The Keller Center for Advanced Learning supports more than 4,000 vocational and technical students. (Courtesy of Keller ISD)
The education landscape and the number of opportunities available to students continue to expand at Keller ISD, in large part due to the district’s investment in vocational and technical programs.
The Keller ISD Career & Technical Education department supports more than 10,500 CTE students across four high school campuses and the Keller Center for Advanced Learning. CTE students have access to 30 programs, ranging from business, engineering and cybersecurity to fashion design, animation and health sciences.
“CTE is growing,” said Felix Mira, chairman of CTE’s advisory board. “It used to be like a classroom down the hall… but the world of CTE is very different.”
For Keller ISD students, the CTE program consists of a 4-year sequence of related courses, which can lead to internship and learning opportunities. According to the district, students received more than 3,500 sectoral certifications in 2019.
The Keller ISD’s CTE department has also raised more than $ 70,000 for CTE scholarships over the past two years, Mira said. In addition to donations and on-the-job shadowing experience, business partners help KISD CTE students complete more than 1,100 mock interviews each year, Mira said.
“The only thing we know… we can’t do what we do in Keller ISD without our partnerships,” Mira said. “Having industry input is the most valuable thing we have, so we prepare students for what they’re going to step into … not [for] something that is obsolete.
The district has also started planning for the Center for Industrial Trades and Agroscience, which will house classrooms for teaching trades, such as agriculture; Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning; automotive and other services.
“We’re working right now to build this thing,” Mira said. “If you want to invest in the future, this is where you have to plug in. ”