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Friday, March 31, 2017

Industry Certifications Prepare Students for Future

Walking through the halls of Ben Barber Innovation Academy (BBIA) and Frontier High School, you may see students operating a hand-built robot, filming a short film about the effects of coffee or even working on a full engine rebuild for a classic car.

Principal Cathy Hudgins is proud of not only the numerous choices her students have, but also what opportunities those choices open up for them.

"We offer a wide range of career classes here, but what is more impressive is that we offer over 70 different industry-level certifications within those courses," Hudgins said.

The availability of industry certifications or certificates aligns directly with one of the guiding statements found in the Mansfield ISD’s strategic plan, Vision 2020. Vision 2020 states that all students will graduate with 24 or more college hours and/or an industry certification or certificate.

In support of Vision 2020, Hudgins and her staff have been investigating more certifications that could be offered through the current courses at BBIA and Frontier High. They are excited to add many new options in the 2017-18 school year that will help students become more career-ready upon leaving high school.

A culinary arts student prepares to cook an entree at Savvy's Bistro,
BBIA's student-run restaurant.
One such certification is the ProStart Certification in Culinary Arts. Students working in the culinary arts department are currently required to obtain their ServSafe certification in food handling, but the ProStart Certification will be the first skills-based certification in this program of study.

"This certification will allow our students to walk into any restaurant in the United States and immediately get a heads up on everyone else," Hudgins continued. "This is a proven industry certification that shows they are at the highest level of skills and ability."

The Arts and Audio/Visual (AV) Department will begin to offer students the opportunity to get a certification in the video editing software Adobe Premiere CC. This is an editing platform that is used at local news stations, large media companies and major Hollywood studios.

Hudgins is also excited about a new certification that will be coming to BBIA's marketing program.

"We are bringing a new certification to our marketing department that is called School-Based Enterprise Certification," Hudgins explained. "As the students work through the student store, they will learn the backend of store management, marketing, pricing and more. That is all included in this certification."

Also included in this guiding statement from Vision 2020, students will graduate with 24 or more college hours. Frontier High School offers a program that can help students interested in the area of health science to get a head start on their college education. The Health Science Academy through Tarrant County College Trinity River East Campus (TREC) allows students to earn up to 48 hours of college credit before graduating high school. Students who complete all 48 hours will earn their associate degree before they walk the stage and receive their diploma.

"Earning certifications is a great way for students to measure their achievement in classes," Hudgins said. "It also gives them a leg up as they are trying to get into colleges or go into the workforce."

For more information about MISD’s Vision 2020, visit the district website.