Crossroads High students advance toward post-secondary goals

Special to Leader-Press

Three weeks into the new school year and Michael Miller is well ahead of the curve toward graduation and toward his career goals. Miller, a student at Crossroads High School, CCISD’s alternative high school of choice, is one of 34 students selected to attend classes at Central Texas College as part the district’s new early college program.
“I’m very glad to be learning a new skill that will help me be ready for a career while I am still earning my high school credits,” Miller said. 
Crossroads students are pursuing training at CTC in fields like automotive repair and maintenance and culinary arts and were required to meet certain academic requirements in order to apply. Going to class on the college campus four days a week, they spend Fridays back on their home campus learning life skills such as financial literacy and time management and are provided study time with Crossroads staff serving as tutors to ensure they are able to carry the college course load. 
Crossroads High School Principal J. T. Irick says the schools seeks to not only help students earn their high school diploma, but also have a smooth transition into being self-sufficient adults in the community. 
“With the assistance of the partnership between CCISD and CTC’s Early College Program for vocational courses, we can make this happen,” Irick said.
Crossroads students are also being exposed to a variety of professional fields with campus career fairs where students meet and interact with community members who have volunteered to have round table discussions with the students about different career opportunities. Nursing, law enforcement and firefighting are some of the fields students will have the opportunity to learn about during their advisory periods.
A third support for helping students transition into adult hood is a new information bulletin board encouraging students to becoming volunteers in their community, contributing members to society but also developing relationships and networking opportunities. Another section of the bulletin board advertises what places in the area hire students to give them work experience as they get nearer to graduation and need employment to become independent adults.   
““I am very excited for our students and these opportunities align perfectly with our campus vision statement which states, ‘to provide a positive learning environment for our diverse students while developing successful/self-sufficient citizens beyond graduation,’” Irick said. 

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