NZISD to expand programs

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The North Zulch ISD Class of 2018 was the first in the school’s history to receive industry-based certifications based on their endorsement pathways and will offer more opportunities for their students to be successful moving forward.

“In this day in age, it is critical to provide our students with a wide array of opportunities to plan for future success,” said NZISD Counselor Kori Batten. “We owe it to our students to prepare them for whatever comes after high school, not just academic programs at a university. By giving our students the opportunity to take rigorous courses, develop career skills and earn credit toward a postsecondary credential, we are giving them an opportunity to increase their standard of living.”

With a new accountability system in place, high schools are now being assessed on College, Career and Military Readiness (CCMR) and Graduation rates.

In order to demonstrate CCMR, students must meet Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Criteria, earn dual course credits, enlist in the armed forces, earn an industry-based certification, earn an associate’s degree or complete career technical coherent sequence coursework aligned with industry-based certifications.

A total of 44 students received industry-based certifications in the 2017-18 school year, which is up from zero in all previous years. NZISD will now be expanding these programs, allowing students to pursue certifications in certified nursing, electrical technology and construction programs in the 2019-2020 school year.

“Students at North Zulch completed an interest inventory in the fall of 2017, which allowed us to add these programs to fit their requests,” said Batten. “By listening to the needs and wants of our students and taking into consideration workforce demands, we are offering programs that will help our students be successful after high school.”

In addition, North Zulch will now expand dual credit enrollment to include sophomores. This means that that the students will have an opportunity to earn a total of 30 college credit hours upon graduating high school.

“Students are studying high school courses at a more advanced level and are given the opportunity to explore their academic interests before they enter college,” said Batten. “In addition, students are learning valuable skills including responsibility and independence, which helps prepare them for the transition from high school to college.”

A number of North Zulch students are already taking advantage. 19 percent of sophomore students that will take a college course in the 2018-19 school year, 30 percent of juniors and 25 percent of seniors.

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