Kilgore College, Gladewater ISD launch technical education partnership

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Jun. 19—A new partnership between Kilgore College and Gladewater ISD will help students better choose their path after high school.

Kilgore College will launch a new technical education program at Gladewater High School beginning this fall, allowing area students to take a selection of core classes before they graduate.

Mike Turpin, vice president of instruction, detailed the program at Monday's Kilgore College board meeting, saying four classes — safety and ergonomics; blueprint reading and sketching; basic electrical theory; and analog controls — are part of a "technical core" that "would allow students really to take those four courses and apply them into a number of different programs so they don't have to make the decision to go down one road and take courses that maybe would not apply to another program."

"So when they complete those four courses, then they've got a jumpstart on a number of different programs," Turpin added.

Gladewater ISD Superintendent Sedric Clark said the program will give them "lifelong, high levels of learning."

"For us, basically everything we do is rooted and grounded in what type of positive impact will it have on our students," he said. "For our students who haven't decided whether they're going to college, having these skills from this partnership they can go straight to the workforce or further their education at Kilgore College, a four-year college or some other type of training."

Turpin said a Kilgore College instructor would begin teaching this fall, with the college offering safety and ergonomics and then blueprint reading and sketching next year. The other two classes would be added the following year.

The college hopes the Gladewater program will work the same way as a similar CTE program in Overton does, in drawing students from several small schools in the area so that there is a critical mass and they can offer the program on-site, Turpin said.

Turpin said the program was an "innovative way to introduce students to our workforce programs as well as giving them the opportunity to take a number of different courses that will apply to several different programs."

Clark said the partnership is something that has been in the works for awhile.

"We're always looking for ways to meet the needs of our students and to make sure their future's are secure, this aligned with what all of us wanted to do," Clark said. "We will begin an initial phase this year and the plan is to continue to grow. It's a great opportunity for kids, and that's who it's all about."

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