The education landscape and the number of opportunities afforded to students continues to broaden in Keller ISD, in large part due to the district’s investment in career and technical programs.

The Keller ISD Career & Technical Education Department supports more than 10,500 CTE students across four high school campuses and the Keller Center for Advanced Learning. CTE students have access to 30 programs, ranging from business, engineering and cybersecurity to fashion design, animation and health sciences.

“CTE is growing,” CTE Advisory Board President Felix Mira said. “It used to look like a shop class down the hall ... but the world of CTE is very different.”

For Keller ISD students, the CTE program consists of a 4-year sequence of related courses, which can lead to internship and apprenticeship opportunities. According to the district, students received more than 3,500 industry-based certifications in 2019.

The Keller ISD CTE Department has also raised more than $70,000 for CTE student scholarships the past two years, Mira said. In addition to donations and job-shadowing experience, business partners help KISD CTE students to complete more than 1,100 mock interviews each year, Mira said.

“The one thing we know...we can’t do what we do in Keller ISD without our partnerships,” Mira said. “Having industry input is the most valuable thing we have, so we’re preparing students for what they’ll walk into ... not [for] something that’s obsolete.”

The district has also begun planning for the Industrial Trades and Agriscience Center, which will house classrooms for education in trades, such as agriculture; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; automotive services and others.

“We’re working right now to get this thing built,” Mira said. “If you want to invest in the future, this is the place to plug in.”