Today’s economy demands a better-educated workforce than ever before, and jobs in this new economy require more complex knowledge and skills than the jobs of the past. Over the past few years, a goal of Alvin ISD has been the expansion of Career & Technical Education opportunities available to students. A significant step in this direction has occurred with the approval of the 2013 Bond. The Bond included Phase 1 of a centralized Career & Technical Education Center that serves students from all Alvin ISD high schools. The centralized facility allows for growth of new programs of interest to the students as well as programs already in place such as auto tech, auto collision, HVAC, welding, computer maintenance, and cosmetology.
With the change in high school graduation requirements due to Texas House Bill 5, students are allowed to complete career and technical education courses as a part of their graduation requirements.
“The new Texas Graduation Plan (House Bill 5) allows students to earn endorsements and performance acknowledgments. The change in graduation plans by the state allows more flexibility for high school students to pursue either higher education or a career pathway. Endorsements are earned by taking a coherent sequence of courses (pathways) in one of the five endorsement areas. Performance acknowledgments are earned by obtaining a nationally recognized business or industry certification or license upon completion of a pathway. Within the CTE program, students can work toward a certification or license that makes them work force ready when they leave high school for example, Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Nursing Assistant, welding, HVAC, construction management, EMT, CNA, cosmetology, etc. The goal of CTE is to have students ready for the workforce and/or further education,” said Kathy Windsor, Executive Director of CTE.
A few years ago, Alvin ISD repurposed the former Manvel Jr. High Annex into a temporary location to begin growing programs that will ultimately be expanded with the completion of the Career & Technical Education Center.
Phase 1 of the new Alvin ISD Career & Technical Education Center, constructed on the site of the original Manvel Jr. High on Lewis Lane in Manvel, opened this year. Students from all Alvin ISD high schools returned to find the former practice gymnasium renovated to now contain instructional spaces for Auto Tech and Auto Collision courses.
“In addition to the CTE courses already offered such as welding, computer maintenance, construction technology, cosmetology, and HVAC/Refrigeration, we have added Auto Tech and Auto Collision and have opened a state-of-the-art auto shop. This program currently has 93 students enrolled,” Windsor said.
Phase 2 of the CTE construction is contingent upon the passing of the 2015 Alvin ISD Bond Election, which will be held on Nov. 3. The centralized facility will allow for the addition of new programs of interest to the students, which may include programs such as veterinary science, health science, culinary arts, criminal justice, construction management, computer graphics, and more. The courses that will be offered at the CTE Center will be more advanced practicum courses that are typically taken during the last two years of high school. Introductory courses will take place at the junior high campuses, and/or the high school campuses. Many of the advanced courses require equipment that is a standard in the applicable industry; however, often times these required items are quite costly. Centralizing the programs eliminates the need to purchase the same costly equipment for multiple high schools, and will ultimately expand the number of course offerings available to all students. Students opting to take courses at the centralized facility will remain enrolled in their home high school campus; however, half of their instructional day will be spent at the CTE Center.
“Students will have the opportunity to learn from local industry professionals in classrooms that mirror real world facilities, such as a room set up as a pharmacy, classrooms with dental stations, and even a medical center set up,” said Christina Rice-Wiltz, Career and Technical Education Director. “We want to bring the job sites and practitioners to the students in an effort to prevent any undue hindrances for our learners without transportation.”
“Our goal is to build the comprehensive CTE Center to accommodate 800-1000 students from all of our high school campuses,” said Jeff Couvillion, director of Building Programs. “The footprint will be designed in such a way that as the District grows to the projected build out of 57,000 students, the facility can be expanded.”
“As we move forward, our facilities must have the capability to be modified as interests and industry changes,” added Couvillion. “The intent of the new facility and the CTE program is to allow our graduates to enter high paying industry jobs; keeping in mind that industry changes every couple of years.”
To find out more about the 2015 Alvin ISD Bond, please visit www.alvinisd.net/bond2015.