SAISD opens new Career and Technology Education building

New courses give students more career options

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Independent School District is arming its students with trade certifications right after high school.

Thanks to a $21 million bond in 2010, renovations at Brackenridge High School included a new Career and Technology Education -- or CATE -- building that gives students training in a variety of career fields.

Senior Cassandra Pena is just one of over a thousand Brackenridge students taking advantage of the career courses being offered at the high school. Courses are taught inside the three-level, state-of-the-art CATE building on campus.

"I'm very hands-on with field reports and working with the camera and doing the teleprompter, audio -- basically everything you need to know," said Pena.

The CATE building replaced the weathered Practical Arts building next door and offers career training from graphic design to broadcast journalism to cosmetology. Career courses are taught by faculty with industry experience.

"Our goal was to provide them with the space that doesn't look like they're going to school (but) looks more like they're going to work," Roxanne Rosales, senior executive director of Academic Support for SAISD, said.

For example, the furnishings at the cosmetology studio are similar to what can be found in professional salons. Equipment used in the audio and visual and broadcasting classes is the same as in professional studios.

Sophomore Gallian Torres said he looks forward to learning something new every day.

"I learn how to use Photoshop within my freshmen year, and I also learn how to use Final Cut and you also learn how to use other great tools for making movies or other things besides that," said Torres.

Thanks to the new building, students enrolled in career courses shot up 20 percent, from 70 to over 90 percent at Brackenridge. District administrators believe those numbers will only continue to go up.

For information on the career courses at SAISD, visit their website.