Tag Archives: TSTC in Abilene

Computer Programming Technology Coming to TSTC in Abilene

(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College in Abilene will offer a new program of study starting this fall: Computer Programming Technology.

Students who successfully complete the five-semester program will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“We brought the CPT course to Abilene because industries are moving forward to digital and electronic-based needs. This helps us fill a local and statewide need to develop business and industry along with it,” TSTC Associate Provost Justin Price said.

With a majority of modern technology using software programs, job opportunities are endless.

“Computer programming is like the brain of the human body. Just like the brain tells your hands to move, the software tells the hardware what to do. Today hardware is anything from cars, robots, industrial equipment to the laptop sitting on your desk; they all need someone who can program them to work how we need them to,” Tony Torres, lab assistant, said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there is an expected job growth of 24 percent  between 2016-2026 for computer software developers; almost four times the job growth national average.

“The demand for workers in this field will continue to rise as we keep using technology. You can find your niche and work in a team or go solo, or work in the field or in an office,” Torres said.

The program will educate students about six different programming languages such as C++, Visual Basics, C Sharp, Java and more. Students will learn how to apply those languages to be used in online settings or in physical applications.

The program is a hybrid course with a mix of online classes and face-to-face instruction.

Torres encourages anyone interested in learning how to keep the world functioning to apply.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information about TSTC and the many programs offered, go online at tstc.edu.

Computer Programming Technology is coming to TSTC in Abilene. Students can start registering for the fall semester now. 

TSTC Program Fills Diverse Needs in Texas Industries

(ABILENE, Texas) – Why learn just one skill when you can learn multiple?

The Industrial Maintenance Technology program at Texas State Technical College in Abilene is commonly known as the jack-of-all trades program; something both students and instructors says is one of the best selling points of their chosen career field.

“My favorite thing about industrial maintenance is that you always get to work on something new,  whether its related to hydraulics or electrical or welding or pneumatics, you know how to do it all, and work on it all. You’re never bored, that’s for sure,” instructor Daniel Diaz said. 

With over 35 years of shared field experience between Diaz and fellow instructor Demetri Jones, students are getting a true insight to their job demands.

“Daniel and I both are TSTC alumni and we both worked in the field for years. So we get the chance to relate to these students on the level as ‘hey, we’ve been in your shoes’ but also as professionals who know what industry needs and wants now,” Jones said. 

Diaz graduated from TSTC in Brownwood in 2004 and Jones graduated from TSTC in Waco in 2009. Both gentlemen earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas has the highest level of employment for Industrial Machinery Mechanics and Machinery Maintenance Workers with an expected job growth of seven percent between 2016 to 2026. 

“There are so many career fields these students can choose to enter, whether it’s wind energy, oil field, working in a hospital or an office building or a factory, the options are limitless honestly,” Diaz said. 

On top of having a diverse skill set, the class itself is full of students from all walks of life. One student, always gets a laugh that he is older than the instructors he learns from.

“I graduated high school in 1980, before a few of my classmates were even born,” David Cooley, student in Industrial Maintenance said. “This is my first time in college and after working in industrial maintenance for about 30 years and seeing how quickly the technology was changing, I knew I needed the degree from TSTC to stay current.”

Cooley is a Hawley High School alum and is currently pursuing his Associate of Applied Science degree. He is expected to graduate in April of 2020. 

Cooley’s classmate, Caleb Ames is a little younger, but just as excited for what the program has to offer him. 

“I spent a couple years working to figure out what I did and didn’t want to do and I learned I love to work with my hands. This program is great because there are so many job opportunities for us out there and we are working with our hands everyday on something different,” Ames said. 

Ames graduated from Abilene High School in 2014 and is expected to graduate from the Industrial Maintenance program with a Certification of Completion 1 in August 2019.

No matter the age or career goals, the Industrial Maintenance program has a place for you. 

“We welcome everyone. Whether you’ve never touched a wrench or you’ve spent your whole life turning wrenches, we can teach you and we want to see you succeed,” Jones said. 

Diaz and Jones encourage anyone interested in the program to come to the campus and schedule a tour.

Registration for the Fall Semester 2019 has started. 

For more information about TSTC, go online at tstc.edu.

Industrial Maintenance Technology student David Cooley is helping construct a water flow system to that will be used by him and other students.

TSTC Faculty Member Recognized for Excellence

(ABILENE, Texas) – Carly Kahl, senior history instructor and assistant department chair for General Education at Texas State Technical College, was recently recognized for her exceptional service to TSTC with the W.R. Potter Award of Teaching Excellence during the college’s Employee Appreciation Day. 

The Potter Award was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding teaching at TSTC’s four West Texas campuses. Only one winner is selected each year. 

“Carly is a servant-leader who always works to support the core values of TSTC: excellence, accountability, service and integrity.  She challenges her students to not just get by, but to do the very best work possible,” TSTC Provost Rick Denbow said. 

