Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Thank you for showing students options

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Jan. 28, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 27, 2014 at 7:28 p.m.

Education is about more than memorizing mathematical equations and learning to read and write. Schools are launching platforms that prepare and equip students for the day they will all have to enter the working world and find their way in life.

Recent changes by the state Legislature have given schools options when it comes to choosing a direction in life. The passage of House Bill 5 created multiple options for high school students to help direct their studies toward an area of emphasis and possible career training later. That is a definite step in the right direction in preparing students for life after school.

In Victoria, we have a strong district that is partnering with businesses and community organizations to help students explore their options before reaching graduation. Recently, students attended the Dream Big STEM Expo, an event held in the Victoria College Health Science Building. The Victoria Business and Education Coalition and the Alcoa Foundation hosted the event, which included Invista, Caterpillar, area law enforcement agencies and more companies. This expo gave students a hands-on opportunity to learn about some of the job opportunities offered in our area in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. These fields are important parts of area industry, and we are glad to see students are receiving the opportunity to learn about these fields and how they apply in the working world.

Another opportunity students will receive in the future is the addition of firefighter courses in VISD high schools and dual-credit and certification courses offered through a partnership with Victoria College. These options will give students a leg up as they decide whether to attend college or start a career after high school. The earlier students are exposed to possible career choices and have the opportunity to explore their interests, the better prepared they will be when the time comes to choose a career pathway for their lives.

In addition, this emphasis on training and encouraging students to explore available careers in the Crossroads area will result in more students choosing to stay and settle down here instead of going away to larger cities and never returning. This effort raises awareness of the many job opportunities available in our area and helps encourage growth from within as more and more people choose to stay in our area and join the workforce.

We applaud VISD, Victoria College, VBEC, the Alcoa Foundation and all of the companies and groups who are partnering to help area students learn about what career opportunities are available in the Crossroads. By partnering in education, these companies are helping more than students. They are helping the community, the economy and themselves. Thank you for supporting education in the Crossroads. Your support will help more students choose their direction in the workforce more easily and earlier and help them create a plan to achieve their goals.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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