What to do after graduating high school? Some seniors plan to go to work, others to continue their education. But where to take their learning? At Garza High School, 160 seniors interested in what their local community college offers explored opportunities at the Austin Community College (ACC) Programs Showcase on February 5, 2020.
Representatives from 13 ACC programs, including Engineering & Manufacturing, Computer Studies, and Dental Hygienist, met with students throughout the day in the school’s gym. ACC’s Financial Aid and Support Center, which provides childcare scholarships and textbooks, provided students information about supportive services available to community college students. Also represented was the Workforce and Education Readiness Continuum (WERC), a City of Austin- and Travis County-funded network of community partners linked to help prepare Austin-area residents to enter or reenter the job market.
The Programs Showcase came together thanks to the coordinating efforts of Stephanie Calderon, one of our four Career & Education Outreach Specialists. Stephanie serves students, parents, teachers and counselors in south Austin and Del Valle Independent School Districts.
“It’s important for students to learn about career pathways available at their local community college,” Stephanie said. “Some seniors think ACC is only for the basics, but there are many different departments to find careers needed in our workforce.”
Christine Garza, 18, was most interested in the Childcare & Development program: “It was my favorite. I learned about the basics of what they do and the process of what the class can provide for me,” Christine said.
“After graduation, I’m going to decide on a four-year degree or go to ACC,” Christine said. “I definitely want to earn a four-year degree, with a major in social work or maybe psychology.”
Our team of outreach specialists serve students in grades 6 through 12 in Austin, Del Valle, Elgin, Manor and Pflugerville ISDs. This is a two-year program in partnership with school districts throughout the Austin metro area, for which we received a Workforce Career and Education Outreach Specialist Grant from the Texas Workforce Commission.
Our team of specialists has served more than 11,000 students since the grant began in July 2019.