Weekly Tours Give Seventh-Graders Peek into Career Center

Career Center vet tech programAt the Killeen ISD Career Center, senior Anna LaJarin sees a clear connection between the dental assistant course she is taking and the seventh-graders touring the building.


Every Wednesday, a group of KISD middle school students walks through the Career Center with high school ambassadors leading them through the myriad of class spaces – healthcare exam rooms, video design studios, a TV studio, automotive shop and much more.


At each class, a student or two or three explain the benefits of the program they are viewing.


Outside the dental program classroom, LaJarin showed students her oral health model, which she calls “Mr. Gross,” because it shows examples of disease.


She also talks through the prerequisite courses required to enter the dental program, and how you can pass an exam at the end to become a certified dental assistant upon finishing high school.


LaJarin is considering several colleges and hopes to one day be an oral surgeon.


“I toured with Union Grove,” she said, recalling her early exposure to the Career Center and referring to the group currently touring, from Union Grove.


“It definitely helped convince me to go here. I like it, giving the tours. I got to be them, too.”


Senior Lederion Grant usually operates a remote-controlled rover or a drone to get the attention of touring middle school students regarding robotics. He’s in his fourth year of the program.

Career Center dental assistantshipCareer Center horticulture greenhouse


“I let them know that robotics is very hands on,” he said. “I know I didn’t like just sitting in class. This program is very interactive. It sparks your curiosity.”


He is considering a range of engineering fields to pursue when he finishes high school.


“It’s really a fun class,” said Grant. “You get to build and program really what you want to do.”


A big part of the message to seventh grade students, Career and Technical Education Program Advisor Charlotte Heinze said, is that students can acquire career certifications for their future careers or to help support themselves as they continue their education in any field.


Union Grove Counselor Sarah Duke has been on many Career Center tours and uses the knowledge she has gained on a regular basis.


She will be guiding eighth-graders in coming weeks on building four-year high school plans.


“This tour gets them exposure to prepare,” she said, pointing out that all eighth-grade students take a College, Career Readiness course.

Career Center EMT program


“It really helps for them to see the options earlier (in seventh grade). I think it keeps them motivated and shows them the relevance.”


“Part of the reason we do it is to get them talking about the program areas,” the middle school counselor said. “In eighth grade, I’ll ask them ‘remember when you saw this program at the Career Center?’”


KISD Student Readiness High School Planning information is available at the following: