Carolina Alliance for Technology

Computer Science and Engineering Learning Communities

CAT Program - Graduate from High School with a Diploma and College Credit & Career Experience!

The Carolina Alliance for Technology (CAT) program has one clear long-term outcome: to increase students’ employability in computer science and engineering high demand industries. Major program components facilitated within a smaller learning community include a redesigned high school schedule with 8.5 hours of individual learning time per week; rigorous academic personalized courses of study (including competency credit) offered using an authentic, project-based instructional approach in a high school major with college credit articulation agreements; annual community service learning projects; on-the-job experiences (including internships and Registered Apprenticeships); participation in a youth-led advisory group, heightened opportunities for career exploration, interest inventories, career skills training, mentoring, and research; engaging summer experiences; and college awareness-preparation. Students will sit for the National Career Readiness Certificate Plus and other engineering and computer science related credentials. CAT teachers will integrate academic and career-focused content through common planning time and annual Summer Institutes. Educators will also participate in industry-led professional development targeted to increase their understanding of necessary work-readiness skills. The program also includes necessary wrap-around services to ensure that all participants overcome barriers leading to success in their career pathway. Weekly counseling will ensure support and on-track monitoring.

Rising 9th grade students (school year 13-14 8th graders) are invited to enroll in CAT now! Contact your middle school guidance counselor, and be sure to ask about CAT during your Individual Graduation Plan conference.

What is Engineering?

Pathway to Success - Each CAT student will:

  • Take at last 4 career pathway courses
  • Engage in work-readiness skills assessments and training
  • Reach at least the Silver Level on the National Career Readiness Certificate (WorkKeys) Plus
  • Engage in career exploration and job shadowing
  • Complete at least 20 hours of internship or apprentice-ship
  • Participate on one community service project-based learning team per year
  • Participate in mentoring and counseling
  • Attend at least one CAT field experience
  • After 9th grade: Clemson Computer Science Field Experience
  • After 10th grade: Disney Youth Education Leadership Field Experience for WorkKeys Gold Level students
  • After 11th grade: College-credit courses, internships, and apprenticeships
  • 12th grade: Capstone Field Experience at Disney World on physics and technology
  • Sit for certification examinations for industry-recognized credentials in engineering and computer science
  • Take courses for college credit or articulation credit
  • Have a modified HS schedule with 8.5 hours of individual learning and project time per week
  • Have access to a CAT Collaborative Commons tutoring and teamwork space within
  • Participate in a small mentoring and guidance group that progresses through the 4 years of the program
  • Take common academic courses with other CAT students designed to integrate computer science and engineering with English, Math, Science, and Social Studies; teachers will stay with students over multiple years
  • Have the opportunity to serve on the Youth Leadership Council and Advisory Board
  • Participate in college campus visits and receive assistance with college planning and applications
  • Have access to online, competency-credit courses

Carolina Alliance for Technology

The Carolina Alliance for Technology is not the work of schools alone—it takes committed partners in high education, industry, and government to make this dream a reality.