Technical Colleges Using House Bill to Grow
Higher education officials largely stayed on the sidelines last year when the Texas Legislature debated and ultimately passed a bill that led to a significant overhaul of the state’s high school curriculum.
Those colleges and universities are now trying to determine if and how they must adjust as the state prepares to carry out the changes, including a requirement for high school students to select diploma “endorsements” in specialized areas like science and technology or business and industry.
Supporters argued the changes would allow students the flexibility to pursue a curriculum more tailored to their interests and abilities. Business leaders saw them as a way to funnel students — particularly those who were not university-bound — into the workforce more quickly.
At the state’s technical colleges, the new approach has been met with a sense of excitement — and anticipation that the shift could lead to significant expansion.
Michael Reeser, the chancellor of the Texas State Technical College System, said he hoped the new openness to technical education would help more students view that post-secondary path more positively.