(WACO) – Prosper Waco and its Project Link initiative, along with the Heart of Texas P-20 Regional Council, hosted teachers from area high schools this week for the High School Counselor Summer Fly-In to learn about collegiate academic and technical programs and admissions processes.
More than 20 counselors and teachers from Bell, Falls and McLennan counties, along with Project Link staff, learned about academic pathways at McLennan Community College and technical programs such as Air Traffic Control, Electronics Technology and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology at Texas State Technical College.
“It was very good to enlighten them about the programs and have them make connections,” said Brandon Chappell, TSTC’s Project Link outreach specialist. “We try to show them what we have in relation to the high schools’ courses.”
During the daylong visit on Thursday at TSTC, workshop attendees learned about internship and on-site learning and research opportunities for students in the Radiation Protection Technology program, career outlooks in the Electrical Power and Controls program and the space education work that groups can undertake at the Challenger Learning Center. Attendees also learned how students can work with Career Services staff.
Stacey Talley, a career and technical education teacher at Waco High School, said the workshop inspired her to set up a corner of her classroom dedicated to TSTC and MCC to motivate her students to take closer looks if they feel like four-year colleges are not viable career goals.
“I want to be knowledgeable and a resource to help get them to the next step,” Talley said. “Everyone at MCC and TSTC is very focused on helping the students get the job, get employability skills and the contacts with industry leaders.”
Project Link is a partnership between the nonprofit organization, TSTC, MCC, the La Vega Independent School District and the Waco Independent School District to promote a college-going culture among the city’s high school students and families.
The High School Counselor Summer Fly-In was made possible by a TG Philanthropy grant announced in May and awarded to McLennan Community College and Prosper Waco to expand the Project Link initiative to Waco High School. The $149,700 grant is for 18 months.
For more information on Project Link, go to prosperwaco.org/project-link/.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.