Claudia Gonzalez: Involvement in Pathway

Good afternoon, my name is Claudia Gonzalez, and I’m a CTE coordinator for UISD. CTE at UISD offers close to 30 programs of study, and the education cluster, including the teaching and training program of study, is one of them.


Within our program of study, we ensure that we cover different layers to prepare our students by the time they graduate. For every program of study that we offer, we incorporate courses that ensure students are learning the rigorous material they need to continue their education in that field. We also incorporate work-based learning opportunities, especially through their instructional practices course, which is the final course that seniors take. In this course, our students go to elementary campuses, partner with a certified teacher, and help create and deliver lesson plans. This gives them direct contact with students under the supervision of a certified teacher.


There are other programs that our students participate in, such as the Junior Achievement program, which provides plenty of experiences to apply the knowledge and skills they are learning in the classroom. Our program of study also involves certifications. The Texas Education Agency released a list of industry-based certifications that we are allowed to incorporate within the district. For this cluster, we have the Educational Aide certification. This certification came out at the end of 2020 during COVID-19, and UISD was fortunate to have the first student certified as an Educational Aide.


To achieve this certification, students must successfully complete the courses in the program of study and apply through the TEAL program once they are 18. This program is the same one our regular certified teachers go through, including the fingerprinting process and background check. UISD CTE covers all the fees for this process. We plan with our teachers, have meetings with our education teachers, and assist students in applying, setting up their TEAL accounts, and processing all the information correctly. We take them on a field trip for fingerprinting and cover all the fees to ensure no obstacles prevent them from getting certified. This past year, we were able to get 65 students fully certified as Educational Aides.


The last component of our programs of study is the CTSOs (Career and Technical Student Organizations). This is where TAFE comes in. The same students participate in after-school activities, help with bulletin boards, engage in Junior Achievement, assist with our parent summit, and participate in volunteer hours. This adds even more non-academic skills to what they are learning.


These different levels make up our program of study at UISD, as allowed by the state of Texas. Our Educational Aide program is growing. We recently met with teachers from the four different high schools, and we are planning to target fall semester students who meet all the state requirements and are 18 years of age. We will process these students, get them fully certified, and then meet again in the spring to prepare the next round of students before they graduate.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *