Keyboarding and office applications are some of what Abilene ISD eighth graders learn in their career preparatory class. It's a program offered with AISD to eighth graders that Texas State Senator Daniel Patrick is proposing statewide.
Senator Patrick's plan would allow student's to choose between three academic paths in grades nine through twelve after the eighth grade course. Those plans would be business and industry; science and technology and arts and humanities.
The program is one semester long and combines two classes. AISD Executive Director of Career and Tech Education Gail Gregg said the proposal is a good idea.
"At least if we lay it out and let them start thinking it through, know they're going to change their mind," said Gregg. "I just think that's the beauty of what we're doing."
Eighth grade teacher of typing David Curry said it's beneficial to expose the students to career planning early.
"It's a way to help them become aware of their interests and careers that might interest them for the future so they will know that subjects to study in high school and beyond," said Curry.
Mr. Curry said this program not only helps kids decide what they want to do, but also what they don't want to do.
"We looked at some of the more prominent jobs in Texas and some of them, I don't like and so I know what to try not to go into," said eighth grade student Kyle Curnutt.
One other student said the early training is paying off for him.
"Helps me feel confident," said eighth grade student Cooper Cooke. "I know what I'm doing. I know where I'm going. I'm already planning ahead to college. It's still early but it's good to be ahead."