‘We have a lot of options for students’: West Plains High School students can graduate with certificates

VIDEO: Preparing students for life beyond their days at Canyon high schools
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 8:52 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:26 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -Canyon ISD offers not only college preparedness but is preparing students for a career.

Depending on what these students are passionate about, they have over a dozen opportunities to be set up for a career straight out of high school.

“They may be in classes like our career and technology classes that would offer maybe industry based certifications in which a kid could go into a job already having a certification, looks amazing on a resume, and could make them really successful in a career field as opposed to going straight into college,” says Lacie Bonner, College, Career and Military Readiness Counselor at West Plains High School

West Plains High School is even working alongside BSA Hospital, getting students prepared to be a so called “modernized CNA’s” right after they walk the stage.

“College is expensive. so we like for our kids to know what they’re getting into and know what they’re signing up for so that they’re ready to go right when they graduate high school,” says Brittney Laughter, RN, Health Science Clinical Instructor at West Plains High School.

Graduating students will receive the PCT I certification which in the past was something graduates had to obtain on their own in order get into a nursing program.

“We have just a lot of options for students who want to go more with that workforce route to explore those, explore those things and try to be successful before they ever leave high school,” says Bonner.

A lot of the career and technology teachers at West Plains come from the industry they are teaching.

Laughter says not only are they getting an education they are getting real world education from eager instructors.

“All of our CTE teachers are very passionate about what we teach because we’ve come from that industry. We know that educating the next generation is very important and we want to keep that, and again, keep them here and keep that passion going,” says Laughter.

Laughter says consequently through the certification process, students are receiving resume guidance from their teachers-- becoming interview ready for a job they are interested in.

“We’ve been working with BSA and partnering with them and finding out the things that they really need to know. We’ve also created a partnership where I get them interview ready, get them work ready, so they’re getting their certification, but they’re also being tailored perfectly for a job at BSA,” says Laughter.

Over 20% of the Senior class at West Plains High School is set up to receive a certification alongside diplomas this May and that percentage is only increasing from here

As of today, West Plains High School is 90% CCMR ready, but it is looking like it will be 100% by the end of the spring semester.

Here are a list of the certifications West Plains High School offers:

  • ASE Engine Repair Certification
  • ASE Electrical Certification
  • ASE Brake Systems Certification
  • ServSafe Manager Certification
  • Texas Cosmetology Operator’s License
  • Texas State Floral Design Knowledge Certification
  • Texas State Floral Level 1 Certification
  • MOS (Microsoft Office Suite) Excel Expert
  • MOS Word Expert
  • MOS Word Specialist
  • Patient Care Technician Certification
  • Emergency Medical Technician Certification
  • TCFA (Texas Cattle Feeders Association) Cattle Care and Handling (Fall)
  • TCFA Machine Operation, Repair and Maintenance (Spring)
  • AWS (American Welding Society) D1.1
  • AWS D9.1
  • OSHA 10 Safety Certification is also offered in these classes but does not count for CCMR

More information about students being college and career ready:

To be deemed college and career ready students must:

  • Meet TSI criteria in ELA/reading and mathematics on assessments or complete college prep courses
  • •Meet Advanced Placement Test scores criteria
  • •Earn dual-course credits (dual credit courses)
  • •Earn an approved industry-based certification
  • •Earn an associate degree
  • Graduate with completed IEP and workforce readiness
  • Earn a Level I or Level II certificate

West Plains High School currently partners with Amarillo College for our Diplomas and Degrees Program, a program in which a student can earn their associates degree concurrently with their high school diploma.