Category Archives: Fort Bend County

Chancellor’s Excellence Award – Vanessa Vasquez

(HARLINGEN/FORT BEND) – It will be three years in May since Vanessa Vasquez became part of the Texas State Technical College family to share the passion she has for student recruitment.

It is this same passion and dedication she exhibits daily that has earned her the honor of being a 2018 TSTC Chancellor’s Excellence Award recipient.

“I literally cried when I found out,” she said. “I was astonished and never expected anything like this to happen to me.”

The Brownsville native and TSTC executive director of admissions joins 15 other honorees statewide who were given the award by TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser for their distinguished service and dedication to the college, their communities and the state.Vanessa Vasquez Chancellor's Excellence Award recipient

“Their caring and dedicated efforts embolden us all to make a difference in the success of our teams and the lives of our students,” said Reeser. “These teammates were nominated by their peers, recommended by their provosts and vice chancellors, and chosen as faculty and staff who model excellence in our college every day.”

Vasquez, who is also a first-generation college graduate, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Teaching-Early Childhood Education in 2007 and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 2012, both from the University of Texas at Brownsville, which is now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

It was at UTB where Vasquez first discovered her passion for higher education as a work-study student in the Admissions and Records department.

“My first job became what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Vasquez. “The experience of working with students from the time they enter our college’s doors to the time they walk across the stage in a cap and gown is invaluable to me. It makes me believe that what I do matters and changes lives.”

After Vasquez’s four-year stint in work-study, she went to work for six years as a transcript evaluator and later as a recruiter at UTB. She then worked as the admissions and records coordinator for Texas Southmost College for another three years before moving to TSTC.

“I was immediately interested in checking out TSTC. I knew it wasn’t an ordinary college, and I wanted to be a part of that,” she said.

Vasquez said it was the hands-on training and one-on-one teaching offered to TSTC students that drew her to the college as the advisement and testing center coordinator.

“TSTC has exceeded all of my expectations,” she added. “They have opened my eyes to the opportunities they provide and have been a game changer for even my family.”

After only one year with TSTC, Vasquez received her promotion as executive director and made the move to TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus, where she now resides. But she didn’t leave by herself.

“A four-year college wasn’t for my youngest brother, and he had given up on the dream of a college degree,” she said. “But when I introduced him to TSTC and invited him to come with me, he agreed and is now a college graduate with a certificate in welding.”

Vasquez added that this, along with the rest of her siblings having become college graduates, is a huge success for a family that lost their father at a young age and grew up in a single-parent home.

Christine Stuart-Carruthers, TSTC’s vice president of student development and senior enrollment services officer, said that the greatest assets Vasquez brings to the team are her passion for helping students and her leadership.

“She is motivated to help students achieve their dream of completing a college education, and her passion is contagious. She is always motivating those around her and lending a helping hand,” said Carruthers. “Vanessa has been instrumental in helping launch the Fort Bend County campus and in molding the culture so that staff are ready to take on whatever comes their way.”

Carruthers added that she is excited for Vasquez’s recognition and that her peers also recognize the hard work she puts into helping students and being a resource for others.

Vasquez said she hopes to continue growing with the college, working hard on her No. 1 goal of helping students succeed and continuing to making those who nominated her proud. She added that she doesn’t want to let them down.

Vasquez and the other TSTC Chancellor’s Award recipients will come together in May for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development awards dinner and celebration in Austin.

 

TSTC Students Place Third in Statewide Talent Competition

(ROSENBERG) – Texas State Technical College students John Ward and Brandon Felts competed at the college’s annual talent competition finals in Waco on March 21 and placed third statewide. TSTC hosted the talent competition in conjunction with “Texas Music Cafe.”

The students advanced to the finals after being chosen to represent the Fort Bend County campus.

Ward said the experience offered him a chance to see more of TSTC and learn more about the college.

“I had a great experience,” Ward said. “Being with a bunch of other students from different locations in Texas definitely allowed me to get a sense of what the overall TSTC community was like. I liked seeing all these young adults and adults wanting to better themselves and also tap into their hobbies, things that they don’t necessarily assume they’ll be involved in at a technical college. It’s great because it goes to show that TSTC can appreciate more than just technical minds.”

With Ward on guitar and vocals, and Felts on drums, this year was the first time students from the Fort Bend County campus competed. Ward hopes they can inspire others to join in the future.

