High demand for alternative schooling provides more options

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According to the Fort Worth Beauty School, there has been an increase for alternative training programs and is seen through their school.

With about 300 students enrolled across three campuses, the beauty school approaches schools across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for prospective students.

“Students can benefit because this way is a lot faster, and people are looking for ways to make money fast,” Fort Worth Beauty School Administrator Assistant Myrna Leyva said. “There is a demand, and we get a lot of people calling about the program.”

According to Lead Counselor of Paschal High School, Sherry Reed, there is more of a push for career and technical classes within high school.

“I’m actually very for it [alternative schooling],” Reed said. “I grew up in a time where we had vocational training as part of our schooling. I have a lot of students that are interested in cosmetology and mechanics and it would be a better situation if we could offer that as a central thing.”

College preview days are coordinated for students to gain more information about attending college or alternative training programs, such as culinary arts and graphic design, Reed said. Students have the opportunity to receive their safe handler’s license and certifications in Adobe Photoshop through high school courses that can help them after graduation.

There are high schools that offer students the potential to become ASE certified. Some certification programs are paid for by school districts and others are paid for by studentsCTE Department Chairperson and Coordinator of Pascal High School, Mindy Ekeroth said through email.

“We encourage students to go onto some sort of trade school or two year school like TCC, so they can learn something valuable that they might be interested in,” Reed said. “We encourage them to do that so they can earn more than minimum wage. We help get them through their requirements then refer them to specialized schools.”

Students who attend technical programs or acquire specialized associate's degrees are getting the specific skills needed for a job and eventually a career, without taking the basic class requirements (ex. English, math, science) by most liberal arts universities, according to Ekeroth.

“All students will not go to college, and we have really crippled a number of students by making them think that they are supposed to go to college, and if they do not they cannot be a successful member of society,” Ekeroth said. “There are changes occurring in the field of technology at such an astronomical rate that there will be jobs for the current students in fields that do not even exist.”

According to Ekeroth, the benefits of technical programs over traditional universities is that the number of degreed jobs in the world has stayed relatively stagnant for a significant number of years, but the number of technical careers has almost doubled, if not grown at and even larger rate.

“Fort Worth ISD has begun the Programs of Choice campaign to provide more information and choices to students,” Ekeroth said. “The schools that offer classes in the more technical type skills are very proactive in providing their students with information about schools and programs that can fulfill their needs. We also have information about this type of school or program in the counseling office of all campuses and links available on the district website.”

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