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Seven Lancaster High School Students Participate in the National CTE Letter of Intent Signing Day at Cedar Valley College

Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD – Seven Lancaster High School students publicly shared their commitment to higher education as they signed their letter of intent to pursue a degree and workforce certification at Cedar Valley College during its inaugural National Technical Letter of Intent Signing Day held on the college’s campus.
Two Lancaster High School seniors, Troy Hilliard and Billyndria Griffin, selected a business certification and Kaylen Speaks committed to study Veterinary Technology. Samantha Cano and Nazir Evans are interested in the STEM certifications with a focus in Forensic Science, Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, respectively while Nicholas Woods intends on pursuing an Engineering Technology certification.
These Lancaster ISD students were among 55 students from local area high schools and districts including Cedar Hill and DeSoto Independent School Districts and two Dallas ISD schools, David W. Carter and Wilmer-Hutchins high schools participating this National Coalition Centers for Certification (NC3) partnership.

Cedar Valley College Director of Public Information and Marketing Henry Martinez said that this new higher education partnered approach to Career and Technical Education is poised to yield good results for students and the community.
“They are taking advantage of the opportunity to obtain a degree and an industry relevant workforce certification at the same time to ensure good job placement upon graduation,” he said.
Hilliard, who along with Griffin intends to obtain a business certification, wants use his degree as a springboard to entrepreneurship.
“I want to learn how to start a business successfully and be able to make a huge profit and continue to build it,” he said.
He chose Cedar Valley College because of its proximity and that fact that he can continue to excel.
“They have a good business program already in place for students from Lancaster High School to come over and actually start learning about it.”
Griffin said, that it is the constant partnership between the school district and her community that helped solidify her choice to study at Cedar Valley College.
“I don’t pass up any opportunities that will help me with my education and to better myself. Once I graduate, I hope to give back to my high school and community,” she said. “I want to help those whom I can tell that I have been in their shoes before.”
Strategically designed partnerships is a cornerstone for success for Lancaster ISD and the district’s Executive Director of College Career Readiness and Career and Technical Education Creslond Fannin sees the value of creating access for students.
“With the combination of Cedar Valley’s National C3 partnership and its participation in the Dallas County Promise program, our students can attend Cedar Valley College with their tuition-paid and obtain a degree debt-free,” she said. “This was a great opportunity to celebrate our seniors committing to a higher education and pursuing a career pathway at CVC.”
According to Martinez, Cedar Valley College is currently the only Dallas County Community College campus participating in this national partnership designed to secure employees for the local workforce.
“We are ahead of the curve,” he began. “Before this partnership, it was a piecemealed process and now it will be seamless. The students will be able to have both [a degree and workforce certification].”
He further explained that the goal is for students to attend classes, work with a national business certification partners like Snap-On or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and become certified to operate actual equipment or learn certain procedures and protocol to be work-ready upon graduation.
“We want to be a good partner for everyone in the community and focus on helping the local workforce,” he said. “With Lancaster ISD, we just started the Lancaster Early College High School Partnership, and now, with this partnership, it is an instant connection. The students can continue to engage and learn in the manner that they did in high school and have the tools that they need to get hired for the workforce.”
Lancaster High School Interim Principal Eleanor Webb was proud to witness the commitment of these students.
“Having our students take the pledge to continue in a CTE program means that Lancaster High School is living up to our motto which is to offer More Than a Diploma. These students will be able to receive degrees which makes them marketable.”