CTE Month: Community Partners, Mentors Serve Critical Role

Connecting students with professionals in a particular field or career is an important aspect of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the Comal Independent School District. Often these partners become mentors who help guide students on the best pathway to successful futures.

“Our community partners interact with our students in various capacities from providing in-class presentations to paid internships and everything in between,” says Tina Olcott, Comal ISD CTE coordinator. “They are experts in their fields and often see a need within their professions for employment.”

In fact, area businesses have been partnering with CTE programs for years. One of the most successful partnerships began more than a year ago with the Greater New Braunfels Home Builders Association (GNBHBA) and the Canyon High School construction pilot program. Professional GNBHBA members saw a need in the community for construction workers, and the need to help local students obtain those jobs.

Today, those partners continue to provide paid internships to students in the construction program not only at CHS but also at Canyon Lake High School and Smithson Valley High School.

These businesses are just one example of how community partners can make an impact on CTE programs. Another great example are the business owners who stepped up to support a new program called the Business INCubator class. Established last year at SVHS, the INCubator class allows students to be entrepreneurs from the development of a product or service to launching it as a viable business. Area business owners become mentors to these young entrepreneurs and guide them along the way with advice on marketing, finance, sales and legal issues that arise when starting a business.

With 13 CTE programs of study from law and public service and health science to hospitality and tourism, there is always a need for community partners to serve in various capacities. Any business or professional who is interested in partnering with the district, should contact Olcott at tina.olcott@comalisd.org.



-Colton Copeland, a senior at Canyon Lake High School, works for 3 Brothers Plumbing at a remodel home site on Canyon Lake. They are installing the plumbing lines to install a new hot water heater to prep for inspection.

-Dylan Smothers, a junior at CLHS, has been working at a new home construction site for Signature Custom Homes, cleaning and prepping for final stages of home construction.

-Eric Teutche, a junior at CLHS, has been working with Rhino Electric to install wall plugs and a ceiling fan in a new home construction at Canyon Lake.



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