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Fort Bend ISD Celebrates Career and Technical Education - February 2018

Earlier this month, the State Board of Education proclaimed February as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month in Texas, in conjunction with National CTE Month. Fort Bend ISD joins districts across the nation to raise awareness and celebrate the value of CTE.

More than 17,000 students are currently enrolled in CTE courses in FBISD and each year participation continues to grow with a variety of courses offered at each FBISD high school and middle school campus.

According to FBISD Director of Career and Technical Education Meredith Watassek, these courses prepare students for future career paths, whether their plans include college, immediate entry into the workforce, or a combination of both.

“There is a common misconception that CTE programs are for students who do not plan to attend college,” said Watassek. “That may have been the case years ago, but today CTE courses offer students a competitive advantage in preparing for their future no matter what their plans are following high school.”

Courses available at FBISD high schools include business administration, health science, engineering, agriculture, architecture and construction, finance, human services, marketing, and arts and audio video communications. Additionally, juniors and seniors can access course work in information technology, cosmetology, culinary arts, hospitality and tourism, firefighting, automotive technologies and welding through the Technical Education Center. Students also have the opportunity to earn industry certifications and dual credit that gives them a competitive advantage for their future. 

“Colleges and employers both look for students who have taken that extra step,” said Watassek. “Earning dual credit and industry certifications demonstrate a student’s advanced academic knowledge in specific fields of study.”

In November, FBISD broke ground on the James Reese Career and Technical Center, which will begin to serve students in the fall of 2019. The new center will offer advanced junior and senior level courses and give students an opportunity to explore careers in agriculture and natural resources, architecture and construction, arts and audio video communications, culinary arts, cosmetology, education and training, information technology, law and public safety, manufacturing and transportation and logistics.

This state-of-the-art, 200,000-square-foot facility expands the space and resources available to FBISD students and will serve as many as 2,000 high school students each day.

Students will have an opportunity to gain real-world experience working at one of five student-operated learning labs that will be open to the public, including a cosmetology studio, automotive shop, restaurant, credit union and early education center.