New Classes Offer Career-Directed Education

New Classes Offer Career-Directed Education for Students
Science Student

March 23, 2015 – Amarillo ISD educators have designed and written four new high school courses meant to provide specialized education based on career goals. House Bill 5, passed in May 2013 by the 83rd Texas Legislature, changed high school graduation requirements to include a significant focus on career interests. Three of these courses, Art Design and Production for Advanced Visual Art, Forensic Science, and Math for Technical Professionals, were implemented this fall. Math for Medical Professionals will be implemented in August 2015.

“AISD is certainly looking at additional specialized math and science classes which support strong programs of study. There are already several good courses approved by TEA we will look at implementing, but there are still some areas needing courses developed. Discussions are already underway for a science class in environmental safety,” Director of Career and Technical Education LeAnn Estep explained. “As AISD implements House Bill 5, and we continue to evaluate and improve our programs of study, there will be a need for additional specialized math and science classes.”

Current courses are focused on the concepts of mathematics. The two new math courses developed by AISD educators concentrate on the application of mathematics as it relates to technical and health careers. Students will take a hands-on approach to discovering and applying the world of math to activities and projects which translate into college and career readiness. The specific skills and concepts written into these courses are what someone in these fields needs to master in order to be successful. 

“These specialized classes help students focus on specific skills and the application of academics relevant to their chosen program of study. Students are exposed to and practice real world skills used by current industry practitioners. This allows students to have an advantage when they enter post-secondary and/or the workforce. Students who have been convinced math is too hard begin to understand the concepts when they see the applications in practice. Students who thought they couldn’t do even simple math are able to use trigonometry and calculus in solving problems because it now makes sense when they see math in action.”

Jay Hufstedler teaches forensic science at Amarillo High, and recognizes the importance for students to take electives which interest them beyond the core courses. “This forensic science course gives them a basis for understanding the connection between forensic science, law enforcement and the justice system. Students enjoy the hands on learning with bite mark, fingerprint, shoeprint, blood spatter and handwriting kits.”

Course  School Implementation Date Credit
Art Design and Production for Advanced Visual Art  Palo Duro  August 2014  Elective 
Forensic Science  Amarillo High  August 2014  Science 
Math for Technical Professionals  Caprock, Palo Duro, Tascosa  August 2014  Math 
Math for Medical Professionals  AACAL  August 2015  Math 

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