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Liberty Hill ISD Career & Technical Education is Preparing Students for College and Thriving Careers

Liberty Hill ISD Career & Technical Education is Preparing Students for College and Thriving Careers

 

Liberty Hill ISD Office of Communications | November 18, 2022

Liberty Hill, TX — With 10 career clusters and 15 programs of study, the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at Liberty Hill ISD is preparing students for college and thriving careers, right out of high school.

Opportunities to pursue careers that go beyond the traditional classroom begin as early as 8th grade, with three courses available at each middle school campus. When students reach high school, the choices expand to 74 CTE courses across a broad range of career fields:

• Architecture and Construction

• Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

• Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications 

• Business, Marketing, and Finance

• Education and Training

• Health Science

• Hospitality and Tourism

• Law and Public Service

• Manufacturing

• Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics  

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As CTE course offerings and the LHISD student population have grown, so have the number of students taking advantage of the program. Currently, just over half of LHISD 8th graders and 90 percent of Liberty Hill High School students are enrolled in a CTE course. By the time they graduate, 99 percent of LHHS students will have taken at least one CTE course at some point in their high school career.

“Our fastest growing CTE programs of study in Liberty Hill ISD are Animal Science, Welding, Business Management and Marketing, and Engineering,” said CTE Coordinator Deah Twine. “Our Forensic Science course is also growing exponentially each year.”  

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With that rapidly growing student population and booming interest in CTE, ensuring that LHISD can accommodate every student in his or her field of interest can be challenging. “It takes hard work and flexibility,” said Twine, “but, our teachers and administrators are always willing to problem solve and figure out ways to accommodate our students so they have the best CTE experience possible.”

CTE Facilities

An essential component in providing that experience lies in facilities that help foster hands-on learning for students. Twine said that the presence of such facilities accommodates student participation in simulations that better prepare them for the industry standards and practices beyond Liberty Hill High School.

Current LHISD CTE facilities include a residential and commercial kitchen for Culinary Arts, two Health Science labs that simulate hospital and pharmacy experiences, an Agriculture barn where students house and care for FFA project livestock, an Engineering lab in which students apply Robotics to solve real-world problems, an Animal Science lab that mirrors a veterinary clinic, and a simulated board room and collaborative space for Entrepreneurship. 

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In addition, there are computer labs for Animation and Computer Science, and the LHHS Construction and Welding shops will be the focus of expansion projects in the spring of 2023.

Twine said that a second high school will provide an “incredible opportunity to expand on the experiences we currently offer and could potentially offer to our students.”

“Ideal CTE facilities and spaces are those that allow for innovation, flexibility, and growth,” Twine went on to say. “We must be able to keep up with our increasing population, advancements in technology, and constant changes in the industry.  With all of that being said, no facility or space can take the place of passionate educators and real-world learning experiences.”

Real-World Career Connections

LHISD’s goal is that students who enter the CTE program will graduate with all the tools necessary to be successful, whether pursuing post-secondary education or directly entering the workforce. In addition to state-of-the-art facilities, a second vital component toward that goal is to provide authentic connections with professionals in the industry. 

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“That connection is made in the classroom by hiring former business professionals as teachers and by bringing in current business professionals to talk about their field,” said CTE Director Travis Motal.  

“We also foster these connections outside of the classroom by allowing our students to leave campus and participate with local businesses to learn the trade through hands-on experiences and by applying what they have learned in the classroom.  This gives each student a unique experience in the area or field they are interested in,” Motal said.

Industry Certifications

A third essential component of the CTE program is the opportunity for students to earn industry certifications while in high school, throwing open the door to immediate employment opportunities right out of high school. 

LHHS students currently have access to 17 possible professional certifications.

• CertifiedSOLIDWORK Associate

• Autodesk Certified Professional or User in AutoCAD

• Autodesk Certified User or Professional in Inventor

• Fusion 360

• REVIT

• Certified Veterinarian Assistant Level 1

• OSHA-30

• OSHA-10

• Food Handlers

• Food Manager

• Microsoft Office Specialist/Expert: Word

• Microsoft Offices Specialist/Expert: Excel

• Certified Nurse Aide/Assistant

• Certified Pharmacy Technician

• Entrepreneurship and Small Business

• Student Social Media Marketing

• Educational Aide I 

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“Each year we evaluate the certifications we offer,” said Twine. “We involve our industry partners through our CTE Advisory Committee to help determine the best possible options for our students.”  

New certifications introduced this year include Non-Commissioned Security Officer Level II in the Law Enforcement program of study, Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification in the Entrepreneurship program of study, and Student Social Media Marketing certification in the Business Marketing and Sales program of study.

Twine said that in addition to the district’s evaluation of certification opportunities, they also evaluate the courses LHISD offers, by examining input from the CTE Advisory Committee, student interest, and workforce trends. 

“Next school year, we will be offering a few new courses,” Twine said. “Floral Design, Audio/Video Production, and a course that will partner with a local technology firm to provide training to students who will then be able to provide technical support to students and teachers on campus.”

Student Success 

The CTE program helps students chart a course for college and career and equips them to pursue it. Many are doing just that.

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“One of our current Animation students has been accepted in the Texas A&M University Animation program and will enroll in the fall of 2023,” Twine said. “We have several students studying engineering, one of whom is currently enrolled in the University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering and was accepted to the program right out of high school.“

LHHS graduates who participated in CTE education courses are currently enrolled in college to become teachers, and a student who participated in Culinary Arts is now studying at Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. 

“Almost all of our welding students who graduated last May have pursued a career in the field and are successfully employed as welders,” Twine said. “Many of our industry partners employ our students upon graduation and even hire and train them while they are still students in our programs.”

Whether they aim for college or career, or both after high school, Liberty Hill ISD is working diligently to bring the world to our students' doorstep. And, to prepare them to confidently take the next step in pursuit of their dreams.

 
 
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LHISD Communications
communications@libertyhill.txed.net
512-260-5580