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CTE Feature: Engineering a Bright Future

Career and Technical Education or CTE includes training that prepares students for high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand jobs. CTE programs provide students with academic knowledge, technical skills, and work-based learning experiences needed to succeed in the workplace.  

The CTE program at Frenship ISD is extensive and offers top career training for students. At Frenship High School, students can pursue academic pathways in 26 different CTE state-aligned programs with over 90 courses to choose from.  

James Holloway, STEM teacher and Robotics Coach at Frenship High School, stated that celebrating CTE Month opens insight into career and educational opportunities, as students prepare for graduation and search for future opportunities. 

At Frenship High School, all courses in computer science, engineering, and manufacturing fall into the Business and Industry or STEM graduation endorsement. At the middle school and elementary level, students have the opportunity to get an introduction to robotics through Get Excited About Robotics (GEAR) and First Tech Challenge (FTC) clubs and competitions.

Students enrolled in the Information Technology, STEM, and Manufacturing courses at Frenship are getting hands-on experience and learning the industrial standards. As high schoolers, STEM students are learning above what is offered at a local university and are deep into 21st-century learning. 

Holloway is a self-proclaimed technology nerd. He has been involved in STEM courses for his entire teaching career and is passionate about the coursework and student projects.  

“STEM has always been a passion and now my journey,” said Holloway. “By teaching STEM classes I get to see students tap into their creativity and imagination and bring it to life.” 

Shelby Miller, a Frenship High School senior and an active member of the robotics team, stated her most memorable class was her Robotics I course. She described the class as jumping off into the deep end and learning to swim.  

“Robotics 1 was very interesting because that is a very hands-on class,” said Miller. “I had one and half six weeks to design and the whole second semester to build. You get to do everything from designing, building, and doing the electronics, to coding and you hope at the end of the year it works. Fortunately, mine did.” 

The STEM courses at Frenship High School are designed to challenge students and encourage creative and critical thinking. Holloway and his peers are preparing the students to begin careers and pursue higher education through advanced learning. One way Holloway aids his students is by making connections with industry experts to expose potential employers to the next generation of engineers.  

“The need for knowledgeable use of design software is on the rise,” said Holloway. “Students in the STEM program are learning those skills and with the relationships that I have started and built within the community engineering firms are seeking out our students to fill those needs. Students have been hired prior to graduating high school to work in local engineering firms and facilities utilizing the skills they obtain from our programs of study.” 

Miller stated that upon graduation, she wants to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. She gives credit to the courses she has taken at Frenship High School for preparing her for a career in engineering. 

“It's a good preview of what you might do in a professional job,” said Miller. “It also gives you experience working in a group. A lot of projects are a team effort, and this forces you to delegate and work collaboratively.” 

Students in Information Technology, STEM, and Manufacturing courses are encouraged to join the Frenship Robotics team as they design and build projects for First Robotics Competition (FRC). While training for competition, these students earn the Autodesk Certified Professional Fusion 360 title. 

Frenship is proud to offer an innovative CTE curriculum to challenge and prepare students for future endeavors. Miller stated that while the classes are very challenging, they are a lot of fun. “Even though it's hard there are a lot of people who are willing to answer questions that you have,” said Miller. “You are never on your own.” 

Stay tuned throughout the month of February as Frenship celebrates Career and Technical Education Month!