Burleson Area chamber of Commerce hosts education talk
Education was on the minds of all at last Thursday’s state of education summit, hosted by the Burleson Area Chamber of commerce.
Keynote speakers were Dr. Pam Boehm, the 10th president of Hill College and Dr. Bret Jimerson, superintendent of Burleson ISD.
Boehm was excited to talk about Hill’s future in Burleson and its students, which are usually non-traditional students. Those students are older and are looking for retraining and are looking for jobs in a new field.
Hill is looking to collaborate with the state on the 60/30 strategic plan.
“Sixty percent of individuals ages 24-35 will need some sort of post-secondary education by 2030, according to the state of Texas,” Boehm said. “They’ll need a marketable skill to make them competitive because there won’t be enough skilled labor in the workforce.”
Hill is going to partner with the North Texas Community College Consortium, comprised of a membership of 30 universities in the North Texas region, as well as some community college.
“We’ve partnered together to do some pretty unique things,” Boehm said. “We can provide credentials and skills to our students. The only way we will make this lofty goal set by the state is by partnering with our ISD’s.”
Boehm said more dual-credit courses and early college high schools need to be more accessible and students need to start younger. Hill is going to expand early college courses into eighth-grade classrooms with its partners.
Additionally, Boehm said that students face challenges when they start and stop college courses.
“One of our newest initiatives is an AAS to BAAS collaborative,” Boehm said. “For example, a welding student can get a certificate or two-year degree with Hill College. Most welders want to get trained and go to work. What happens, often times, is they get more money when they get a bachelors degree. Do we want to put people to work with just a certificate or give them other options to give them a bachelors degree?”
Now, Hill has aligned all of their technical programs with university programs. This will enable students to pursue a bachelors degree in the area which they received their associate's degree.
“I think this is the most innovative thing I’ve seen in education in my 36 years,” Boehm said.
“We care about Johnson County and Burleson and our students and we care about education.”
Next up was Dr. Bret Jimerson, superintendent for BISD. A video was shown with a little girl being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She looked straight into the camera and said, “Whatever I want.”
“Is that not the best answer?” Jimerson asked.
Jimerson said BISD is consistently working to keep up with the passions of today’s students.
“We continue to offer relevant choices, programs advanced coursework and the tools of the day,” Jimerson said.
More and more students want to come to BISD because it offers a wider variety of classes and programs than other school districts, Jimerson said.
The superintendent also highlighted some of the achievements that students have been working hard on. Jimerson’s full speech and list of accomplishments can be read on page 10.