Category Archives: All TSTC

Waco Cisco Group at TSTC Seeking New Members

(WACO) – Local Cisco enthusiasts have a place where they can interact with Dallas-Fort Worth- area professionals without leaving Waco.

TSTC is home to the Waco Cisco Satellite Users Group led by John Washington, an instructor in the Computer Networking and Systems Administration program. Monthly video teleconferencing meetings with the Dallas-Fort Worth Cisco Users Group allows students and others throughout the area to learn about Cisco equipment, networking technology and job opportunities.

Washington said his goal for the group is to have more students and area professionals attend and learn.

“When they have their meetings, they ask who is there and if anyone is looking for jobs,” Washington said. “It is a chance for employers and people attending the meetings to contact each other with particular skills.”

The Dallas-Fort Worth Cisco Users Group is the largest and oldest such gathering in the United States, said Beau Williamson, the group’s president.

“Many of the students and people just starting out in their technology careers have been helped by the Dallas-Fort Worth user group to obtain their certifications via study groups, as well as doing people networking,” Williamson said. “Many members have launched very successful careers by actively participating in the user group meetings and study groups.”

TSTC’s Computer Networking and Systems Administration program offers students the opportunity to earn Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certifications. TSTC is a designated Cisco Academy.

“Cisco Certified professionals are in big demand, and certifications like the CCNA, CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) and CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert) are key to opening the door to new or better opportunities for our members,” Williamson said. “The industry is evolving and we are finding that other skills such as Python scripting for DevNet, DevOps and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are increasingly becoming important.”

The Dallas-Fort Worth Cisco Users Group and Waco Cisco Satellite Users Group meet at 6 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month. The Waco gathering meets in the Bowie Room on the third floor of the John B. Connally Technology Center at the corner of Campus Drive and Crest Drive at TSTC.

The next meeting of the Dallas-Fort Worth Cisco Users Group and Waco Cisco Satellite Users Group will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The meeting will be a discussion about mobile threat detection using on-device machine learning engines.

For more information on the Dallas-Fort Worth Cisco Users Group, go to

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC Building Construction Technology Students Learn About Protection Equipment

(WACO) – Students in the Building Construction Technology program at Texas State Technical College recently learned about the importance of personal protection equipment.

Ben Sanchez, a safety specialist for Richards Supply Co. in Fort Worth, talked to students about what the safety responsibilities of employers and employees.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulates workplace safety guidelines.

There were 991 deaths in the construction field in 2016, according to OSHA. The agency’s “fatal four” for most of these deaths were falls, being hit by objects, electrocutions and caught-in or -between situations involving equipment or collapsing structures.  

Construction industry safety could save more than 630 lives in the United States per year, according to OSHA.

“Employers must protect their employees,” Sanchez said.

Employers should perform a regular hazard assessment and find ways to eliminate problems. After hazards are assessed, employers need to consider what personal protection equipment is needed, Sanchez said. Some of the equipment can include ear protection, respirators, hard hats and safety vests.

Some of the workplace dangers that can occur include falling tools, which can be remedied with tool lanyards. There were 93 worker fatalities from being struck by objects in the U.S. in 2016, according to OSHA.

Sanchez said people in the construction field need to wear face protection to reduce injuries caused by dust particles, cleaning solutions, chemical splashes and other substances. Face protection includes properly fitting, prescription eyewear with the correct indoor and outdoor tints and coatings.

“The quality of the coating matches the cost of the glasses,” Sanchez said.

Eyewear should also include quality foam lining.

“You are not going to get a good seal with just plastic on your face,” Sanchez said.

Some construction work requires respirators, which employers must have employees wear only if they are cleared medically and physically. Sanchez said employers should develop worker change-out schedules when respirators are needed.

“If you can smell or taste it, it’s in your lungs,” he said.

Sanchez said hearing protection should be used according to the decibel level of what is happening around employees. He said the noise-reduction rating should be considered when buying hearing protection.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 4 million workers work in damaging noise conditions. In 2017, there were 23,000 cases nationally reported of occupational hearing loss that could lead to hearing impairment, according to NIOSH.

Students said they were glad to hear the information, which is reinforced daily by faculty members through quizzes, course lessons and enforced guidelines for working in the construction lab.

“Looking forward, our end goal is getting a good job,” said Courtney Seelhorst, 29, a Building Construction Technology major from Plano. “To have someone from the outside in industry coming to talk to us makes it real and applicable.”

Mae Allen, 18, a Building Construction Technology major from Waco, said Sanchez’s talk made her think more about protecting her eyes.

