(HUTTO) – Myles Wright, 18, a senior at Hutto High School,has his mind on social sciences for a career possibility when he graduates in the spring.
But his mind opened up Thursday morning after seeing college students working in electrical and plumbing and pipefitting labs. Wright was among more than 400 students and counselors from high schools in central Texas who attended the College Preview and Open House hosted by Texas State Technical College, Temple College and Texas A&M University Central Texas at the East Williamson County Higher Education Center on Innovation Boulevard.
“I was surprised at the machinery that is here,” Wright said. “It’s hands-on and being a hands-on learner, I enjoyed seeing that.”
“We want our visitors to learn about the unique partnership we have,” said Edgar Padilla, provost of TSTC in Williamson County “We want them to learn about programs and services here and the opportunities that are here.”
The high schools were divided into four groups that rotated between laboratory tours and information sessions on admissions and financial aid. Information tables were set up for Career Services and Student Life.. Culinary Arts students from TSTC grilled hot dogs for students and made pasta, chicken and green beans for counselors.
Barbara Spelman, principal at New Hope High School in Leander, brought eight students to the event. She said students need to know their options when choosing careers, specifically those in critical-need areas like science and technology.
“I want them to be exposed to as many post-secondary options as possible,” Spelman said. “I think it is super important for our students to understand what types of programs are available at Texas State Technical College.”
Alex Patlan, a counselor at Hutto High School, said a college-going culture is emphasized as early as ninth grade with parental involvement and dual enrollment courses. Counselors regularly promote completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and the online ApplyTexas form.
“I hope they are motivated to come up with a plan for their postsecondary work,” Patlan said. “We want them to have a good future.”
Asomo Ramadan, 18, a senior at Hutto High School, said he lives five minutes away from EWCHEC but was not familiar with what was inside the building. He said he was pleasantly surprised at the preview event.
“I want to study business management,” Ramadan said. “I want to go for the two years here and then transfer. I want to be close to home after high school.”
Phoibe Usabimana, a freshman at Eastside Memorial High School in Austin, said she was familiar with TSTC in Waco and enjoyed seeing what EWCHEC had to offer. She said TSTC had a good engineering program which said could help her prepare for the biotechnology field.
TSTC in Williamson County offers certificates and associate degrees in Computer Technical Support, Culinary Arts, Cyber Security, Database Administration Programming, Global Communications System Installer, HVAC Technician, Industrial Electrical Systems, Industrial Maintenance, Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology, Precision Manufacturing Technology and Welding Technology.
Registration is ongoing for Summer and Fall semesters at TSTC. Log on to apply.tstc.edu and tstc.edu/admissions for more information.