Rural Texas Community College Leverages Virtual Reality to Help Local K-12 Students Explore Career Options

BEEVILLE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Coastal Bend College, a community college serving five counties in the Coastal Bend region of Texas, today announced early results from a partnership with local independent school districts that are using virtual reality simulations to help students to gain real-world experience and explore and choose from a range of career and technical training options to pursue after high school. Built in collaboration with immersive learning startup TRANSFR, the Career Exploration Program builds college and career readiness for students in the surrounding community.

“In recent years, the growth in good jobs has actually been greatest for workers with associate degrees. In this context, community colleges are playing an increasingly important role in preparing students for highly skilled roles that provide professional and economic stability and progression,” said Braden Becknell, Director of Workforce Development. work and continuing education at Coastal Bend College. “This collaboration transforms the traditional curriculum and paper-based tests used for career exploration into a more interactive, relevant and meaningful experience. It helps students discover these career options and meet state career preparation requirements. The first results are incredibly promising.

The new Career Exploration Program features hands-on virtual reality experiences developed by TRANSFR that provide students with an immersive and hands-on view of a variety of technical roles and professions, including manufacturing, architecture and construction, transport and logistics and the hotel industry. and tourism. To improve career readiness for students in booming middle and high schools, the Texas Board of Education instituted a requirement for students attending an independent school to choose a career path before entering high school.

While Texas ranks among the states with the highest statewide graduation rates and high school graduates per capita, more than half of students (50.6%) were considered at risk. to drop out of high school during the 2019-2020 school year. Even before the pandemic, more than 434,000 young Texans between the ages of 16 and 24 were out of school or working. By 2036, economists predict that 71% of jobs in Texas will require education or training beyond high school, but only 28% of 8th graders in the state will earn a post-secondary degree or certificate within six years. years after graduation from high school.

Replacing traditional paper-based quizzes and assessments, the Career Exploration Simulation fully immerses students in multiple work environments, vividly recreated through the power of virtual reality. Based on student surveys and feedback from participating schools to date, early results from the pilot project with area K-12 schools are promising, with 83% of students choosing a career path at the end. By effectively delivering career exploration programs to large groups of burgeoning high school students, this program reduces pressure on district and educator resources needed to help students meet the rigorous requirements of college preparation. state career.

“As the economic recovery gathers pace, it is essential to raise awareness of skills and career paths that not only match their interests, but translate into well-paying jobs, without necessarily requiring a four-year degree” , said Bharani Rajakumar, founder and CEO of TRANSFR. “By harnessing the power of immersive learning simulations, students can test and experience jobs in fast-growing industries that they might otherwise have overlooked. It’s a powerful example of how we can build a classroom-to-career pathway starting in middle school, expanding access to well-paying careers and social and economic mobility.

To learn more, use this link to receive a recorded panel discussion with Coastal Bend College leaders on career exploration training.

About Coastal Bend College: Coastal Bend College (CBC) is an Achieving the Dream community college with a main campus located in Beeville, Texas, along with sites serving the communities of Alice, Kingsville, and Pleasanton, Texas. All CBC locations offer academic courses that transfer to a university, as well as manpower programs such as oil and gas, allied health (nursing, radiology and dental hygiene) and related industries commercial technologies, to name a few. In addition to educating students in our four main locations, we also have dual enrollment programs at more than 24 local high schools, which means CBC helps high school students kick-start their college careers affordably. Each year, CBC awards more than 800 certificates and diplomas to dual-enrolment students and college students. CBC proudly educates approximately 3,600 students each year and is also home to six National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) track and field teams. You can learn more about CBC at

About TRANSFR: TRANSFR is a workforce development platform that uses simulation-based training to give students and job seekers the practical skills they need to land well-paying jobs. Working with community leaders, workforce development organizations, educational institutions, businesses, and industries, we’re building a classroom-to-career pipeline to uplift people, organizations where they learn and work, and the communities they call home.

TRANSFR’s hands-on simulations provide an immersive learning environment that gives students and job seekers the real-world experience they need to choose a career path, then train to execute it. Guided by a digital coach, they receive personalized, expert instruction that introduces them to different careers, teaches them how to perform essential tasks, gives feedback based on their specific actions, and assesses progress toward skill mastery in real time. Those who have partnered with TRANSFR have used the training to help job seekers understand their career options, develop more skilled workers, place more people in jobs, and see better job retention rates. ‘use. For more information, visit

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