Career pathways & concentrations Cumberland Valley School District

CAREER PATHWAYS VISION: Cumberland Valley School District’s educational programs will connect our students to the economy through viable pathways for life-long learning that prepare every graduate to aggressively compete in local, state, national, and/or global marketplaces as part of a highly-skilled work force of critical and creative thinkers who can utilize technology to solve problems and communicate solutions and, in doing so, earn a good living in communities that support their families.

CAREER PATHWAYS MISSION: Our mission is to provide academic and experiential pathways aligned and articulated to one another and to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards, needs of employers, entry requirements for post-secondary trade and technical schools and the military, prerequisites for Harrisburg Area Community College and our PASHE universities, and national standards for admittance into highly competitive colleges, universities, and military academies.

Continue reading to learn more about Career Pathways and Endorsements at Cumberland Valley High School.
Where Purpose Meets Opportunity.


First and foremost, Cumberland Valley School District is committed to working to ensure that all students meet the requirements to receive a high school diploma and have an equal opportunity to do so. Our students typically meet the bulk, if not all, of these requirements including proficiency in state testing by the end of grade 10 or 11. During this time, students master and demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve a high school diploma; their educational capstone. Economically, during this time, students “learn to earn.” Cumberland Valley students can accelerate through the academic requirements by completing high school courses while in middle school, attending Term III (courses offered mid-June to late-July) or by taking courses offered by the District online outside of the school day/year or through dual enrollment at local colleges and universities.

Once they begin to reach their capstone and move beyond, students make the transition from “learning to earn” to “earning to learn.” For some of our students, that transition may conclude directly after high school with a job placement. For others, the transition concludes after community college, advanced technical or trade school, or upon completion of a four-year degree from a competitive college or university. And for others, the transition will be after the completion of post-secondary degree from highly competitive colleges, universities, or the military academies, or upon completion of a graduate degree. In all cases, the transition needs to ultimately end at a location in the economy that provides a life-sustaining wage, a low wage-to-educational-debt ratio, and an understanding that regardless of where they enter the economy, holding that place or advancing from that place requires the skills, knowledge, and commitment necessary to endeavor to be a life-long learner. During this time students set a critical foundation, a cornerstone, on which they continue building the skills to sustain and advance their place in the economy. As they set their economic cornerstone, every student should be asking themselves the following four questions:

  1. How do I transform my skills and passions into a meaningful place in the economy?
  2. How far have I come, how far do I need to go, and what do I have to do to reach that place?
  3. What opportunities are available that prepare and propel me toward that place?
  4. Once I arrive at that place, what understandings, skills, and motivations must I possess to hold or advance from that place?

In pursuit of this mission and vision, it is not the intent of Cumberland Valley School District to work outside of existing structures, to do away with current programs that are leading to the success of our students, to lessen the important role that outstanding educators play in the lives of their students, to fail to value the caring educational community we share, or to disregard our proud CV traditions. The vision and mission are about layering 21st century educational opportunities into an already proven educational system so that Cumberland Valley School District continues to be a leader in public education, a school district of choice for parents who seek an outstanding public education for their children, and a vehicle to successfully lift our students into the county’s valued workforce over the next 50 years.

Cumberland Valley School District

Pathway Concentrations

Cumberland Valley Graduation Requirements

The Board of School Directors will acknowledge each student’s successful completion of the instructional program required to meet Pennsylvania and Cumberland Valley School District standards by issuing a high school diploma. The Board shall also certify student accomplishments in relationship to their workforce, career, and/or post-secondary readiness. Graduation requirements are approved and published annually in the Cumberland Valley High School Program of Studies. You can view the Cumberland Valley High School Program of Studies on the High School website.

diploma & endorsements

The minimum requirements of Cumberland Valley School District and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania necessary to receive a high school diploma require the successful completion of 23 high school credits; 16.5 credits determined by the school district and 6.5 electives selected by the student. Within the 6.5 electives and beyond, students may also earn a Cumberland Valley School District endorsement in the form of certificates that designate a student’s workforce, career, and/or post-secondary readiness aligned with Pennsylvania’s Department of Education’s career pathways in:

  • Arts and Communications
  • Business, Finance and Information Technology
  • Engineering and Industrial Technology
  • Human Services
  • Science and Health

Students whose graduation requirements are established by their IEP shall take coursework as defined by their IEP team.