“Brandon and I were the only ones (from TSTC in Fort Bend County),” he said. “Hopefully what we’ve done this year can inspire and kind of get people to bring in the things they love, as opposed to just going to school and following the routine. I just want to inspire those to not be afraid, because what these types of opportunities do is allow you to network.”

Felts agreed.

“I wish a lot of people could step up because I know there’s a lot of talent out there, but people are kind of shy and timid,” he said. “I felt that John and I could kind of be the first to excite people, and maybe it might start a change in the future.”

The duo, both HVAC Technology students, only began playing together a few days before the first competition. In the four days before the mid-February competition held in Harlingen, they wrote the song they performed. They had just the weekend before the final competition to complete their second song.

“For the finals, we got such a late notice — we only had three days to practice,” Felts said. “We wrote the song on Friday, practiced it Saturday and Sunday, went through it again Monday, and the show was on Tuesday. It was quite a challenge because not only did we have that, but we also kept up with school. It helped us succeed and achieve. It just proved to us how good of musicians we are on such a short notice.”

Ward draws influence from funk, soul and R&B artists and cited Jack Johnson and Allen Stone as some of the artists who inspired him to learn guitar.

“There’s something about the interpretation of soul music,” he said. “You listen to the greats who did funk, and you hear the pain or the joy in their voice when they sing. There’s so much more than just a simple vibrato — there’s raspiness, there’s pain, joy, love, hate. All of that ties into what soul and funk can do, and that’s my preferred genre.”

Meanwhile, Felts appreciates rock music. He enjoys artists such as Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin and Avenged Sevenfold. He named Avenged Sevenfold’s late drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan as one musician who has made a big impact on his life.

“Back in the day when I had bands, I wanted to be just like him,” he said. “I wrote everything. I wrote guitar parts, I wrote drum parts, I wrote lyrics. Not many people know that drummers can do stuff like that, and that’s what Jimmy did. He inspired me to do it all. He sang, he drummed, and he wrote most of the music. He’s my biggest influence.”

The third-place winners took home a microphone, a DJ set and headphones. But to Ward, it wasn’t about the prizes.

“I’m for the experience and the people that I’m able to make connections with,” Ward said. “I just enjoy being around people who do what they love.”

Felts said he was happy to have built a friendship with Ward over the experience.

“Playing with someone, you have to have a certain type of energy, and you just have to feel it with each other. And that’s how we felt — even in just that short time,” he said. “We are planning on starting up music and hopefully writing something. We just want to play and enjoy and have fun.”

“Texas Music Cafe” is an hourlong, magazine-style PBS program that is recorded all over the state of Texas in front of live audiences and broadcast nationally on radio, TV and the internet.

TWC awards TSTC Harvey Relief Grant for training

The Texas Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast Board recently awarded Texas State Technical College with a Harvey Relief Grant to assist with the training and certification of men and women in the construction field who are working to rebuild the area after Hurricane Harvey’s devastation.

The grant awarded gives TSTC’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education Office more than $82,000 to develop and offer its first National Center for Construction Education and Research Basic Construction course at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus.

“This grants provides us with the infrastructure we need to provide the basic training

TSTC NCCER Training Course

all employers require of their employees,” said Victor Blalack, TSTC’s Continuing Education statewide project manager. “This allows us to work upon our mission of providing the Texas workforce with quality trained individuals.”

The grant provides the funds TSTC needs to train and certify course instructors, certify the lab that will be used and purchase all tools and equipment needed for the class.

The NCCER Core course is open to anyone interested in successfully completing the 73-hour training, whether its employers providing the training for their employees or employees looking to get ahead in the field.

Those who enroll in the course can expect to learn the foundation of construction safety, tool safety and field communication and will become certified by NCCEER.

NCCER credentials are recognized internationally so can be used to work in the United States and abroad.

”Safety is a number one priority everywhere and for everyone,” said Blalack. “So obtaining a certification like this shows employers that a candidate has a high level of skill when it comes to construction safety.”

Blalack also added, “Having a NCCER certification makes a job candidate more marketable and is highly sought. Employers, especially large-scale construction companies require NCCER certifications, so this course is an advantage to many.”

The NCCER course is expected to begin late April or early May and will offered as day and evening courses depending on demand.

