General Overview

Southwest Career and Technical Academy (SWCTA) is a career and technical education high school that offers eleven distinct programs of study contained within two academies, in addition to its comprehensive core curricula. Students follow a four-year sequence of courses as specified for their individual program areas.

The Professional Services Academy at SWCTA offers students opportunities in the field of: Automotive Technology, Culinary, Dental AssistingHospitality, Nursing, and Respiratory Therapy.The Design Academy at SWCTA is home to the Digital Game Development program as well as programs of study in Engineering, Fashion Design, Interior Design, and Web Design and Development.

A full complement of honors and Advanced Placement courses offer students the rigor of a quality education. Project-based learning, job-shadowing, internships, and the oversight of industry-based partnerships ensure relevance to “real-world” employment opportunities. A robust set of class offerings articulated with the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), and a focus on career readiness give our student every advantage in life after graduation.

Specific Program Areas


Students in the Automotive and Diesel Technology program will learn the latest technology in gasoline, diesel, hybrid, and alternative fuel vehicles. They will also learn about vehicle systems, principles of engineering, and industrial fabrication. Students engage in problem-based learning projects on actual vehicles and trainers using the latest industry tools and equipment. Upon graduation, from this academy, students have a variety of post-secondary opportunities at schools such as CSN and UTI, as well as traditional colleges and universities.


Students in the Culinary program study food, nutrition, culinary art techniques, and food management. The opportunity exists to work with the school’s hospitality students to host school and community functions to gain practical experience in this exciting field of work. Learning in state-of-the-art kitchens, students practice culinary skills used by all chefs.

Dental Assisting

Students enrolled in the Dental Assisting program learn patient care, office practices, and laboratory duties that commonly appear in a dental office. A state-of-the-art learning environment that includes actual dental chairs, is employed.

Digital Game Development

The Digital Game Development program provides students with practical experience in game design and development. Students take classes using high-end animation programs such as “Flash” and “Maya” and utilize a variety of programming languages and software. Using state-of-the-art technologies, students take digital games from concept to completion and compete in local, state, and national competitions.


The Engineering program introduces students to the diverse world of technical field of engineering. Students gain experience in mechanical, electrical, automation, and fabrication skills while utilizing the nationally recognized “Project Lead the Way” curricula.

Fashion Design

A Fashion Design student studies fundamentals and applications of design. Students are able to design their own garments, participate in fashion shows, and meet industry professionals. During their senior year, students have an opportunity to participate in an internship program and implement the skills learned in creating a product line. This design program prepares students for the future in fashion design and opens major opportunities related to the fashion and design world.

In the Hospitality program, students engage in hotel management, marketing, and the travel and tourism industry that is important to the community in Las Vegas and the world today. Working with the school’s culinary program, students plan and execute multiple school and community functions. To gain practical experience, students participate in an internship program in some of our city’s finest hospitality, travel and tourism businesses or properties.

Interior Design

Students in the Interior Design program acquire knowledge in housing styles, architecture, and furnishings. They create design boards, construct scaled models/floor plans, design computerized renderings through “Chief Architect, a “CADD” illustration program, learn sketching and graphic design presentation skills and more. Completed samples of work are compiled into a digital portfolio to showcase students’ design skills, and become a tool to showcase talent as students enter a post-secondary interior design or architecture program.


The Nursing program is designed to introduce students to the basic knowledge and skills needed for entry into the health care field. Students study:

  • medical terminology
  • human anatomy and physiology
  • common diseases and illnesses
  • basic patient care skills
  • communication
  • infection control
  • safe clinical practices

Students’ ethical and legal responsibilities are integrated throughout the program. During the junior year, students learn about medical assisting through theory, demonstrations, and  laboratory skills practice. A clinical practicum during the senior year provides the required hands-on patient care necessary to fulfill the requirements of the Nursing Assistant program. Upon completion, students are eligible to apply for the Nevada State Board of Nursing certification exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Respiratory Therapy

The Respiratory Therapy program introduces students to respiratory careers, ethics, assessment techniques, diseases, as well as infection control. Students learn about respiratory equipment and become certified in CPR. Extensive job shadowing opportunities exist for students to gain real-world experience in:

  • intensive care
  • neonatal care
  • emergency air transport
  • hyperbaric oxygen therapy and more!

This program explores future job opportunities in exciting medical fields such as a traveling respiratory care practitioner, which provides opportunities to travel and work in other states or countries after completion of a college program.

Web Design and Development

There is a growing demand for qualified website developers. The Website Design and Development program prepares students for this exciting and challenging field, while providing a well-rounded background suitable for post-secondary education or entry into the workforce. Web development students study web design, 2D graphic design, 3D graphics and animation, video and audio production for the web, database management and e-commerce, server management, and current website programming trends. Students compete in local, state, and national competitions and create a digital portfolio that is sure to set them apart from the competition.