The San Antonio School District in Texas is giving its students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take career courses and earn trade certifications after high school.
Renovations at Brackenridge High School in San Antonio include a new Career and Technology Education Building, or CATE, that gives students training in a number of career fields. This is in thanks to a $21 million bond in 2010.
Courses are taught inside the state-of-the art CATE building on campus and it offers training from cosmetology to graphic design to broadcast journalism.
Senior executive director of Academic Support for the district said that the goal was to provide students with space that doesn’t look like they are going to school, but looks more like they are going to work.
For instance, the cosmetology area within the CATE building is set up similar to what one would see in professional salons and the equipment utilized in the broadcasting classes is the same as in professional studios.
The new building has generated an increase of over 20 percent of students enrolled in career courses. Numbers have risen drastically from 70 to over 90 percent at Brackenridge, and are anticipated to continually climb.
I hope more schools have the ability to offer career courses in a fashion similar to those in San Antonio. These courses have countless benefits because they immerse and engage students in a way the typical classroom setting cannot, and encourage students to learn through daily, concrete experiences. I do hope that high school graduates still choose to attend college - but this is an excellent way to test out particular careers at an even younger age.
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