Central Texas College (CTC) and the Killeen Independent School District (KISD) held a joint board meeting on February 7 at the KISD Career Center to review the results of their recent partnership efforts.
“We are thrilled with the partnership efforts to date,” said Dr. Robert Muller, KISD superintendent. “We are truly making a difference for these students and their parents, both financially and academically. As the Career Center was developed, we worked closely with Central Texas College. What you see today may not be what you see two years from now. We want to change to meet employer needs, and we will continue to work closely with CTC as adjustments occur.”
Diana Miller, KISD assistant superintendent, presented an overview to the joint boards on the KISD career and technical education program. She reviewed the 10 “Career Clusters” that combine courses taken at each high school with courses at the Career Center.
“We work with CTC to develop articulation agreements so our students leave the Career Center with coursework that may be articulated for credit at CTC,” said Miller. “Currently, 12 courses offered by the Career Center may be applied to courses at CTC. “Taking one of these courses saves a student approximately $350.”
According to Alison Belliveau, KISD coordinator for career and technical education, “Students start the process as early as fifth grade with a tour of the center and take a career course in eighth grade to develop their high school plan based on the program of study that aligns with their interests and aptitude.”
CTC Chancellor Dr. Thomas Klincar said, “Our partnership makes an affordable, local college education a reality for KISD parents. A student can begin earning college credits using KISD’s dual credit partnership with CTC. Then continue to CTC after graduation to complete their lower level class requirements and move on to Texas A&M University – Central Texas to complete a bachelor’s degree, all for just over $14,000.”
In a joint presentation, Angela Reese, director of public education and distance learning operations for CTC, and Susan Buckley, KISD director of secondary curriculum and professional development, reported more than 3,500 KISD students have accounted for nearly 11,000 enrollments in the past seven years – saving KISD parents more than $635,000 in college tuition. KISD offers dual credit courses on each high school campus at no cost to the student.
Courses are taught by highly qualified KISD and CTC faculty with the same rigor and learning standards as the courses taught on the CTC campus and are transferable to every public college or university in Texas.
In addition to dual credit offerings, Reese and Buckley reviewed the growth of the “Fast Track to CTC” program which provides on-site admissions and counseling to KISD seniors. Since 2008-09, more than 2,695 students have participated in the program. They also reviewed other partnership efforts including having mentors in each high school to assist students, career exploration programs and a summer camp program.