In Garland, TX, at the Learning Counsel Leadership Symposium, Coleman Bruman, Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) at Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center, Garland ISD, delivered a compelling presentation on the evolving landscape of technology and its integration within the realm of Career and Technical Education. Bruman shed light on the unique challenges faced by CTE programs, especially in the context of a diverse and high-poverty district, and emphasized the importance of aligning technology initiatives with the overarching priorities of preparing students for successful careers.
Coleman Bruman began by illustrating the distinctive nature of CTE, emphasizing that it delves not just deep into one content area, but across a multitude of subjects. In Garland ISD, the CTE program offers over 250 unique courses and encompasses 35 programs of study at the state level, which expands to 55 within the district. Moreover, Bruman highlighted the activation of 13 out of the 14 nationally recognized career clusters. This vast scope makes keeping up with technology an intricate challenge, requiring strategic leadership and well-defined priorities.
To comprehend the priorities of the CTE program, Bruman provided a glimpse into the makeup of Garland ISD. The district is celebrated for its unique diversity, reflecting the rich tapestry of America. However, this diversity also presents challenges, particularly in terms of varied socioeconomic backgrounds and a significant percentage of high poverty, reaching nearly 75%. Bruman underscored that technology serves as an entry point to address these challenges and bridge gaps, but it must be aligned with the overarching mission of making a difference for every student.
Highlighting the core mission of the CTE department, Bruman emphasized that every student, regardless of their demographic background, deserves a great career. He expressed pride in the fact that 93% of last year's graduating class interfaced with career and technical education, demonstrating the significant impact of CTE in Garland ISD. The department focuses on providing industry-based certifications, with an impressive 60% of senior classes earning certifications over the past two years.
Bruman delved into the specific priorities that guide technology integration within CTE. The first priority is obtaining real-world knowledge that is relevant and applicable to students' future careers. The second is technical skills training, ensuring that certifications come with the necessary hands-on skills to prepare students for the workforce. Bruman stressed the importance of these priorities guiding every technology purchase, ensuring that they align with the overarching goals of CTE.
Coleman Bruman's presentation at the Learning Counsel Leadership Symposium provided valuable insights into the challenges and priorities of Career and Technical Education in Garland ISD. By emphasizing the unique characteristics of CTE, the diverse makeup of the district, and the necessity of aligning technology initiatives with overarching priorities, Bruman offered a roadmap for educational leaders navigating the dynamic intersection of technology and career preparation. As CTE continues to evolve, Bruman's leadership serves as a beacon, ensuring that technology enhances, rather than hinders, the mission of preparing students for successful and fulfilling careers. Tune in below to see Coleman's full presentation.