HISD sees tremendous growth in CTE certifications

Career and Technical Education (CTE) in HISD is growing, with an increase of over 2,000 student CTE certifications in the 2018-2019 school year. 

Over the last year, students from across the district obtained 2,772 TEA Industry-Recognized Certifications. In comparison, just over 700 students obtained a CTE certification during the 2017-2018 school year.  

“This increase reflects our district’s focus and the intent behind College and Career Readiness for all students,” said Assistant Superintendent for Career Readiness Michael Love. “Industry certifications are just one form of the many college and career resources the district provides students across HISD.” 

Love said Career Readiness worked in close collaboration with the district’s Schools Office and high school campuses to provide individualized plans to increase the capacity to offer certification opportunities. In addition, investments were made in curriculum and lab resources to ensure that all students were afforded the opportunity to participate. 

As outlined in Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan’s strategic priorities for the upcoming school year, HISD is committed to the growth and expansion of CTE programs. Earlier this year, it was announced that CTE programs will be expanding to nine high schools throughout the district, including the addition of a graphic design program at Waltrip High School, a cosmetology program at Madison High School, and a construction program at Milby High School. 

“Ensuring that students have access to dynamic learning opportunities is one of my top priorities,” Lathan said. “We are committed to preparing students for the future through career and technical education as well as rigorous college and career preparation.”  

An increase in professional development opportunities specific to CTE certifications were also made available for teachers, which, according to Love, directly impacted the number of certifications earned. 

“The teachers have done amazing work,” Love said. “This increase reflects their efforts.” 

An industry certification is a credential that validates the ability to perform certain basic tasks essential to a specific industry. These credentials are marketable across the country and allow for those who hold these credentials to demand more than a minimum wage salary.   

Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Rick Cruz said the district’s goal is to continue to increase the number of certifications earned by students over the next 10 years by allocating specific resources and investing in high-quality program instructors.  

“Schools are actively involved in hiring engaged CTE teachers who will promote industry-recognized certifications for their students,” Cruz said. “The district and Career Readiness are investing in program resources that allow for certification opportunities for all students.” 

For more information on CTE education in HISD, visit https://www.houstonisd.org/careerreadiness.