“I like taking things and making them new,” Allen said. “I’m good with my hands and doing things myself.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to


TSTC Student on Path to New Career

(FORT BEND) – Gerardo Garcia was the only graduate in December to get a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and earn Board of Regent graduate honors, and he managed this accomplishment against great odds.

Garcia earned his certificate in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technology during TSTC’s Commencement Ceremony at the Rosenberg Civic Center.

This semester, the Zapata native is back in the classroom pursuing an associate degree in his field and another perfect GPA.

“I have big goals for myself and before TSTC they weren’t happening,” said Garcia. “My future was uncertain and now I feel like things are falling into place.”

The 27-year-old’s journey at TSTC started when he got laid off from his job in the oil and gas industry and was invited by his twin sisters to join them in Houston.Gerardo Garcia HVAC Board of Regent Graduate

“For six months I had no job and no money,” said Garcia. “I was tired of being considered not hirable.”

So in January 2017, Garcia enrolled at TSTC and got a part-time job at Home Depot to pay for school. However, it was not an easy ride.

“Everything about my classes was great,” he said. “The instructors were attentive and always there for me and the hands-on training I was receiving was excellent, but I was struggling personally.”

While at Home Depot, Garcia worked well into the night. At least twice a week, Garcia would get out at 3 .m. and would sleep in his car to ensure that he made it to class by 8 a.m.

On the days he would get out earlier he would make the half-hour drive home to finish homework and get some sleep.

“It wasn’t easy working overnight and I didn’t want my education to suffer,” he said. “But I also needed the money.”

So, instead of leaving school, he left Home Depot and found a job at HEB.

“It was the best decision I could have made,” said Garcia. “HEB’s schedule allows me to focus more on school. I’m well on my way to a new career.”

Garcia has dreams of someday getting his contractor’s license and starting an HVAC residential and commercial business after getting some experience in the field.

“With an associate degree, my resume will no longer be tossed to the side and ignored,” said Garcia. “I have a degree and skills that people are looking for and it’s now going to be easier finding a job.”

Garcia, who expects to earn his associate degree Summer 2018 said he wants others to know that if they are looking for a new career or a career change TSTC is the place to go.

“TSTC is changing my life and will lead me to job security and stability,” said Garcia. “I highly recommend TSTC.”

For more information on HVAC Technology or to apply and register anytime, visit

Student Success Profile – Jackeline Perez

(HARLINGEN) – Jackeline PerezJackeline Perez is an Education and Training student at Texas State Technical College. The 18-year-old holds a 3.7 grade-point average and expects to earn her associate degree in Spring 2020.

When the San Benito native is not busy studying she can be found volunteering around campus and the community with TSTC’s Service Squad.

What are your plans after graduation?

After I graduate I plan on continuing my education at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Education. I will also look for employment at a local school district so I can work and gain experience while still in school.

What’s your dream job?

My dream job is to become an elementary bilingual teacher. Although, a girl can dream, and it would be nice to someday pursue a music career as a singer.

What has been your greatest accomplishment while at TSTC?

My greatest accomplishment so far is my high GPA. I know that maintaining my good grades will help me cross the finish line and receive my degree.

What greatest lesson have you learned about yourself or life?

The greatest lesson I have learned was taught to me by my mother and aunt. They have always told me to never give up. If I fail I know to get back up, keep going and strive for my goals. This advice keeps me going when I’m struggling.

Who at TSTC has had the most influence on your success?

The person who has had the most influence on my success is Amanda Tamez, my Developmental Math instructor. Math is not my strong subject and she helped me get through the semester and understand the material. She did such a good job at teaching me that I ended up with an ‘A’ at the end of the course. Thank you Ms. Tamez.

What is your advice for future TSTC students?

My advice is the same advice shared with me: Don’t give up, dust yourself off when you fall and keep going. At the end everything you work hard for is worth it.

TSTC Hosts Fourth Annual Empowerment Conference

(HARLINGEN) – Texas is known as one of the states with the highest number of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients, which is why Texas State Technical College, which serves more than 200 undocumented students, will focus its Fourth Annual Empowerment Conference on the issue.

This year’s conference, hosted by TSTC’s Student Support Services department, will be held on January 25 at the TSTC Cultural Arts Center from noon to 5 p.m. and is titled: DACA: The Dreamer’s Challenge.TSTC Fourth Annual Empowerment Conference

“This issue is one that has had a huge impact in our area and our state,” said Student Support Services Coordinator Patty Flores. “There are so many students who are uncertain about their future in the United States and are lost and confused with how to handle the situation.”

Flores said the goal of the event is to provide the resources DACA recipients, their families, friends and advocates need to make informed and educated decisions about their next steps.

