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Parents, Students Explore Classes and Careers (January, 2006)

CTE ExpoParents and students from throughout the district attended a Career Exploration Expo at Frisco High School to meet teachers and learn about classes offered in Frisco Independent School District that can prepare students for a variety of careers and even help them to graduate high school with college credit already earned. Patsy Tindel, coordinator of Career and Technology Education presented a power point presentation that explained the many classes available to high school students. The audience included parents of students ranging from eighth to 11th grade.

The Career and Technology Education offered at FISD has changed over the years to meet a changing business world and to meet the needs of a rapidly changing community. For instance, Frisco has always offered agricultural science but today’s students may be enrolled in “Ag” classes that have nothing to do with breeding farm animals – though those classes are still strong. Agricultural Science now includes landscape design and horticultural design and both the Frisco High School and Centennial High School Ag teachers recently were certified to teach students to be veterinary assistants. With the right courses and grades students could certify in high school and leave ready to go to work in a veterinary clinic.

CTE ExpoAnn Blackman from Collin County Community College was on hand to meet with parents and discuss the College Tech-Prep courses that form part of the Global Edge Consortia. Frisco partners with CCCC to offer technology classes that can be turned into college credits for free when the student completes work at Collin County Community College for certification. Students who sign on for Tech-Prep and follow through with the prescribed courses and maintain at least a B average in the classes can  often complete their career goals quicker, Blackman explained to the parents who stopped at her table. Kip Bledsoe, who teaches at FHS, explained that students who take some of the prep-tech classes are enrolled in tech-prep automatically, whether they choose to follow through with education at CCCC or plan to attend another school. It simply leaves the door open for students to take advantage of the program, should they decide to participate.

Classes offered at Frisco’s high schools include practical classes such as business classes, personal computer maintenance, early childhood education labs, marketing, and nutrition and food science. These classes are the modern descendants of typing and home economics but prepare students for college training in fields such as computer science, hospitality, and retail management.

More career and technology classes are in the planning stages. Decisions about classes being offered are based on student and parent surveys, information from the business community and interest in district.  FISD is planning on opening a CATE center in the coming years to centralize many of the classes for the entire district.