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Public school districts in the San Antonio area offer several CTE programs to students with diverse interests.
The Texas CTE Resource Center currently lists over 120 areas of study focusing on each of CTE’s 14 Career Clusters. The Career Clusters system is used as an organizing tool for curriculum construction and training, and it provides the essential knowledge and skills for CTE Career Pathways. It provides a helpful guide for developing education plans for individual students. The system benefits students by helping them discover their unique interests and talents, and it allows them to choose an educational path that can lead to success in high school, college, and future careers.
Some San Antonio-area public schools are career academies, sometimes called “early college” or “theme academies.” The curriculum is similar to CTE classes, and in some cases, they provide the opportunity for students to graduate from high school with an associate degree.
Phoenix Middle College in San Antonio ISD provides high school students an opportunity to earn college credit and work toward industry certifications. This is offered at no cost to students and families during their last two years of high school. Juniors and seniors take both high school and college classes during full day instruction at Alamo Colleges’ St. Philip’s College. The program at Phoenix, and many other schools like it, gives students a jumpstart on college and in-demand careers. Welding, manufacturing, electrical, plumbing, aviation technology, alternative energy, diesel technology, auto collision repair, automotive technology, computer security, HVAC technology, culinary arts, and hospitality/tourism are some of the focused areas in CTE schools like Phoenix Middle College.
San Antonio is a hub for careers in the Law and Public Safety and Information Technology CTE clusters. The city is home to many in the fields of FBI, CIA, military, and cybersecurity. The U.S. Department of Defense, which provides the military power needed to protect the US, is the nation’s largest employer and located in San Antonio. Military jobs, along with jobs within the FBI and CIA, are abundant in the surrounding area, and the Alamo City has led the country in cybersecurity for decades. San Antonio includes the largest pool of certified cyber security experts outside of D.C. It is home to the U.S. Air Force Cyber Headquarters at Lackland and is responsible for information warfare, intelligence gathering and analysis, cyber warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance, counterterrorism, and counterintelligence.
The Northside School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship Academy in Northside ISD prepares students for continuing education and cybersecurity jobs while in high school. At NSITE, cybersecurity students learn network security, system security, and cloud security. Students are able to work toward a certification in CCENT, CCNA, Network+, Security+, and Microsoft Office. NSITE students also participate in the school’s national award-winning CyperPatriots teams.
A similar program exists in North East ISD’s Institute of Cybersecurity and Innovation, where students learn from industry professionals via on-site visits and hands-on experience. They compete in cybersecurity competitions and cybersecurity community service projects.
Computer Information Systems is a growing field that allows students to learn’ IT systems, analyze system issues, and ensure systems work correctly. Computer Information Systems classes equip students with computer skills and teach software development. Areas of specialization include Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology, which can lead to success in various computer information systems jobs.
San Antonio public schools can prepare students for higher education in Computer Information Systems and cybersecurity training at universities like UTSA, which offers the nation’s number one cybersecurity program.
The Career & Technical Education Center is a magnet program within North East ISD, where students are challenged in The Construction Technology Academy. The Academy prepares students using an advanced state-of -the-art facility to learn skills for post-secondary education or to begin a career. The Architecture and Construction CTE cluster prepares students for futures in plumbing, HVAC certification, electrician school, project management, masonry, and more.
The Manufacturing CTE cluster encompasses courses and pathways to students interested in welding and metalwork, production planning, or in becoming a heavy equipment operator or an engineering technician.
The Human Services CTE cluster includes education in areas like early childhood development, counseling and mental health, and personal care. Students in this cluster learn introductions into careers like social work, cosmetology, and nutrition.
At Edgewood Fine Arts STEAM Academy, high school students in Edgewood ISD who wish to attend cosmetology school can take Intro to Cosmetology classes, and Advanced Cosmetology students have the opportunity to participate in statewide cosmetology competitions.
The Hospitality and Tourism CTE cluster encompasses pathways in Culinary Arts, Lodging and Resort Management, Travel, Tourism and Attractions.
CAST Lead high school is career-themed campus in East Central ISD that prepares students for positions in the retail, hospitality and tourism, and ecommerce industries. Tuition-free CAST Lead offers students an opportunity to learn through project-based learning, internships, and mentorships. Students can also earn up to 2 years of college credit, and-or industry certifications.
San Antonio ISD’s Culinary Arts students learn basic culinary school skills from sanitation to knife skills, herbs and spices, cooking techniques, and teamwork. Students can begin a pathway to becoming Executive Chefs, Sous chefs, Dieticians, Pastry Chefs, Event Planners, Caterers, or Restaurant Managers.
San Antonio parents and students are encouraged to examine the many Career and Technical Education options available. They compare to K12 school programs and online high school courses, but with more hands-on training and experience. CTE in public schools offers students an extensive set of skills and practical experiences that are designed to give them an edge after graduation and well into the future.
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Career and Technical programs allow students to learn academic and technical skills while getting hands-on training.
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