Career and Technical Education

Showcasing some of the classes from the CTE building.

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Art students answer questions during this year’s CTE Fair.

Katie Griffith, Staffer

In the more hidden parts of Rouse lies the CTE building. Tucked in the upper right corner, nestled between the Band Hall, the Courtyard and the Main building, these classes are oftentimes forgotten and overlooked. Yet, it’s these same classes that can prepare students for their future career paths, offering new kinds of learning, a variety of opportunities and experiences like no other.

The CTE, Career and Technical Education, consists of classes meant to provide students with relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for further education and careers in their chosen career path. There is a variety of classes for students to choose from, depending on what they are most interested in. One of many options include Hospitality. 

“I’ve worked in housekeeping, front desk, everything,” senior Corbyn Durbin said. “Housekeeping is really interesting because they make it sound like it’s bad but it’s actually pretty fun.”

 Hospitality is a class that allows students to learn about many different industries, and later become interns for those industries. After interning, students are able to get certifications from the industries that will help them in getting a job in their chosen career.

 “Getting all the certifications has helped me to be able to make jobs like nothing,” Durbin said. “They look at my resume and they’re like ‘we’ll take you’ because I have all these certifications, and especially for my age it looks really good.” 

Travel and Tourism is another class that can be taken that focuses on preparing students for industries in hospitality, food and beverage, and entertainment. Students can travel on field trips to businesses such as hotels and bakeries near Austin and learn exactly how the businesses are run, and how they fit under the hospitality industry. 

“I have learned so many new things about traveling,” sophomore Merill Moore said. “I learned about cool new places, a lot of behind the scenes of the different industries and how they work, and the different jobs that can get you traveling around the world.”

Culinary Arts is a class that deals with food, the basics of culinary skills and cooking from scratch. Students are able to work in groups to follow a recipe, given ingredients, to make a dish. When they are not in the cooking/baking labs, students are often learning culinary skills, such as properly using a knife.

“I’ve always loved baking and cooking and getting to do it in class is so much fun,” junior Lily Zamora said. “I’ve really improved my craft when it comes to cooking and become a lot more efficient as a cook. The best part is we get to eat it together, and if we’ve done everything right, it’s delicious.” 

Business allows students to learn about the basics of finances, marketing and business in general. Simulations are given to students to learn about keeping up with paying taxes, mortgage and transportation, and even learn how to differentiate between credit cards and debits cards, and things of that sort.

“I would recommend it even if it’s not your career choice or anything like that,” sophomore Madelyn Cooper said. “I think it’s still a good idea to have the basic understanding of business and financing as those are things you do need further in life.”

Anyone interested in technology and computers, may enjoy the Computer Science class as well. Students are taught the fundamentals of java coding through lessons, coding practice and hands-on projects.

“My favorite part is that we get to be creative with our projects and make things that we are interested in and can be used in real life,” sophomore Sahithi Myana said. “I was able to make a phone app entirely from scratch that solved the problem I dealt with in my life on a daily basis.” 

In addition to the business industry, Journalism is a class to take for those who enjoy writing or photography. Students learn the rules of AP Stylebook, the formula to write news stories and what it takes to become a journalist. After students take journalism, the Newspaper and Yearbook are given as course choices for the next year.

“My favorite part about the class is getting to explore the different ways of telling and writing a story,” sophomore Megan Peterson said. “I like that I get to talk about important things, and that I stay up to date on what is going on in the world because I think it is really important to know what is going on outside our own everyday lives.”

For students interested in fashion, the CTE building has classes for that as well. Sewing, drawing and carving are only a few of the activities done in Fashion Design. Students learn about the techniques used when designing clothes, how to best design and are then able to create their own unique idea.

“This class allows you to explore the art and history of fashion design as a whole,” sophomore Abigail Donner said. “It really just allows you to explore everything creatively. You get to learn more about clothes, and the things you wear in your everyday life that you might not know a lot about.”

Next door, Human Growth and Development teaches students how to raise a baby through the stages of life, how to take care of babies, what’s not good for them, what you can and can’t eat when you’re pregnant and more. It sets students up for careers working with children, or even what to expect in life as a parent.

“We were able to take care of a robot baby,” sophomore Alice Davis said. “It cried all the time and woke me up in the middle of the night. I was tired the whole time.”

In counseling and Mental Health, students are able to talk and learn about the stigma of mental illnesses, how to get rid of that stigma and how to be open with it. This class focuses on inspiring an interest in those who want to pursue a career in counseling or other professions having to do with mental health.

“It’s interesting learning about the parts of the brain and how much it affects our lives,” senior Suhey Tercero said. “It changes the way you are, your personality, and all of those kinds of things.”

There are classes for those who like to learn about and work with animals as well. Livestock Production and Small Animal Management are classes that teach about internal and external parts of multiple different animals, along with therapy animals and what they do.

“I have always wanted to be a veterinarian and this is a really helpful class,” sophomore Madison Knippel said. “I would recommend this to other students, for the animal lovers, because they get to know more about different animals that they probably wouldn’t have thought about learning about.”

The list of courses does not stop at only these classes. There are many more that CTE offers for students to discover.