Klein Collins student Alexandra VonHaven and S&V Surveying Vice President and business partner, Isidro Garza celebrate the inaugural Geospatial Engineering and Land Surveying pathway.

New graduation pathway promises students an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, college degrees and 100% job placement

On a cool fall Friday in Klein ISD, four high school students were greeted with cheers, balloons and presents as they were celebrated for being the first four students the Geospatial Engineering & Land Surveying pathway.

One of the newest pathways offered to Klein ISD students, Geospatial Engineering & Land Surveying provides an opportunity to explore a career path while earning college credits in high school. Students will be taught by high school teachers and industry experts, thanks to a partnership with S&V Surveying.

“Isidro Garza from S&V Surveying serves on the CTE Advisory Council. It was from the Advisory that the idea of the pathway was born,” says Director of Career & Technical Education Programs, Deborah Bronner-Westerduin. “The Advisory Council plays an important role in helping us to identify pathways that are viable for students to be college and career ready.”

Upon graduation, students in the Geospatial Engineering & Land Surveying pathway will have earned an Associate of Arts degree from the Lone Star Community College system. Of the credits they’ve earned, 45 hours will transfer towards a Bachelor’s degree at a 4-year university. If they choose to attend Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, they will only need three years to earn a Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Engineering. An opportunity Dr. Gary Jeffress, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Professor of Geographic Science and Director of the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science, is thrilled to provide for students, “Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is excited to assist Klein ISD to introduce Geospatial Technologies into their High School Curriculum to encourage bright young minds to consider developing skills in the creation of geospatial data and information.”

Taking advantage of these dual-credit courses not only saves families money through reduced college costs, but they can also rest assured the likelihood of obtaining a job immediately after graduation is certain.

“Right now, some universities are seeing 100% job placement rates for their graduates,” says Bronner-Westerduin.“There is a high demand for jobs in the industry because of the aging workforce.”

Dr. Jeffress agrees, “We have seen an explosion of unfulfilled careers in the geospatial sciences, which Klein ISD is allowing students to have access to these well-paid careers and business opportunities.” Students can also look forward to earning a beginning salary ranging from $43,000 for a GIS analyst to $70,000 for land surveyors.

Ivan Diaz, member of the inaugural student cohort says he’s excited about the opportunities this new pathway provides, “I am super happy to be part of the Geospatial Engineering & Land surveying Pathway here at Klein Collins High School. I know it will be a challenge, but I am willing to take it on.”

Current 8th and 9th-grade students will have the opportunity to enroll in the Geospatial Engineering & Land Surveying pathway in January as eighth graders choose high school pathways for the 2019-2020 school year. However, there are a few prerequisites. For more information about the Geospatial Engineering & Land Surveying pathway in Klein ISD, visit www.promise2purpose.net. You can also have any of your questions about the program answered by submitting them through the website.

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