Tuition for the class is $1,118 and there are additional grants through the Texas Workforce Solutions for qualifying candidates. Employers also have the option of sponsoring their employees.

The need for NCCER certifications has increased due to the construction the area is undergoing to rebuild the towns and cities hardest hit along the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Harvey.

Blalack said he is glad that TSTC can help the community on this level and hopes that this initial course is a stepping stone for TSTC because his goal is that program will open doors for other NCCER certification courses at the Fort Bend County campus.

For more information or to register call TSTC’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education Office at 956-364-4179.

Historic first for TSTC students in Fort Bend County

(FORT BEND) – Texas State Technical College’s Fort Bend County campus is sending its first SkillsUSA team to state competition at TSTC’s Waco campus next month.

At least nine students will compete in the categories of Diesel Equipment Technology, HVAC, Welding Technology and job skills demonstration.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization teaching technical, academic and employability skills that help high school and college students pursue successful careers. Members build these skills through student-led team meetings, contests, leadership conferences and other activities.

Students in Skills USA participate in hands-on competitions in various fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, building construction and culinary arts.

SkillsUSA TSTC campus advisor and Diesel Equipment Technology instructor Spencer Paige said he is happy he was able to implement this program – the first for the campus.

“Before TSTC I worked for the school district and was the advisor for high school skills,” he said. “I saw so much of the benefits students received from this program, that I wanted our TSTC students to have the same opportunities.”

Paige added that students who compete in SkillsUSA get to practice and improve on the skills they have learned in the classroom, build on their soft skills such as public speaking and interviewing and network with industry professionals who judge the competitions.TSTC Fort Bend County First SkillsUSA Team

“The selling point for our students is getting to meet and speak with industry professionals, many of which are also recruiters,” said Paige. “In SkillsUSA our students get to showcase their skills and some leave with interviews or job offers. This is a big deal for our students and our college.”

TSTC Diesel Equipment Technology student Troy Ketchum expects to earn his certificate in August, but first will compete at the SkillsUSA state competition. This is his first time ever competing.

“I’m excited and nervous all at the same time,” he said. “I can’t wait to visit another TSTC campus, see where we (students) stand among other college students in our field and meet with professionals in our field.”

The 30-year-old said he jumped at the opportunity to participate.

He will be the only one from the campus competing in job skills demonstration and will present on the topic of, “The Importance of Tire Pressure and Tread Depth.”

“I’ve been working hard on preparing for SkillsUSA, we all have,” said Ketchum. “This is our first year and we all want to make a mark.”

The Rosenberg native has been staying after regular school hours preparing his presentation and practicing in front of other students, faculty and staff.

Paige said it has been all hands on deck, helping the students practice, prepare presentations and working with Talent Management and Career Services on updating resumes and interview skill building.

“Our job is to help these students do their very best and make the best impression possible,” said Paige. “We all have a common goal and that is to get to nationals and produce skilled students who are competitive in the job market.”

The nationals SkillsUSA competition will be held in Oklahoma this coming summer. Historically, TSTC is a top competitor at nationals with students bringing home the most medals.

For more information on programs offered at TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

Registration for Summer and Fall 2018 begins April 2.

Chancellor’s Excellence Award – Melanie Pruett

(FORT BEND) – When the Texas State Technical College Chancellor’s Excellence Award recipient list came out, Melanie Pruett could not believe she was reading her name.

“I was shocked and surprised. I never thought something like this could happen to me,” said the TSTC enrollment specialist.

TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser selects faculty and staff for their distinguished service and dedication to the college, communities and state for this award and are recognized by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD).Melanie Pruett

“These teammates were nominated by their peers, recommended by their Provosts and Vice Chancellors and chosen as faculty and staff who model excellence in our college every day,” said Reeser. “Their caring and dedicated efforts embolden us all to make a difference in the success of our teams and the lives of our students.”

Pruett has been with TSTC for two years and has extensive experience in the area of higher education.

Before coming to TSTC she worked at the Baylor College of Medicine campus in Houston for 17 years in the Office of Admissions and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

She left higher education to work in the oil and gas industry only to be laid off after 11 years, but her passion and love for students and higher education never diminished.

“I enjoy working with students, getting them into college and seeing them succeed,” said Pruett. “So when I saw TSTC was opening in our area I jumped at the opportunities that were available. I wanted to get back into higher education where I belonged.”

