Flipping through a thick paper packet to select courses in line with current graduation requirements can be a bit overwhelming for students and parents alike. Students are required to select a graduation pathway their eighth grade year and then select specific courses aligned with that pathway each year until graduation. To help make this process easier for Tyler ISD students and families, four web technology students at Tyler ISD’s Career and Technology Center (CTC), developed a new website that took the previous paper packet online as an interactive CTE course catalogue. This project began as a joint vision between Dr. Clay Currier, facilitator of Career and Technical Education at the CTC and Durk Watts, CTC computer and IT teacher.
Yolanda Ruiz and Ramon Flores, both seniors from Robert E. Lee, Darius Sheffield, senior at John Tyler, and Keyshawn Hampton, junior at John Tyler, began the project in September. After the sudden loss of their teacher in January, the students knew they had to do whatever it took to bring his idea to fruition.
“We first began by using the program Adobe Dreamweaver,” Ramon said. “But we were not very successful using that program and switched to Adobe Muse, which worked really well.”
Ramon continued to explain that the site shows all graduation programs, then the courses needed for each program categorized by grade level and the amount of credits earned. Courses are even color coded for location with white representing home campuses, purple at the CTC and yellow at TJC. The website also contains links to certifications available to students within each pathway.
“The most challenging part of the process was keeping the site consistent among all platforms,” Yolanda said. “The site is accessible through desktop, mobile and tablet devices, but we built the site with a phone as the primary focus.”
“The amount of collaboration needed to complete the site made it challenging at times but is what also made it so successful,” Darius said. “We would separate the work out for each of us, and then come back together at the end of the day to discuss and implement. So, sometimes we would find our work didn’t always work well with what someone else did so we would need to change things.”
To complete such a large project, the team involved other areas of instruction, including content support from CTC teacher Michael Sturrock and videos from CTC teacher Jason Bethany and his A/V practicum students. Additional support was received from the Tyler ISD Counseling department and CTC teacher Frank Vasquez, who translated the print version of the Pathway Guide into Spanish in order to reach all students. The Spanish documents are also available on the website via hyperlinks.
“We are all proud of this, and seeing something that has never been done before that will become a legacy for future students to utilize is really neat,” Ramon said.
“The process has been a long journey, with every problem you could think of along the way,” Darius added. “But we are so glad it is now complete.”
Yolanda plans to continue learning computer programming and hopes to become a web developer. Darius will also attend TJC and hopes to one day become a web developer for Google or Apple. Ramon plans to join the Air Force and eventually have a career in cyber security or data analytics. Keyshawn will return to the CTC in the fall for his senior year.
“This project is just phenomenal,” Dr. Clay Currier, said. “These four students creating an asset for Tyler ISD in honor of a teacher is a perfect example of successful student outcomes, which is what Tyler ISD is all about. This is also the goal of Career and Technical Education.”
Students and parents can utilize the online 2018 – 2019 Pathway Guide at http://ctepathwaystylerisd.org/.