The half-day event will include three speakers: Abraham Diaz, La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) education specialist, Gabriel Sanchez, Texas Rural Aid and Ana Villegas, Villegas Law Office immigration attorney.

Presentations on “DACA and Know Your Rights,” Texas Rural Legal Aid Services and “Be Prepared,” will be presented by the speakers, respectively.

“Our goal is to educate and empower with information,” said Flores. “This isn’t an issue that only affects those who are undocumented. It’s affecting their children and families as well.”

To close this year’s event, the Harlingen High School Drama Department will perform their play, “Tracks: Inspired by Real Events.”

The play is dedicated to those who have suffered on the journey and lost their lives while immigrating to the United States seeking a better life and the American Dream.

The conference, which has touched on other issues such as human trafficking, drugs and cultural awareness, is open and free to the public.

“We encourage everyone from TSTC students, staff and faculty to the community to attend,” said Flores. “This is an issue that hits close to home for many.”

To register and reserve your seat visit Eventbrite at The last day to register is January 24.

For more information, call TSTC Student Support Services at 956-364-4525.

TSTC Offers New Online Technical Awards

(STATEWIDE) – Across the state, students at Texas State Technical College now have the option of enrolling in and completing a technical award online with the college’s newest 100 percent online programs.

The most recent online programs that offer either a certificate or associate degree are Cyber Security, Digital Media Design and Medical Office Specialist. Health Information Technology was the first program to go completely online.

“These technical awards are a great addition to what TSTC already offers,” said Associate Vice President of Online Learning Gina Cano-Monreal. “It doesn’t matter anymore where you live because completing a technical award at TSTC is now more possible than ever.”

It was these online classes that gave Missouri native Kathleen Albert the opportunity of receiving an associate degree from Health Information Technology.

The 54-year-old had already spent most of her life working as a certified professional coder, but her dream was to become a registered health information technician and TSTC’s 100 percent online program made it possible.

“I did my research, found TSTC offered the program I needed, spoke with the faculty and I was more than impressed,” said Albert. “Never did I feel alone during the program. All of my instructors were available when I needed them. I highly recommend this program and TSTC.”

Albert is now working as a Reimbursement Analyst for St. Anthony Medical Center in Missouri and credits all of her success to TSTC’s online program.

“I had the opportunity to travel to West Texas and meet my instructors in person to thank them for helping me achieve my goal,” said Albert. “More doors of opportunity opened for me because of their teaching and TSTC.”

There are a total of 186 online courses and at least 20 programs such as Surgical Technology, Computer Science and Chemical Dependency Counseling that offer more than 50 percent of its curriculum online.TSTC Online Courses

“Our hybrid programs are gaining popularity with students because of their flexibility and convenience,” said Monreal, who is also an online instructor for Anatomy and Physiology.

Each hybrid program offers the lecture portion of the class online and all labs on campus.

Last semester, TSTC’s online programs had more than 3,000 students enrolled statewide and Monreal said she expects to see annual increases as more courses are added.

According to Monreal, the program with the highest enrollment is TSTC’s Academic Core, which includes subjects such as composition, college algebra, history and biology.

“These are classes our degree track students need, so being able to take them online is a huge plus for them,” she said. “For example, students can save on gas, childcare and work full-time if needed.”

For Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics student and Edinburg native Gabby Perrett that is the case. She has recently become her father’s temporary caregiver due to illness and driving nearly an hour to campus is no longer an option.

The 20-year-old, who is pursuing an associate degree, is currently taking her required English and Mathematic courses.

“Being able to take these courses online allow me to continue my education even though I can’t be on campus,” she said. “I’m grateful to have this type of opportunity that allows me to continue pursuing my dreams even with my current situation.”

All online course semesters are 15-weeks, online technical certificates and degree programs offer the same degree plan as those offered on campus and all online classes are aligned statewide.

To register for an online course a student must apply and satisfy all TSTC admissions requirements, meet with an advisor and successfully complete the Student Online Orientation.

Monreal said the future of TSTC’s online course offerings is bright. Their goal is to expand technical degree offerings while maintaining a quality learning experience.

“We will continue to increase opportunities for students and stay in touch with students’ needs,” said Monreal. “We’re going to take what we have and take it to the next level.”

Starting in Fall 2018, Business Management Technology and Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics will also offer an associate degree 100 percent online.

For more information on TSTC’s online courses or to register, call 956-364-4050 or visit

TSTC in Sweetwater to Host Blood Drive

(SWEETWATER) – Texas State Technical College will host a Meek Blood Center blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, in front of the Student Center on the TSTC campus in Sweetwater.

