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Elementary and Primary Education
Houston Independent School District
News Release
Friday, January 20, 2012

HISD Unveils Plan for Five School Programs Promising Career Training
and Associate’s Degrees

Houston Innovative Learning Zone Partnership with HCC would build new programs at Furr, Kashmere, Long, Scarborough, and Sterling campuses 

Students at five Houston ISD campuses would have the chance to earn associate’s degrees and receive career training in high-demand technical fields under a proposal unveiled for the HISD Board of Education’s consideration on Thursday.

The proposal to establish the Houston Innovative Learning Zone (HILZ) schools is a direct response to frequent requests from students, and the Houston community at large, for HISD to bolster its portfolio of Career and Technology Education offerings.

The number of industry certificates earned by HISD students reached 15,160 in 2010-2011. This is nearly four times the number of certificates awarded to HISD students a year earlier, when 3,881 were issued. HISD intends to build on this progress as the district seeks to offer a broad array of programs that are proven to draw the interest of students, including those who may be at risk of dropping out of school.

            “As I visited with parents, students, and others across HISD during last fall’s series of Community Conversations, we heard loud and clear that our students want more opportunities to learn real world job skills that prepare them for rewarding careers right out of high school,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “The Houston Innovative Learning Zone campuses will meet this demand with programs that lead to high-paying jobs in some of Houston’s most promising industries.”

Students who successfully complete the four-year program would graduate high school with an associate’s degree and valuable industry credentials that lead to rewarding careers in high-growth technical fields. Just as importantly, Houston Community College credits earned by HILZ graduates will transfer to any public Texas university, leaving them well prepared to thrive in a four-year college if they choose to forego an immediate career.

Working in partnership with the Houston Community College System, HISD will be prepared to open these five new HILZ academies in time for the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to taking the standard core courses required of all high school students, HILZ students would take courses taught by college professors using a blend of face-to-face and online instruction. Each HILZ school would offer a technology-rich college atmosphere. In addition, these schools would aggressively pursue partnerships with businesses that match their instructional themes.

“Students shouldn’t have to choose between the Career and Technology Education track and the college track,” Grier said. “HILZ graduates will leave HISD ready to pursue any interest they desire.”

The five proposed HILZ schools are:

The School of Electronic Engineering at Furr

            The School of Electronic Engineering would provide students with the knowledge and ability for a career in electronics and information technology in the 21st Century.

            Possible career options:

·         Engineer (annual salary: $92,730)

·         Operating engineers and construction equipment operator (annual salary: $32,469)

·         Computer software engineer, systems software (annual salary: $88,795)

The School for Process Technology at Kashmere

            The School for Process Technology was developed in response to requests from local chemical and refining industries. It would provide students with training for high-skill, high-wage jobs needed in the manufacturing industry.

Possible career options:

·         Chemical technician (annual salary: $50,274)

·         Geological and petroleum technician (annual salary: $56,243)

·         Water and liquid water treatment plant and system operator (annual salary: $33,405)

·         Chemical plan and system operator (annual salary: $62,088) 

The School for Pharmacy Technology at Long

            The Long campus would add high school grade levels under this proposal. The School of Pharmacy Technology would prepare students for the growing pharmaceutical industry by providing them with the clinical and business skills needed to work successfully alongside pharmacists and physicians.

            Possible career options:

·         Pharmacy technician (annual salary: $27,602)

·         Pharmacy aide (annual salary: $23,830)

·         Pharmacist (annual salary: $109,380)

The School for Network and Computer Administration at Scarborough

            The School of Network Computer Systems Administration would prepare students for career opportunities that design, install and support computer networks.

            Possible career options:

·         Computer systems analysis (annual salary: $76,731)

·         Network systems and data communications analysis (annual salary: $69,035)

·         Computer software engineer (annual salary: $90,002)

·         Network and computer systems administrator (annual salary: $67,954)

The School of Logistics and Global Supply at Sterling

            The School of Logistics and Global Supply Chain Management program would provide students with the knowledge and ability to apply individual technical skills necessary to pursue a career in areas such as exporting/importing, materials handling, global transportation, warehouse and distribution center management, purchasing management, and traffic management.

            Possible career options:

·         Transportation, storage, and distribution managers (annual salary: $76,814)

·         Purchasing agent (annual salary: $50,877)

·         First-line supervisor/manager (annual salary: $38,049)

·         Planning, and expediting clerks (annual salary: $67,954)

The HILZ school program is scheduled to be presented to the HISD Board of Education for possible approval at the Board’s regular meeting on February 9, 2012. The proposal calls for nearly $4 million in startup funds, spread over a four-year period. About $1.5 million of the cost would be covered by federal funds specifically designated for vocational education programs.

Ocean Star

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