Pruett applied for three different positions before receiving a job offer for her current position. She meets with prospective students daily and assists them with the application process to enroll at TSTC.

Pruett’s supervisor and TSTC’s Executive Director of Admissions Vanessa Vasquez said she was not surprised at all by Pruett’s recognition.

“Melanie brings so much positivity and energy to our team,” she said. “She is always going above and beyond her call of duty and has the best customer service. She treats everyone like they’re her family.”

Vasquez, who has worked with Pruett for two years, added that Pruett’s contributions to the team have not gone unnoticed.

“I knew since I first met Melanie that she would excel in her position and would someday be rewarded for her hard work and dedication to the college, its students and employees,” she said. “You can always count on her.”

Pruett said that the exciting part of her job is meeting new people and building relationships and good rapport with the students she works with.

“Many of the students I meet end up coming back to chit chat or for advice,” she said. “It’s exciting to see them grow.”

The award recipient said she would like to give a big thanks to those who nominated her.

“It’s great to be recognized for your hard work and for who you are,” she said. “I have a great team and I am truly honored to know that they appreciate what I do.”

Pruett said she hopes to continue growing with TSTC and working hard for its prospective and current students.

“I love TSTC. I can honestly say that this was the best choice I ever made,” she said. “I feel like I’m making a difference in the lives of others and to me that is so rewarding.”

Pruett will join the 15 other Chancellor’s Excellence Award recipients in May at the NISOD dinner and celebration in Austin where they will receive their awards.

TSTC in Fort Bend’s Annual Open House a Success

(FORT BEND COUNTY) – Texas State Technical College in Fort Bend County held its annual open house Friday, opening its campus for program tours and meetings with faculty. The event, designed for prospective students who want to learn more about the college, hosted more than 200 visitors.

Coordinator of student recruitment Marigold Sagrado said she hoped the open house event would help give the college more visibility.

“I want to help spread the word about TSTC in the Houston and greater surrounding areas,” she said. “I also hope they took away that technical education is important and can offer a high-paying career.”

Visitors touring the campus’ 10 programs were able to participate in hands-on activities.

“In our Precision Machining program, our guests had the opportunity to create keychains on our CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machines,” Sagrado said. “They got to see students climbing poles in Electrical Lineworker Technology. Robotics demoed the robots for visitors, and Electrical Power & Controls did a demonstration on electricity. It was a lot of fun.”

Sagrado said the college’s unique programs are what drew many of the visitors.

“Our attendees are looking for programs in these fields, but there aren’t a lot of schools offering them,” she said. “I think that piqued their interest to check out more.”

Other guests heard about the college by word of mouth.

“People are talking about their experience at TSTC and how the learning experience is different from any other college or university,” Sagrado said.

TSTC’s Student Recruitment office made some changes to open house this year hoping reach a broader audience.

“This year, our event lasted until 7 p.m.,” she said. “We wanted to try to reach some of the nontraditional students who may work during the day.”

Isaac Rush, an attendee who has now decided to enroll at TSTC in the fall, said he found the event beneficial.

“Not only were the teachers very helpful, but the student volunteers were just as helpful too,” he said. “The students were intertwined with their field of study, which helped me in selecting what I want to major in at TSTC. All in all, TSTC is a great environment.”

TSTC will begin registering students for the summer and fall semesters on Monday, April 2. For more information on the college, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC recruiter serves as inspiration to students

(FORT BEND) – Yulonda Durst, who survived a childhood of poverty and overcame personal hardships as an adult, is now at Texas State Technical College as a student recruiter hoping to help young people find a better life through education.

Durst was raised in Beaumont and as a young girl, along with her four siblings, was homeless, usually forced to spend days apart from her family.

“We were a large family, and it was difficult for family to take all of us in,” she said. “But through it all my mom remained positive, kept us praying and reminded us that struggles were temporary.”

And temporary they were.

Durst and her family slowly moved up from homelessness to a house with no electricity to the projects and finally to a house they could call their own after Durst’s mother married.

The Beaumont native grew up to be a licensed cosmetologist, a youth pastor for New Hope Deliverance Ministry, a church in her hometown, and a college graduate.Yulonda Durst - TSTC Student Recruiter

She earned an associate degree from a technology school in Beaumont in Business Computer Information Systems in 2012 while working and raising her seven children.

