Jul 3 2018
Texas has made great strides toward getting its K-12 public school students ready for college and careers through Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). TEKS is the state standard for all Texas public schools. It covers curriculum requirements for every course topic, from core classes to Career and Technical Education (CTE).
Katy Independent School District (ISD) is a large district in Texas encompassing 70 schools with more than 80,000 students. Katy ISD has a robust CTE program offering more than 100 CTE courses that represent the following 16 Texas career clusters:
Providing niche CTE programs to students at all levels can be difficult for schools and teachers. That’s why Katy ISD needed to find a solution that would help get its students college- and career-ready in architectural and engineering design.
John Crow is the Career and Technical Education Specialist at Katy ISD. He’s in charge of the curriculum development for engineering, architecture, and manufacturing programs for the district. He also oversees the professional development of the programs’ teachers.
John Crow needed to help Katy ISD meet TEKS standards and support instructors in teaching Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit software to students at different learning levels. “Autodesk offers its own tutorials, but they don’t go into the level of detail we need to advance the skills of our students and instructors.”
Because of the strict standards outlined in TEKS, Crow “needed to prove training was being used, and based on engagement and success, an investment was worthwhile.”
After researching on-demand training resources, it became apparent to Crow that SolidProfessor fit the needs of his district. “SolidProfessor offers a wide range of videos for all proficiency levels, excellent tracking and reporting tools, and the control the assignment builder offers makes it easy to create assignments that teach to our TEKS,” explains Crow.
Katy ISD adopted SolidProfessor in 2017 and began integrating the on-demand learning resource into the engineering, manufacturing, and architecture curriculum at both their high schools and junior high schools. Integrating SolidProfessor at both levels helps the transition from middle school to high school — and eventually high school to college or career — go smoothly.
The district quickly determined that not only was it a great resource for students, but SolidProfessor’s online, on-demand training tutorials in engineering, architecture, and manufacturing were also a helpful resource for teachers, too. “Since SolidProfessor is online, our teachers can utilize the videos to learn in the summer, before or after school, or during their planning periods,” says Crow.
Because Katy ISD was able to introduce SolidProfessor as a professional development resource, they were able to save a tremendous amount of money on continuous education for teachers. “When you break out the costs of substitute teachers, Autodesk training instructors, and the cost of housing and transporting teachers for one- or two-day training sessions,” says Crow, “we easily saved close to $20,000.”
Plus, with SolidProfessor’s easy-to-use dashboard and reporting tools for teachers, it’s easy for Crow to quickly see if classes are reaching TEKS standards. “If a student completes their assignments in SolidProfessor, I know they’re hitting our TEKS because the assignments line up with the unit plans that comprehensively cover our requirements since I created them,” says Crow.
“At the beginning of 2017, I set out to find a resource that I felt would be beneficial to our students and help our teachers develop professionally,” explains Crow. “I reached that goal with SolidProfessor.”
Bring SolidProfessor’s online engineering, architecture, and manufacturing design courses to your K-12 district or school. To discover how you can seamlessly integrate us into your STEM curriculum, schedule a free tour of our platform. We’d love to show you around!
About the Author
SolidProfessor Marketing Specialist and eight time mini hoop dunk contest champion.