TSTC 2020 graduates ready to leave their mark despite the pandemic

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College graduates help their communities thrive because of their capacity to dive into their new careers as soon as their college chapters come to an end. The adversity due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted their final semester and commencement is not ideal, but the TSTC spirit is resilient. During its history, TSTC has graduated more than 100,000 students into beneficial careers in their communities, and this year’s graduating class just became part of that accomplishment.

With more than 50 programs and growing, TSTC is equipped to place well-trained graduates into the Texas workforce.

“The skills that our students have developed and perfected because of our current situation are incredible,” said TSTC Provost Cledia Hernandez. “Nothing that comes their way will be too complicated. They will always be able to think in a creative way to get through something.  They were trained for such a time as this.”

A student’s time at TSTC includes not only lifelong memories and new friends but also faculty who are passionate about giving the next generation of the workforce the education and hands-on practice needed to succeed.

“Their instructors have poured so much expertise into them,” said Hernandez. “The years of experience we have within our faculty means our students were prepared by the best of them, and our graduates can now grow their own foundation based on the expertise that they’ve learned.”

Words like “mentor” and “friend” are only a few of the narratives associated with instructors at TSTC. The college campus is brought to life by educators who are their students’ biggest fans.

“Throughout the program, my instructors always encouraged me,” reiterated Emergency Medical Services student Justin Vasquez, who is joining this year’s class of graduates. “They’ve all been a major influence on my success.”

Aircraft Powerplant Technology student Ely Cortina was also inspired by the lessons she received from one of her instructors.

“During lectures, he went over life skills that he believed would ensure our success not only as future employees, but also as functional citizens in our communities,” Cortina said. “He was much more than an instructor; he’s an amazing mentor as well.”

While graduating from college is an extremely exciting time, it is not uncommon to feel the butterflies and nerves that come from one chapter in your life coming to an end. Despite the bittersweet emotions, Hernandez reiterated that TSTC graduates are more than ready for this life-changing journey.

“Trust in the training and skills that you have received,” she said. “Know that you will be able to apply everything that you have learned in a way that will allow you to make a difference in your chosen career, and that everything you’ve learned has equipped you to have an impact not only in the economy, but also in the Texas workforce.”

Even though a traditional commencement ceremony will not take place this spring, candidates who have met all requirements to complete their programs are welcome to join TSTC’s commencement ceremonies postponed until August.

Despite graduation feeling like the end of a journey, one thing that remains constant is that commencement is not goodbye.

“This graduation is not an end,” said Hernandez. “It’s a new beginning. The relationship between TSTC and our students is lifelong. They will forever be a part of the TSTC family.”

To learn more about programs offered at TSTC, visit tstc.edu.