Something new is coming to Brownfield ISD that will help students in the long run. New superintendent Chris Smith has implemented a college and career program to help and steer BISD students in a direction for a successful post-high school life.
The College and Career Readiness Pathway has been introduced to BISD a few weeks ago and is already gaining steam. Speaking with superintendent Chris Smith, he has been inundated with many positive conversations about the program. From all different backgrounds, Smith is feeling excited about this new endeavor. Smith said, “since becoming the superintendent, I’ve been really excited about what can be done here. I believe that this (program) is a start of great things to come.”
The CCRP will implement free testing for the PSAT, ACT, SAT, and the TSI. All four test would be administered at the high school so that access is readily available to those who cannot go to Lubbock or other communities that have testing sites. The TSI test stands for Texas Success Initiative test. This test is from the state of Texas and requires a demonstrated level of competency in the key areas of reading, writing, and mathematics for all students enrolled at public institutions of higher education. To demonstrate college-readiness in reading, writing, and mathematics, a student must either meet TSI Exemption requirements or pass the TSI Assessment before a student can take certain college courses.
Smith told TownTalk that the TSI will be the test that qualifies students in high school to receive free college hours. As a freshman, you will be allowed to take up to one college class a semester, as a sophomore you will be able to take up to two college classes a semester. Juniors and seniors will be allowed to take up to four college classes a semester. Smith said, “this all depends on the individual student.” There is the potentiality of ending a student’s high school career with 66 college credit hours with an associates degree.
It’s not just college that Smith is focused on. He is looking at career programs that can immediately help a student get a job making over $13.00 an hour right out of high school. There are career classes and programs that already exist at BISD, such as , cosmetology, pharmacy tech, and welding and students can receive a certificate from these programs. Both the Cosmetology and Pharmacy Tech programs have become very successful and have allowed students who graduated from high school to move on in these fields and begin a career.
With the career programs that BISD has, Smith wants to expand to offer more programs such as computer and technology-based. Students will be able to obtain certain certifications in different programs. For example, students can receive a Microsoft certification, which could land them employment in an office setting or other establishments right out of high school. Smith also would like to bring back the auto tech program which helps students to learn about mechanical issues on automobiles and be able to use this knowledge to get a job working in the auto mechanic field. Smith doesn’t want to stop there either, he has explained that there are more vocational programs that BISD can offer in the future.
Smith told TownTalk, “that this is a very exciting time for BISD and most importantly the students’ success, we are going to be intentional about the students’ education and hope that they leave here feeling successful and knowledgeable and ready.”