As the new Bryan ISD Career and Technical Education Complex opens in August, Bryan students will be joined by those from two other school districts.
With a 4-0 vote during Monday’s meeting, Bryan school board members approved a memorandum of understanding that will allow students from Snook and Caldwell to enroll in career and technical education (CTE) courses at the new complex.
Bryan chief of staff Ginger Carrabine said the ability to offer a regional location for CTE courses sends a message that the Bryan school district is in place to serve all students, not just those in its attendance zone.
“As educators, we’re obligated or compelled to meet the needs of every student, no matter where they’re at, to position them to be productive citizens in our society,” Carrabine said. “We’re doing our part, not just for our kids, but for others as well. It’s a really great feeling to extend the reach.”
The Bryan school district’s newest facility, on Mumford Road, is the former home of BMI Defense Systems and has been converted into an educational space to offer four courses — automotive technology, construction technology, industrial engineering and robotics and welding technology — in its first year.
One source of funding for the facility, which the district is calling the CTEC, is the Carl D. Perkins Grant that offers school districts support to bolster CTE offerings. Among the requirements to receive the grant, Carrabine said, are the involvement of industry professionals, a partnership with an institution of higher education — in this case Blinn College — and a partnership with at least one rural school district.
Snook and Caldwell school districts are the first to enter a partnership with the Bryan school district for the 2019-2020 school year. Other districts, including Mumford and College Station, have expressed interest for future partnerships, Carrabine said.
“We are just so fortunate that all of this is coming together so quickly and that we were able to offer a few seats during this first year. That just worked out perfectly,” Carrabine said.
During her presentation to the board, Carrabine assured the four attending trustees that Snook and Caldwell students are taking available seats, not taking the seats of any Bryan students. She noted three of the CTEC courses are expansions of programs still being offered at Rudder High School and Bryan High School, with some students choosing to remain on their home campus. The industrial engineering and robotics course is the only one that is offered exclusively at the new facility.
To enroll in CTEC courses, students must be going into their junior or senior year, have written approval by their home district and pay the required tuition of $1,250 per year per course.
Through the district’s partnership with Blinn College, students will have the option to earn college credits in construction technology, industrial engineering and robotics and welding technology. Automotive technology is the only program that will not have a dual credit option because Blinn does not offer the program at the college level.
All CTEC courses will follow the Bryan academic calendar. Students have the option to attend the morning or afternoon session, based on their other classes and extracurricular schedules. Bryan students will have the option to ride a district bus or drive themselves to the CTEC. Partner school districts will provide bus transportation to their students.
Through the process of opening the CTEC, Carrabine said, the district learned there is a need in area industry.
“It fills that void in the region, if you will, as a workforce training site,” Carrabine said. “It’s really exciting. … Manufacturing in our case is welding and industrial engineering, so hopefully we can help not only our county, but our region and our state out with producing some of these kids who are workforce ready.”
Additional information about the CTEC is available at bryanisd.org, and any students interested in enrolling in CTEC courses can reach out to their school counselor.