TSTC begins fall semester at a distance

(SWEETWATER, Texas) – It was a different sight for many returning students at Texas State Technical College this week.

Students were greeted with entrance and exit signs, social distancing markers, and signs detailing TSTC’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

“Because of this pandemic, we have to follow these rules,” said Keith Aguirri, a Diesel Equipment Technology instructor in Sweetwater, during a student safety orientation session on Monday. “We are going to make sure each (student) is safe.”

It was a similar message from Welding Technology instructor Taylor Elston, who said students began the day learning safety protocols for classroom and lab sessions.

Lance Eastman, interim provost, said TSTC’s top priority is to keep students, faculty and staff safe while on campus.

“Students are now limited to the areas in the school necessary for their program,” he said. “TSTC has done everything possible to keep our students and faculty safe and assist any student who has struggled in this distance learning transition.”

During the student safety sessions, social distancing was practiced, and in each classroom, only one person sat at a table.

“Having these safety measures in place will make everyone feel better, and we will be working in a safe environment,” said Diesel Equipment Technology student Cade Palmer of Menard.

Daniel McVey, of Blackwell, said he is also happy that TSTC implemented the safety protocols.

“I am glad they are in place. This will allow me to get to work in the lab. The more lab work I can do, the better,” said the Diesel Equipment Technology student.

Automotive Technology students were also greeted with a safety session on the first day.

Layton Mosher, of Loraine, is entering his final semester in the program. He knew this semester would be challenging for him because it would be mainly classroom sessions.

“I am more of a hands-on learning type of person,” he said. “Having to do a lot of classroom work this semester will be challenging for me.”

Like Mosher, Keith Guffie, who is from Lubbock, has completed all of his lab requirements for the program.

“We will be working strictly in the classroom. We will work together to make sure we all come out on top,” he said.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.