The Harlandale ISD Board of Trustees recently approved $100,000 in seed money to initiate a sequence of courses that will highlight careers in the oil and natural gas industry. The School Board approved those funds as their commitment to educate students about higher education and high wage career opportunities in the booming Eagle Ford Shale projects.
“This is another one of the improved educational services being offered so that our students and their families are the ones who benefit”, said Rey Madrigal, Superintendent of Schools.
It is no surprise that Harlandale ISD has stepped up to offer these types of courses in this high demand area. For the past few years, HISD has had among the highest success rates for students enrolled in the Alamo Community College District Academies (manufacturing, aerospace, nursing, information technology). The district also has nationally certified vocational programs in automotive technology and graphic arts, and it offers industry certifications in multiple career fields. In the 2012-2013 school year, more than 500 industry-based certificates were awarded to Career and Technology Education (CTE) students in the HISD. Additionally, HISD offers a Film Academy and a Microsoft Academy, in partnership with Northwest Vista and St. Philips College.
The new, additional Oil and Natural Gas program will be part of Harlandale’s Early College High School (ECHS) which was recently approved by the School Board and is set to open for the 2014-2015 school year. The ECHS will provide students more opportunities to earn an Associate’s Degree and/or additional credits for college by partnering with the Alamo Colleges and Texas A&M-San Antonio.
Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier, President of Texas A&M University-San Antonio, recently commented on the joint effort for the Early College High School, “Texas A&M University-San Antonio is excited about the new Harlandale ISD partnership for an Early College High School. We know that working with high school students with a clearly defined pathway through community college and then the university, all located in their home community greatly increases their opportunities. This program will undoubtedly increase their chances for completion and success. This is especially true in fields of study that meet regional needs with local, statewide, and national impact. We are proud to be part of this program and congratulate Harlandale’s trustees and administration for their vision and commitment to their students’ success.”
Currently, the Harlandale ISD is recruiting eighth grade middle school graduates to enroll in its first course offering in the Oil and Natural Gas Industry careers initiative. The coursework will also emphasize the environmental science careers connected with the oil and natural gas industry so as to protect our land, air, and water.
“We continue to move forward to offer courses that connect directly with college and high paying jobs for our students” said Rey Madrigal, Superintendent of Schools.