IT Futures Labs Chronicles Best Practices in STEM and Workforce Development

Oct 13, 2015 by


Innovative IT Curriculum Modeled in El Dorado High School in El Paso, Texas

Downers Grove, Ill.IT Futures Labs, an initiative of the Creating IT Futures Foundation, is researching and developing best practices in STEM and workforce development and identified the information technology (IT) program at El Dorado High School in El Paso, Texas, as equipping students for successful IT careers after graduation.

The innovative IT curriculum prepares the predominantly economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority students for career success. More than 70 percent of the students attending El Dorado High School are considered economically disadvantaged.

El Dorado High School is a member of the CompTIA Authorized Academy Partner Program. Its students routinely obtain industry IT certifications that poise them for jobs after high school as well as IT-related summer internships. El Dorado Computer Maintenance Instructor David Caldwell employs a number of strategies to help his students succeed.

Caldwell’s program averages about 30 to 40 CompTIA certifications among his students each year. In addition, Caldwell’s students have achieved numerous other IT certifications, including Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification, OSHA certification and the Certiport IC3 Digital Literacy credential. Since his program was established 12 years ago, his students have achieved well over 1,000 IT certifications. For this new school year, already 108 students have signed up for his IT classes with more than 30 of those students participating in his after school IT programs as well.

“We are dedicated to discovering new approaches to IT career on-ramps,” said Eric Larson, director of IT Futures Lab. “El Dorado High School is a great example of how to build a winning high school IT training program, and we believe that it can be replicated by other school systems which will prepare students for 21st century jobs. The work that the teachers and administrators have done at El Dorado is truly inspiring.”

IT Futures Labs researches, develops, tests and launches innovative non-profit programs tailored for the IT sector that help women, ethnic minorities, and displaced or under-employed individuals.

IT Futures Labs documented the success of El Dorado High School’s IT program through a written case study and a short video. The white paper and video can be access at

About the Creating IT Futures Foundation
The Creating IT Futures Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at

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