Cindy Dominguez: Thoughts About the Pathway

My name is Cindy Dominguez. I am a College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) Coordinator for Laredo Independent School District. There are several of us, and we are assigned to provide support to specific feeder patterns. I am assigned to the Tiger Team, which feeds into Martin High School.


As a former counselor, my role now is similar but on a larger scale. We see common obstacles that our students face, as we live in a predominantly economically disadvantaged and Hispanic district. Many of our students are first-generation college goers, and their parents often have limited information about college and career opportunities. We also face an English barrier due to the high transition of students coming in and out of the country. Despite these challenges, we address and help all students, which is the beauty of being here.


We have several success stories. One former student from Garcia Early College High School is now a science teacher at our CANU Health Science Early College High School. She is excellent and very young, coming from a family of first-generation college goers. When I ran into her recently, she said she now understands why we do what we do and say the things we do to motivate students.


We also had a DACA student who helped us recruit for the early college program and is now a biology teacher at Alexander High School in a neighboring district. He recently got into medical school, which is great because we want students to follow their hearts. Another former student is an elementary teacher who dreams of opening a dance studio. She is doing great and eventually wants to become a dance sponsor for the school. It’s rewarding to see them understand and carry forward the values we instilled in them.


The beauty of the TAFE chapter at TAMIU is that it allows professionals to become educators through CTE. We have instructors in various fields, such as diesel mechanics and criminal justice, who bring hands-on experience to their teaching. This practical experience is invaluable for students.


I worked with Dr. Herrera to create the education crosswalk from Garcia Early College. We focused on areas of need, such as K-6 bilingual education, math, and science. I am now the liaison because Dr. Herrera knows and trusts my work. We have plans to address the teacher shortage, starting from middle school. We have about 300 middle school students interested in becoming educators. Keeping them engaged is crucial, so we need to work together to maintain their interest.


Through the Principles of Education course, we can present, bring in TAFE, and engage students in activities. This course is offered in 8th or 9th grade, and we have pre-education pathways aligned with TAMIU and Laredo College. The goal is for students to end up in the same place, certified as educational aides, and to provide financial help through scholarships and grants to those in need.

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