“It wasn’t easy, but I wanted more for me and my family. So I pushed forward,” she said.

While juggling her salon, Graceful Hands Beauty Salon, established in 2005, a newfound career as a financial aid representative at her alma mater, and her family, more life challenges were thrown her way.

A fire, which was ruled arson, destroyed her salon on Thanksgiving Day 2016 and a divorce left Durst in pieces and feeling discouraged.

“I didn’t rebuild. I wanted a brand new start,” she said. “And it was while looking for a place to live in the Houston area that I drove by TSTC and told my children, ‘I’m going to work there someday.’”

It was only two weeks before Hurricane Harvey that Durst and her children began a new life in Houston. She said she is thankful that her family was okay and their properties did not suffer damage.

“We were blessed, but many weren’t so lucky,” she said.

Knowing this is what encouraged her to volunteer at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston and work as a FEMA contractor for four months before getting a job at TSTC.

Durst is now the newest student recruiter at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus and said she was immediately impressed with the campus and its employees.

“At TSTC I feel like we’re all equal. I’m part of one great, big family,” she said. “It’s all hands on deck, no matter your position. There’s so much unity.”

Durst has many goals for her new position, but her main one is to encourage higher education in students who don’t see it as a possibility.

“I always tell students that education is the key that opens doors,” she said. “I believe everyone has the potential of getting a college degree.”

Durst added, “TSTC is a two-year college that places students on a career path,” she said. “When a student enters TSTC they are taking steps toward a new career and life.”

Durst, who is still a youth pastor, said she hopes to grow with the college by being the continued support TSTC students need.

For more information the programs offered at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus, visit tstc.edu.

Registration for Summer and Fall 2018 begins April 2.

Dashiell Corp. Hires Entire TSTC Lineworker Class

(FORT BEND COUNTY) – The first graduating class of linemen from Texas State Technical College in Fort Bend County will walk the stage in April with their certificates and a sigh of relief, knowing they have jobs waiting for them.

All eight graduates have been offered employment with Dashiell Corp. upon completion of the program. Dashiell is a leading national provider of technical services to the electric utility, power generation and energy industries.

Troy Eads, instructor of TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology, said he had been working with a couple of companies to help find his students jobs.

The representative from Dashiell was the first to see the students in action, Eads said. “After he talked to them and saw them climb, he said, ‘Yeah, I’ll take them all.’”

Eads said he wasn’t really surprised that the company wanted all of the students.

“I try to teach them everything they need to know,” Eads said. “I wasn’t surprised that any company that came through would (hire them all) because we have a great program. Most schools have a 15-week certification, and we have 45 weeks. You learn a lot more in 45 weeks. We have a good curriculum and great students.”

Student Darryl Jackson said he feels good about having a job before graduating.

“Just a couple of years ago, I really didn’t understand where I would be at,” Jackson said. “Now I’m a few months away from graduating school, and I already have a job. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, like I actually did something.”

Jackson said he didn’t expect to have a job lined up so soon.

“I was really expecting that we’d graduate and have to go out and find our own jobs,” he said.

Though the students are taught the job skills they need, the program goes a little further than that.

“We go in-depth with what we teach them,” Eads said. “They learn not only about the work, but things like showing up on time also. There’s responsibility involved. We teach them about going through the interview and stuff like that as well — the soft skills.”

Jackson said it was those things that made the program special to him.

“It changed everybody in the program, including me,” he said. “We all had our ways about us, and Troy pointed those things out and showed us what wouldn’t work.”

As for now, the students are counting down the days until they begin their new jobs.

“I can’t wait,” Jackson said. “It’s something we talk about every day now.”

TSTC will begin registering students for the summer and fall semesters on Monday, April 2. For more information on TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC gets international exposure

(FORT BEND) – Texas State Technical College recently hosted a delegation of 21 Chinese educators from Nanjing, China for a tour of the campus and discussions about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) training and career opportunities.

TSTC Provost Randy Wooten said it was a pleasure being able to welcome the delegates on campus from Fort Bend County’s sister city Nanjing.

“It was great being given the opportunity to host these educators on campus,” he said. “The visit was focused on technological training and advancements and aligned well with what we offer at TSTC.”

