Houston-area high schools are trying to prevent drop-outs by offering vocational programs that prepare students for skilled jobs, reports the Houston Press. One local district has built Carl Wunsche Sr. High, a $40-million campus featuring “a medical tower, a technology tower and a professional tower, which is divided into academies for legal studies, business and finance, and child studies and teacher preparation. Each tower serves as a kind of mini-Âcollege.”
Core classes for math, science, English and social studies overlook state-of-the-art laboratories where students spend two-hour blocks every day getting hands-on training in anything from biotechnology to hotel management, software engineering and criminal Âinvestigations.
The school offers students dozens of career paths and opportunities to gain industry certifications, including as veterinary assistants, Microsoft Office specialists and pharmacy technicians. The course book rivals that of any community college, and includes information on education levels required for each career as well as the average annual salary it yields and an employment outlook, based on state and federal labor statistics.
There’s a working childcare center, veterinary clinic, culinary kitchen and automotive garage as comprehensive as any dealership’s.
Many students plan to go on to college for additional career training or to earn a four-year degree.