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Local High Schools Introducing Technical And Trade Courses


Many local high schools are beginning to integrate work force training courses into their curriculums in an effort to prepare students who are not college-bound.

Many high schools across the Central Texas area are introducing new technical and trade programs into their curriculums in the hopes of giving students who don't attend college other professional options once they've graduated, and those schools are now trying to prepare students for jobs they can become qualified for while still attending high school.

"I think the difference between this and what some of the others and what I've done in the past is instead of us forming a program and hoping our students get a job, we went to our employers and we said, "What do you need?," and we built the program," Temple ISD superintendent Dr. Robin Battershell said.

Many schools in both the Copperas Cove and Temple Independent School Districts have already adopted new courses aimed directly at preparing students to work in specified job fields that include everything from medical coding and assistance to manufacturing, and even auto and construction technology.

Scott & White is just one of the employers that has partnered with schools in the area to help form curriculums tailor-made to fit their professional needs.

"Our goal is for someone to be successful once they get out of high school and whether that's college or that's careers, we just want them to have a skill set when they come out," Battershell said. "So, I think for a superintendent, certainly this allows our students that are not college-bound to come out and be career-ready."

Those who spearhead these new trade and technical courses say they believe local economies could also begin to see the benefits of students staying and working for companies in their communities with more and more high schools beginning to adopt these types of programs.

"You'll see high schools across the state not just look at the academic side, but will look at the career and tech fields as well," Battershell said. "You'll really start to see that build out and I think that's a real advantage to Texas students and to the Texas economy."

Many school officials say that since the introduction of these programs, they are seeing more and more students beginning to take interest in these types of courses, and they say that could lead to additional curriculum changes in the future to include even more trade and technical job fields.

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