Georgetown ISD’s CTE Program Sees Explosive Growth, Thanks to Community Involvement
reposted with permission from the Career & Technical Association of Texas
Georgetown ISD’s CTE program is becoming a national leader, and it’s thanks to a cohesive partnership between the school district and the community.
Georgetown ISD CTE Coordinator Paul Boff credits growth in the program to the partnerships it has with the Georgetown business community. “We have over 80 percent enrollment in our CTE programs in both of our high schools. Historically, we have hovered somewhere in the mid 70’s,” said Boff. The program would not have been able to keep up with demand without that support. “Things have been able to move forward faster,” said Boff.
The Georgetown CTE program, like many others across the state, continues to build as many partnerships as possible. Not only does it work with local businesses, but it also is in the second year of an externship grant program through Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area. “This is something that was started in Round Rock, I believe they are in their fourth year,” said Boff.
Through the grant program, teachers apply for a comprehensive three-day experience with an employer in the community. “They are getting hands-on learning and real-world exposure in today’s job market. If they’re a math, history, humanities, science or CTE teacher, they are gaining first-hand experience about various industries and the kinds of skills employers are seeking.” Teachers turn their experiences into lesson plans to make classes more relevant to the real world.
“Moving forward, we are looking to extend the experience to students as structured internships with those partners,” said Boff. “Anything that we can do to provide an avenue for our students to explore their interests will benefit them.” The district also is looking to create more pre-apprentice experiences.
Georgetown ISD has had notable success in many of its programs, including underwater robotics. Recently, East View High School’s Team Narwhals and Benold Middle School’s Team Titans won the Regional SeaPerch Underwater Robotics Challenge Qualifier and will move forward to the International Championships in June.
An aerospace engineering class offered by Georgetown ISD allows students the opportunity to build an airplane. “We started an aerospace engineering class with instructor Dan Weyant, who has been pivotal in creating an aerospace pathway. The local municipal airport has also been a great resource for our students,” said Boff.
The Georgetown program includes a strong mentor partnership with residents living in nearby Sun City, a large retirement community. “It’s a phenomenal experience for the students and gratifying to see bonds forming between mentors and students,” said Boff.
Boff credits the community for helping expand opportunities for students to graduate ready for their next step. “We help students become career and college ready,” said Boff “If a student completes a CTE sequence, they are career ready, and they are college ready, they have the skills to be successful.”