A new STEM high school program will be another option for Killeen students beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.
Roy J. Smith Middle School served as host Tuesday morning for a special meeting of the Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees and the Central Texas College Board of Trustees. The two boards discussed a memorandum of understanding for the new STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) program.
John Craft, KISD superintendent, provided a bit of history for the STEM program, which is currently in place at Smith Middle School.
“The demand exceeded our capacity,” Craft said, adding that approximately 800 students are on a waiting list to be part of the STEM program at that level.
The high school STEM program would be offered to 500 students, with half participating in the morning, and the rest in the afternoon. The courses would be taught by CTC staff, on the CTC campus.
Students would be selected for the high school STEM program through a lottery. CTC Chancellor Jim Yeonopolus sees a definite advantage to that process.
“Of those in the program, 71 percent will be the first in their family to attend college,” he said. Also, 60 percent will be eligible for free lunch.
Yeonopolus said using a lottery system is a key way to eliminate any elitist-style program, especially since many of the students in the district are lower or middle class.
KISD Board President Corbett Lawler said the money would be well invested in the students’ futures, and allow them to earn a four-year degree at a state college for less than $20,000 in tuition.
The KISD board will vote on whether to approve the memorandum of understanding with CTC at a regular meeting Nov. 14.
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