Guidelines for diploma and certificate issuance

Students will be issued notification when they have met the minimum requirements to receive a Cumberland Valley High School Diploma. Students may elect to accept their diploma upon receipt of notification. Upon accepting their diploma, students are considered a graduate of Cumberland Valley High School. Accordingly, the student is no longer eligible to participate in any curricular, co-curricular, or extra-curricular programs as a student, with the exception of participation in graduation exercises at the ceremony that most immediately follows issuance of their diploma.

Students who have successfully completed the planned courses required to earn a Cumberland Valley High School Diploma may continue taking Cumberland Valley High School coursework beyond the diploma requirements. Students who desire to do so must have an approved High School Career Plan as defined by Cumberland Valley School District’s PA Chapter 339 Comprehensive School Counseling Plan on file in the guidance office. At a minimum, a student must maintain and update that plan annually and/or if their career goals change.

In order to maintain their enrollment after meeting the minimum requirements to receive a high school diploma and be eligible to participate in school sports and activities, a student must be enrolled in 4 credits per year and meet all other eligibility requirements. A student may maintain enrollment while attending a post-secondary institution as long as the credits are being transferred back towards a Cumberland Valley High School diploma or certificate.

Excluding coursework taken outside of the adopted school district calendar/school day or approved courses from colleges or universities transferred back for high school credit, students may attempt and receive no more than 32 credits (including transfer credits from other high schools).

Guidelines for issuance of certificates

Cumberland Valley School District offers three endorsements in the form of certificates in addition to a high school diploma as follows:

I. Workforce Ready Certificate – This certificate demonstrates the graduate will be highly competitive when transitioning to the workforce or military after high school. This certificate signifies that the graduate has developed specific skills and understandings and has participated in experiences that have prepared him/her to be competitive in the local economy or armed forces.

Students must complete a Cumberland Valley Pathway Concentration or a Cumberland Area Vocational Technical School Pathway Concentration or at least 5 credits aligned with a Student Designated Pathway Concentration. The student’s final Career and Academic Portfolio should reflect: Completion of a High School Diploma, Completion of Pathway Concentration that includes Work Study, Cooperative Education, Internship, or Pre-Apprenticeship or Apprenticeship Experiences.

II. Career and Post-Secondary Studies Certificate – This certificate signifies that the graduate is not only well prepared to transition to the workforce or military, but has completed coursework and participated in experiences that have prepared him/her to be competitive when pursuing post-secondary education. A Cumberland Valley High School graduate holding this certificate is well prepared to transition to a competitive college, university, or trade school in pursuit of an associate’s and/or bachelor’s degree, advanced professional/industry certificates, or advanced courses of study in the military. He/she is prepared to hold a part-time or full-time job in a position related to their post-secondary studies while pursuing additional degrees/certificates.

Students must complete a Cumberland Valley Pathway Concentration or a Cumberland Area Vocational Technical School Pathway Concentration or at least 8 credits aligned with a Student Designated Pathway Concentration and in doing so also receive credit in Dual Enrollment, College in the High School, AP or IB courses or be awarded industry/professional certificates. Their final Career and Academic Portfolio should reflect: Completion of a High School Diploma, rigorous preparation including course work articulated with programs of study at Harrisburg Area Community College, our local PASHE Universities, or other colleges and universities and/or course work that lead to the issuance of Industry/Professional Certificates prior to graduating. Students utilizing College in the High School, Dual Enrollment, and/or Advanced Placement coursework are encouraged to complete some, if not all, of the requirements necessary to be awarded an associate’s degree prior to graduation as the costs to do so is substantially less through our articulation agreements prior to graduation than after.

III. Advanced Post-Secondary Studies Certificate – This certificate signifies that the graduate has developed specific skills and understandings and has participated in experiences that have prepared him/her to transition to a highly competitive college or university in pursuit of a four-year program of studies culminating in a bachelor’s degree or a five-year program of studies culminating in bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

To receive this certificate, students must complete a minimum of 10 credits in honors, AP, IB, Dual Enrollment, and/or College in the High School classes while completing the requirements to receive a Career and Post-Secondary Studies Certificate.

Students seeking this certificate must recognize the critical importance of a high weighted GPA, high class rank, SAT/ACT scores well above average, and high scores on multiple advanced placement tests in conjunction with the successful completion of academically challenging coursework. Equally as important, students who seek only this certificate without also receiving a Career and Post-Secondary Study Certificate must recognize the requirements are almost purely academic. Without a useable post-secondary degree, their resume can lack market value in the workforce as compared to the debt they may assume in the course of their studies.

For more information:

Mark Blanchard, Executive Director, Cumberland Valley High School, at

mblanchard@cvschools.org OR 717-506-3555

David Gilbert, Supervisor of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology, at

dgilbert@cvschools.org OR 717-506-3665

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