The teachers were selected as part of a teacher exchange program through the Nanjing Education Bureau.

J.J. Clemence, Fort Bend County Global Initiative public relations director and Congressman Pete Olson’s Asian community outreach director, said each teacher was hand-picked from more than 1,000 schools in Nanjing and required to pass an English exam.

 

“These teachers are the top from each school,” Clemence said. “And the goal of this trip was to further expose them to STEM studies in the United States, which is why TSTC was an important stop for us.”

Clemence further explained that the teachers’ are visiting for 12-days touring local high schools in the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District and Fort Bend Independent School District and sharing resources and ideas with local educators.

“Technical careers are growing in demand in China and this visit has been eye opening to the delegates,” she said. “This has allowed them to see the importance of a technical education and hands-on training.”

Ning Nei, a high school chemistry teacher in Nanjing, said the TSTC campus and the focus on hands-on training was impressive.

“This college combines teaching with the practice of new technologies and that’s amazing to me,” she said. “It’s a perfect method that I hope to take back to my school and implement.”

Nei also said that she was able to exchange teaching resources with the faculty she visited, which will help her take what she learned back to her students.

TSTC’s Robotics Technology was popular among the delegates.

Guxiao Chun, a high school physics teacher, said he is excited to share his experience with his students when he returns home.

“TSTC is thinking innovatively and coming here has encouraged me to push my students into a technical career,” said Chun. “I’m excited to tell them about the robots and the hands-on training I witnessed.”

Chun added that he realized he can do more for his school and students by focusing on STEM.

Wooten said he was pleased with the positive responses received by the delegates and that these types of visit expand the TSTC brand internationally.

“They were impressed with the type of machinery and tools our students get to use in our labs,” said Wooten. “Opportunities like this are rare in China.”

He went on to say, “Positive responses like these make our brand more valuable and sought after. It gives us world-wide exposure.”

Clemence said she hopes to continue growing the relationship between these Chinese educators, Fort Bend County and TSTC.

“This was a great experience for everyone involved,” said Clemence. “And we hope in the near future we’ll be able bring students from China over to visit Fort Bend County and possibly study at TSTC.”

For more information on the programs offered at TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

Registration for Summer and Fall 2018 begins April 2.

Local high school students experience TSTC

(FORT BEND) – From robot races to dressing up in HAZMAT suits, local high school juniors and seniors had the opportunity to experience the newest Texas State Technical College programs during the first Program Highlight Day.

TSTC recently hosted approximately 70 students from KIPP Generations Collegiate and Palacios High School, both schools nearly an hour away.

“This was a first-time event for us and we couldn’t be more excited about its success,” said Marigold Sagrado, TSTC student recruitment coordinator. “It was a great opportunity to showcase our campus and highlight our programs.”

Students were provided a tour of the Brazos Center, the newest building at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus. They were also introduced to the four newest programs housed in the building: Environmental Technology – Compliance Specialization, Electrical Power and Controls Technology, Electrical Lineworker Technology and Robotics Technology.

“The goal behind this event is to expose students to the programs we offer and can lead to high-paying jobs,” said Sagrado. “These programs impact the areas that are essential to our daily lives and we need to fill the skills gap.”

Faculty and current students from TSTC’s newest programs offered hands-on activities or demonstrations for the juniors and seniors including racing robots, dressing up in HAZMAT suits and respirators and watching electricity safety and electrical lineworker climbing demonstrations.

For many students like junior Mario Arguello from Kipp Generations Collegiate, this was the best part of the day.

“I’m thinking of pursuing robotics at TSTC so this was definitely my favorite part,” said the 17-year-old. “I’ve always had an interest in robots so I was most excited about touring this program.”

When Arguello graduates in 2019, he said he hopes to attend TSTC and pursue an associate degree in Robotics Technology.

“After learning about the program and all of the career possibilities, I feel this is the right place for me.”

Sagrado said she was happy to see the students engaged in all of the activities and to hear the many positive responses she received.“Overall, this event was a success,” she said. “The students really enjoyed the tours and program demonstrations. Many even expressed their interest and excitement about enrolling.”

She added that she is looking forward to many more events like Program Highlight Day that give her and her team the opportunity of teaching the community what TSTC has to offer.

Registration for the Summer and Fall Semesters begins April 2.

For more information or to apply and register, visit tstc.edu.