By Candace Birkelbach
Killeen Daily Herald
The Killeen Independent School District and Central Texas College trustees met Monday afternoon to discuss ways they can work together to provide education to the community.
The meeting focused on ways that CTC, KISD and Tarleton State University-Central Texas can provide students with a more seamless transition between the schools.
The main focus of the meeting was on CTC's and KISD's dual enrollment program.
KISD offers seven courses in which students can take and receive both college and high school credit.
These courses help students learn study skills they will need for college while easing into college with a friendly environment, said Bill Alexander, CTC's deputy chancellor for educational program and support services.
Alexander said the credit hours earned through dual enrollment will transfer to a four-year program when the students enter college.
The courses KISD offers for dual enrollment are English 3, English 4, U.S. history, economics, government, sociology and psychology.
The number of dual credit enrollments increased significantly from fall 2006 with 322 enrollments, to 706 enrollments in fall 2007.
Alexander said he expects another jump for enrollments in the 2008-09 school year.
The Fast Track 2 Central Texas College program also
was highlighted at the meeting.
This program provides one-on-one support to assist students through the sometimes strenuous college application process.
The program offers students help with: financial aid, testing, applications, degree planning and college tours.
Alexander said the programs aim to let all students know about opportunities for affordable and attainable education.
CTC received applications from 320 KISD students in 2007 but has received nearly three times that many, 1,077, for 2008.
KISD uses the term "P-16 team," to describe students who go from KISD to CTC to Tarleton.
Rachel Cervantes, instructional leader for KISD, said one potential outcome of "P-16" is students completing the requirements for an associate
degree from CTC before they graduate from high school.
Cervantes also highlighted the monetary savings from students taking dual enrollment courses.
Another topic at the meeting was the possibility of constructing an agricultural facility for KISD to use, on the CTC campus.
A schematic design has been developed for a facility that would be 150 feet by 104 feet. The facility would house cattle, swine, sheep and goats.
A separate facility for poultry, 40 feet by 40 feet, would be built adjacent to the larger facility.
The building would be constructed on the south end of CTC's campus.
About 1,300 students are enrolled in KISD's agriculture science courses and about 30 of those are required to conduct livestock projects.
KISD Superintendent Jim Hawkins said the facility is still just a concept and some issues still need to be worked out.
Some questions that arose at the meeting included security, legal issues and asking Tarleton officials if they would like to be involved.
CTC trustee Rex Weaver said it makes sense to work together for the facility.
"If you've got the need and we've got the land it makes perfect sense," Weaver said.
Another joint project the schools have worked on recently is compiling a video that provides information about students future in higher education.
The three schools collaborated to provide information to employees about how they can improve education for their students.
The video was designed by retired Gen. Robert Shoemaker, a member of the Central Texas University Task Force.
Shoemaker said he wanted to make the video because he was concerned that everyone at the institutions didn't know what was going on with other institutions.
Shoemaker said they key to getting students interested in higher education is to start talking about it in middle and high school.
The video highlighted the "College Now!" and "Fast Track 2 CTC" programs.
Some future opportunities for CTC and KISD were also discussed.
CTC chancellor Jim Anderson suggested getting involved with Tarleton's needs assessment to let them know which careers are needed in the area.
KISD trustee Mike Helm said he would like to see CTC and KISD work together to decide which career pathway programs KISD will offer for its Achieve Texas program.
Contact Candace Birkelbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7553