ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Premier High School plans to debut an entrepreneurship program this coming fall, expanding students’ access to career and technical courses that could afford them well-paying jobs right after graduation.

“We want to make sure that these students have something other than a piece of paper when they walk that stage,” said Campus Director J.P. Reeves.

Reeves said the business-focused program would have multiple job fields to study; including digital media, marketing and computer science. While still being finalized, he’s hopeful the program will make students more employable once it begins.

“It just sets them up to be more successful in life,” Reeves assured. “Where they can start in the middle, instead of starting at the beginning.”

One of the school’s CTE programs Reeves sited as successful, is its Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Program – instructed by Registered Nurse Christine O’Shields. He told KTAB/KRBC, students who complete the course have the potential to be earning anywhere from $18.00 to $25.00 per hour.

“I love seeing students grow and learn,” said O’Shields.

Over the last few years the program has been available, 24 students have come through its doors. Students whom have all graduated with college credit and a CMA certification – something that could cost them out of pocket if they pursued such certifications outside of high school.

“It can probably cost a couple of thousands of dollars to get the certification otherwise,” said O’Shields. “I have had a few students already go out into the workforce.”

A recent graduate of the program, Tonie Trevino said she plans to study psychology at Hardin-Simmons University this coming fall. Now with her certification, she feels encouraged to begin her studies of the mind with a background in body science as well.

“It takes a lot of responsibility with the paper and homework,” said Trevino. “I mean, you draw blood on people with real tools and that’s not something you can take lightly.”

For a full list of offered programs and to learn more, click here.