Griselda Sanchez, community standards liaison at TSTC, said the students requested that the school host the drive.

“They wanted to donate and asked if I could make that arrangement,” she said.

Sanchez hopes to make the blood drive a recurring event on campus.

“We have had this in the past, but it was a few years back,” she said. “I want to make it a regular thing, and the Meek Blood Center is really excited to do that. I feel like TSTC should be known as a location that not only is here to educate our students in technologies, but also in serving opportunities.”

TSTC hopes the drive will help those in need of this lifesaving gift.

“Many have a personal tie to donating, so in lieu of naming this drive, I hope each student and employee who donates comes with their special person in mind,” Sanchez said.

Frances Baker, marketing and business development manager at Meek Blood Center, said donating blood is a powerful action.

“We don’t have a lot of opportunities in our lives to save someone else’s life, but blood donation is one way to do that,” Baker said. “You can save three lives with one donation. There’s a lot of power in the blood.”

Sanchez said everyone benefits from the drive.

“Those in need of blood benefit, and those who donate will feel like they have made a difference.”

Meek donations benefit patients over a large area.

“Meek Blood Center provides blood to 17 area hospitals, including Sweetwater’s Rolling Plains,” Baker said.

Donors will receive a T-shirt. For more information on the blood drive, call 325-235-7311.

EWCHEC to Host Faculty Job Fair

(HUTTO)  – Texas State Technical College and Temple College will host a faculty job fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the East Williamson County Higher Education Center. The colleges are seeking faculty for academic and technical positions.

“Both Temple College and TSTC are in need of instructors and a candidate pool, and this will be a great opportunity for us to showcase our employment opportunities,” said TSTC Provost Edgar Padilla.

TSTC is looking to hire in the areas of HVAC, Precision Machining and Welding. Temple College is seeking instructors in all programs.

“EWCHEC offers great teaching opportunities for people who would like to teach during the day, in the evenings or during the summer,” said Temple College Director Robbin Ray.

Human resources representatives from both colleges will be available to answer questions and assist with applications.

The East Williamson County Higher Education Center is located at 1600 Innovation Blvd. in Hutto.  Anyone who is qualified to teach college-level courses is encouraged to attend. Both full-time and part-time positions are available.

For more information, call 512-759-5900.

Late Registration Ongoing at TSTC

(HUTTO) — Texas State Technical College in Williamson County is still offering late registration for the spring 2018 semester. Registration will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, Jan. 12. Students registering late will incur a $100 late fee. Classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 16.

TSTC offers a variety of educational avenues, including certificate options and full associate degrees. High school students who want a head start on their college education may also opt for online training or dual-credit programs.

Among the many programs the college offers are Culinary Arts, Cyber Security, HVAC, Precision Machining Technology and Welding.

Students seeking financial aid should contact the TSTC Financial Aid office immediately at 254-867-3620 to allow time for processing. More information on financial aid, including an online application, is available at

For more information on registering or about the college, call 512-759-5900.

TSTC Receives Equipment From Lincoln Electric

(ABILENE) – Texas State Technical College has received 10 welding machines from Lincoln Electric to jump-start the welding program at its new Abilene campus.

“This support gives our students access to the newest technology out there,” said TSTC Interim Provost Rick Denbow. “Our students have the advantage of becoming familiar with industry-standard equipment before they begin working.”

Lead TSTC welding instructor Gregory Nicholas said the equipment is highly advanced and will be utilized to its highest potential.

“This support from Lincoln provides our students with the most up-to-date multiprocess welders on the market,” Nicholas said. “It gives them every tool needed and available to become the welder that industry needs. These machines will help TSTC ensure that our students are proficient in all welding processes and can pursue a career in the industry.”

The Lincoln Electric equipment is from their Power Wave, Power Feed and FlexTec lines.

“Lincoln Electric is pleased to support and advance Texas State Technical College’s welding program,” said Jason Scales, Lincoln Electric’s business manager, education. “By expanding access to state-of-the art welding solutions, training and skills, TSTC graduates are better positioned to build successful, long-term careers in advanced manufacturing.”

With the upcoming addition of the welding program at the Abilene campus, TSTC will offer welding at all 10 of its locations. Officials broke ground on Abilene’s new campus last April, and classes are set to begin there this fall. The new building, which is being constructed off Loop 322 next to Abilene Regional Airport, will also house Electrical Power & Controls and Industrial Maintenance Technology programs.

Lincoln Electric is the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Lincoln has 63 manufacturing locations, including operations and joint ventures in 23 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries.

For more information on TSTC, visit