Local students earned nearly 10 times more certifications in the 2015-16 school year compared to five years ago.
The main reason for the increase: The Killeen Independent School District opened the KISD Career Center in 2011.
The center allows students to take specialty classes and earn certifications for various career fields similar to trade schools. During the center’s inaugural year, only 53 students received certifications for the courses they took.
Now the center has nearly 1,500 students, and many of them are earning certifications in various fields.
During a February school board meeting, Nancy Duran, KISD’s executive director for career and technology, said students in the district received 515 certifications during the 2015-16 school year which is the district’s highest mark to date.
The district currently offers 50 different certifications in nine career clusters.
Those career clusters include: health science, arts, technology and communications, information technology, agriculture, food and natural resources, transportation, distribution and logistics, architecture and construction, law, public safety, corrections and security, manufacturing, human services, education and training.
The center allows students to receive skills while still in high school that help prepare students for life after high school, whether they enter the work force, enlist in the military or go to college.