Tag Archives: Dual Credit

TSTC Student Exemplifies Dual Enrollment Success

(Brownwood) – Education means opportunity, and no one values that more than Alan Acosta, a Welding Technology student at Texas State Technical College in Brownwood.  

Acosta plans to be the first member of his immediate family, who immigrated from Mexico when he was 6, to earn a college degree. He started working on that goal while still a Brownwood High School student, earning college credit through TSTC’s dual enrollment program in welding.

After graduating high school in May 2018, Acosta became a full-time TSTC student working toward a structural welding certificate.

“I first tried welding in middle school and was fascinated by it, but I was pretty horrible,” Acosta said. “But after the classes in high school, I felt a lot more confident, and I’m learning faster now in college.”

The partnership between TSTC and Brownwood High School allows high school students to experience college courses before committing as a full-time traditional student.

“Dual enrollment students become much more experienced in college coursework than other students entering college having never attended a college class, not knowing what to expect,” Rene Ralston, TSTC director of dual enrollment, said. “Brownwood High School is in TSTC’s backyard, so it makes sense to partner with the school.”

TSTC welding instructor Stephen Hope believes that dual enrollment allows students the chance to figure out what they want to do in life and learn what opportunities are available.

“Alan is a determined young man, and he works so hard because he knows that there are so many job opportunities waiting for him,” Hope said. “He will go far because of his determination, and I’m proud of him.”

Acosta encourages anyone interested in getting a well-paying job to pursue their education. “If you have the ambition, you can do it. It may be hard, but you will learn it,” Acosta said. “And the people at TSTC are so helpful and willing to be there for you.”

Acosta’s younger brother, Domingo, is following in his footsteps and is currently enrolled in the welding dual enrollment program at Brownwood High.

Alan Acosta plans to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology at TSTC in Abilene and hopes to graduate in April 2020.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, log on to tstc.edu.

TSTC in Brownwood student Alan Acosta is working on a structural welding certificate after completing the welding dual credit program with TSTC and Brownwood High School.

TSTC in Sweetwater Partners With Local High Schools

(Sweetwater) – It’s time to start the engines and drive toward the future for many area high school students.Thanks to a partnership between their schools and Texas State Technical College, students can earn early college credit.

TSTC established a dual enrollment Automotive Technology program for Brownwood and Snyder high school sophomores, juniors and seniors in the fall of 2018, at no cost to the students themselves.

Those students can earn up to 12 college credit hours toward a certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology and work at a local internship.  

“I feel it’s important for schools to show every viable option to our students and give them a heads-up,” Lindsay Smith, assistant principal at Brownwood High School, said.  “Our long-term hope is that we can get these students internships at facilities in Brownwood and eventually fill a need for auto techs in the community.”

Students attend class at their high school facilities but follow a carefully structured curriculum created by Rudy Cervantez, the statewide department chair for TSTC Automotive Technology.

The curriculum follows the Automotive Service Excellence Educational Foundation Alliance for Maintenance and Light Repair Standards. Students spend their sophomore and junior years working on the curriculum and their senior year working at an internship.  

“Since these schools already offer shop class, why not jump-start these students and have something to show their families that they’re working toward their futures?” Cervantez asked.

TSTC works with the instructors to ensure that they are Automotive Service Excellence-certified and the facilities have the right equipment.

“This is great for the students because it allows them to start early and complete early, and start earning money early,” Brian Lee, automotive instructor at Brownwood High School, said. “They can find their niche and know they’ve got a lot of jobs waiting on them because there is a huge need for technicians.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas is the second-leading state employing automotive service technicians and mechanics.

“It allows us to promote different higher education and career opportunities to the students, which encourages them to do well in school now so they can pursue all the options available to them,” Janell Martin, principal at Snyder High School, said.

Students follow the same syllabi and curriculum as they would if they were in an actual classroom at TSTC.

Brownwood High School has 30 students in the program, while Snyder High School has nine.  

For more information on Texas State Technical College, log on to tstc.edu.

Snyder High School students enrolled in the Automotive dual credit program with TSTC in Sweetwater replace an old car battery.