New Caney ISD is considering further specialization of career and technical education programming in its high schools after seeing consistent CTE enrollment increases over the last five school years. CTE courses—which can include hospitality and tourism, business management and finance—are meant to promote college and career readiness.
In the last five years, CTE enrollment across the district has increased by more than 19%, from roughly 4,300 students in the 2014-15 year to roughly 5,200 in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, according to district data.
With enrollment increasing, the district is exploring the possibility of—in the next few years—offering specialized CTE programs at New Caney and Porter high schools and the future High School No. 3, which is scheduled to open August 2022, CTE Program Director Warren Stripling said.
“It’s kind of difficult to say exactly how things are going to look in the future,” he said. “They’re going to look much like how they do now. It’s just how we’re going to present those programs and organize those programs.”
If implemented, lower-level CTE courses would continue to be offered at every campus, but specializations in advanced-level classes would be offered at a specific high school campus.
New Caney High School could offer advanced-level courses in manufacturing, architecture and construction, and transportation and logistics on its campus. Meanwhile, Porter High School could offer public safety, engineering and robotics courses as well as a new energy-related program that is under consideration.
The future High School No. 3 could offer advanced-level courses in health sciences, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.
The conversation to specialize programs began two years ago as a way to consolidate funds, Stripling said.
Specialization was decided based on current strengths and resources available at each facility since mimicking programming throughout the district became expensive, he said.
CTE program funding is based on a weighted allowance from the state, which Stripling said is decided based on district enrollment. Student interest and involvement drive how the funds are used in terms of teachers, equipment and curriculum, Stripling said.
NCISD has fostered college and career readiness on its middle and high school campuses for decades through CTE, which has “always been a part of New Caney ISD’s backbone,” he said.
“Our kids love career and tech courses,” he said. “They’re involved in it with all their heart, and our community pushes that.”