the camera. Students will learn and refine writing, acting and directing techniques, and understand the business side of the professional theatre, film, and television industries, including the role of the Actor’s Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. Students will prepare audition or direction portfolios, learn business/managerial skills, and develop a professional website and career plan to prepare for employment, advanced training, or higher education in professional acting and directing. [Calpads codes 7236-7238]

Production and Managerial Arts

  • Stage Technology: Students execute the design and technical aspects of dance, theatre, and music productions to prepare for careers in technical theatre and theater management.  They are trained in costuming; lighting and projection design, installation, and operation; set design, construction and installation; sound design and production; front and back of house management; stage management; and marketing for live and recorded performance. Students learn about unions and how to gain employment in the industry.  [Calpads codes 7240-7242]
  • Film and Video Production: Students are prepared for employment, advanced training, or higher education in film, television, and video production.. They are trained in pre and post production; camera operation; framing and composition; lighting technique and equipment operation; narrative and story development; visual communication strategies, and commercial video production.  Students use industry standard software for film editing and are responsible for post production marketing, distribution and copyright. Students learn about labor unions, and how to gain employment in the technical theater, film, and television industries. [Calpads codes 7243-7245]
  • Multimedia Production: Students prepare for careers in audiovisual (A/V) and broadcast production for live and recorded events.  Students learn industry standard equipment and software for broadcast engineering, audio design, production and engineering; and A/V production and engineering. Students examine the technological interface of equipment installation and operation; audiovisual manipulation; mixing, recording and editing; switching, and live streaming; and other pre and post production components to prepare for employment, advanced training, or higher education in multimedia production. [Calpads codes 7246-7249]

Game Design and Integration

  • Game Design: Students prepare for careers in the rapidly developing gaming industry. They explore current industry standard technologies, media and art applications, and emerging technological advances.  Students will refine skills in drawing, narrative development, design, animation, graphic imaging, coding and multimedia production to prepare for employment, advanced training, or higher education in game design. [Calpads codes 7260-7262]

AME Grants and Funding Profiles

Demonstration and Regional Technical Assistance Sites: The AME Demonstration and Regional Technical Assistance Sites for the California Department of Education serve as examples of exemplary Career Technical Education (school-to-career) programs and as resources for California secondary schools wishing to develop an AME Industry Sector CTE program.

AME Workforce Training Programs: The California Department of Education’s Arts, Media, and Entertainment (AME) Workforce Training program connects high school programs to industry-connected training and youth apprenticeship opportunities. High school campuses will develop articulated course sequences that prepare students for entry-level work. The program will establish work-based learning and internship experiences, public course content and curriculum, and pathway certification materials.

Hip Hop Education and Equity Initiative: The Hip Hop Education and Equity Initiative is a collaboration between state and local education agencies, post-secondary, and non-profit partners. Core elements of the initiative involve recruitment and mentoring of AME educators, and the establishment of culturally responsive and sustaining model course outlines and curriculum.

Partnership with CDE Foundation and The California Film Commission External link opens in new window or tab. : The California Department of Education (CDE) has partnered with the California Film Commission (CFC) to provide career readiness opportunities for California’s students enrolled in the Arts, Media, and Entertainment (AME) industry sector. Through this partnership, film and video production companies provide a variety of “career readiness” opportunities for both students and teachers and receive a tax credit for filming in California.


Allison Frenzel, Education Programs Consultant
High School Innovations and Initiatives Office
Career and College Transition Division
California Department of California
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Questions: Allison Frenzel | | 916-324-5634 
Last Reviewed: Monday, October 31, 2022