As High Schools Change, Technical Colleges Prepare To Expand

Career College Central summary:

  • Higher education officials largely stayed on the sidelines last year when the Texas Legislature debated and ultimately passed a bill that led to a significant overhaul of the state’s high school curriculum. Those colleges and universities are now trying to determine if and how they must adjust as the state prepares to carry out the changes, including a requirement for high school students to select diploma “endorsements” in specialized areas like science and technology or business and industry.
  • Supporters argued that the changes would allow students the flexibility to pursue a curriculum more tailored to their interests and abilities. Business leaders saw them as a way to funnel students — particularly those who were not university-bound — into the work force more quickly.
  • At the state’s technical colleges, the new approach has been met with a sense of excitement — and anticipation that the shift could lead to significant expansion. Michael L. Reeser, the chancellor of the Texas State Technical College System, said he hoped the new openness to technical education would help more students view that postsecondary path more positively. “We think an awful lot of Texans are missing the opportunity to get really high-paying jobs” through associate’s degrees and certificates, he said, “because of that stigma that in some places remains.”

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