Learning should not stop once a student walks across the high school graduation stage. In Spring Branch ISD, the T-2-4 goal is to prepare Every Child to transition into a Technical, 2-year or 4-year post-secondary education.
On Nov. 20, Stratford High School hosted a Technical School Fair during the students’ lunch period to showcase some technical career possibilities. Seven area technical schools provided programming information to interested students in the cafeteria.
The schools represented were:
· Arclabs (advanced welding school)
· MediaTech Institute (recording arts, animation, digital film, web design, app development)
All boasted a shorter path to employment opportunities than traditional college majors. Ranging from three to 24 months, graduates from the programs represented at the SHS fair can complete job-related certifications and even an Associate degree in some cases.
“College doesn’t appeal to me,” said a student who visited the Arclabs table. “I have been hands-on with my learning, so when I heard about this school, I jumped all over it.”
A senior was interested in the program offerings from MediaTech. “I take 3-D animation at the Guthrie Center,” she said. “I am interested in a career in sign language or 3-D animation.” The Guthrie Center is the career and technology hub campus in Spring Branch ISD.
Another Stratford student was exploring the option of getting her dental technician certification so she could then work while going on to pursue a medical degree. The 11-week program at the Academy for Dental Assisting appealed to her.
Several students who have a love of animals collected information from Sandra Wing representing the Vet Tech Institute. Graduates of this program achieve careers as assistants to veterinarians.
“They are like ‘nurses’ for the animals, doing a lot of the physical work for the doctors,” said Wing.
Other benefits all the represented technical schools had in common were the hands-on learning methodologies, financial aid options, and assistance with job placement upon completion of their career-focused programs.
“In Texas, we are always going to need welders,” said Jamail Blunt from Arclabs. “From the oil and gas projects around here to construction, we need welders.”
Lead counselor at SHS, Jennifer Shock, said they will host two technical school fairs this school year. “Our hope is that the fairs give a career track for kids who don’t want a traditional college experience,” she said. “We want to them explore the possibilities.”
Highlighting the “T” options of T-2-4 opens the minds of SHS students as they plan for productive, promising, and hands-on careers needed to make our communities thrive. Thank you to the schools who came to the high school to provide ‘ah-ha’ moments for future SHS graduates.
Submitted by Becky Wuerth, SBISD Communications