Kahl, a native of Andrews, Texas, said she was trying to figure out who the winner was as the announcements began and was surprised when she realized it was her.  

“I was utterly shocked. I was not anticipating it at all. I started to cry when I walked up to receive it because it’s such an honor,” Kahl said.  

With over 11 years of service to TSTC, Kahl has held various roles in the college but always knew teaching was her calling. She started her career as a technical writer, moved to curriculum design, then became an adjunct instructor. 

Kahl became a full-time history instructor in 2014. She is now working toward her Ph.D. in history at Texas Tech University. 

“For 11 years I’ve watched excellent faculty be recognized for their hard work, and every time the winner has been so deserving. It always encouraged me to want to meet that standard as well as they did,” Kahl said.

Receiving the award was even more special for Kahl because her son, Kyle, was there to witness it.

“I convinced him last minute to go with me, and it was really great for him to get to see that all my hard work had paid off,” Kahl said. 

 To earn the Potter Award, employees must be nominated by their co-workers with supporting letters of recommendation. The winner is selected by an independent third party. 

Terra Alvarado, TSTC’s director of Division Support for Development Education, said her recommendation letter was just one of many supporting Kahl. 

“I was just so impressed with how much work she has put in, not just in her current role, but also with the extra work she volunteers for. She always goes one step further, and she is so reliable,” Alvarado said. 

Kahl said she is excited about her future with TSTC.

“I have such a great team, both local and statewide. They all really do a great job, and we collaborate to make sure the students are getting the best education. I’m excited to see what the next years bring and to keep growing,” she said. 

Kahl encourages her students and her peers to strive for continuous improvement and to keep learning. 

For more information about TSTC, log on to tstc.edu.

Carly Kahl received the  W.R. Potter Award of Teaching Excellence for her exceptional service to Texas State Technical College.


TSTC Instructors Raise Awareness of Educational Opportunities for Children in Foster Care

(ABILENE, Texas) – Young adults who have been in foster care in the state of Texas can go to college for free.
Two Texas State Technical College instructors of Industrial Maintenance, Daniel Diaz and Demetri Jones, are making it their mission to let foster youth know about this opportunity.
The two instructors and their wives are foster parents themselves.
Diaz and Jones are raising awareness of the State College Tuition Waiver available to foster youth currently or formerly under the conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and
Protective Services (DFPS) and for those adopted from DFPS.
The State College Tuition Waiver exempts or waives payment of tuition and fees at state-supported colleges and universities.
In Texas there are more than 30,000 children in foster care, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Many of these children are eligible for a tuition-free college education.
“It’s important to share this information because we see a lot of kids who age out of foster care that didn’t get the buildup that they should have to know they can go to college. (The waiver) is an option, a free option, for them,” Diaz said.
Diaz was adopted by his grandparents as a child. Now he and his wife, along with their four children, have opened their home to foster children.
“We felt called to serve through fostering, and when we learned of this opportunity for these kids, we had to share it,” Diaz said. “We want these kids to know that a technical college is a perfect avenue if the traditional college route isn’t what they want.”
As he and his wife entered the foster care process, Diaz began teaching at TSTC and met fellow instructor Jones, who has adopted two of his three children through foster care and is currently fostering.
“We found out about (the waiver) for our kids, and we want others to know,” Jones said. “My kids were raised around a technical college and have seen the success that I had because of it, and I want that for others.”
Diaz and Jones are both TSTC Industrial Maintenance alumni.
“These (foster) kids all come from different backgrounds, and some have been through some bad things, but they deserve the opportunity to succeed,” Jones said.
For potential students to take advantage of the tuition-free education, they must be enrolled in a state-supported college or university before their 25th birthday.
Foster youth and foster parents are urged to call512-438-5442 to learn more about the State College Tuition Waiver and eligibility requirements.  Or, for more information on TSTC programs, go to www.tstc.edu.
TSTC Instructors Raise Awareness of Educational Opportunities for Children in Foster
From left to right, Daniel Diaz and Demetri Jones are instructors at TSTC in Abilene Industrial Maintenance Technology program. The instructors are raising awareness of education opportunities for young adults formerly in foster care.

Two Employees at TSTC Recognized for Outstanding Service

(Abilene) – Two employees at Texas State Technical College in Abilene have been honored for their dedication and service.

Matt Briggs, the clinical coordinator for the Emergency Medical Services program, and Susan Cowart, an instructor for academic English and Humanities, were selected to receive TSTC’s Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

“The Chancellor’s Excellence Award is a yearly recognition for teammates who consistently go above and beyond their normal job duties to improve our students’, and/or our College’s, success. Matt and Susan display, on a daily basis, these lofty attributes,” Rick Denbow, provost at TSTC in West Texas, said.

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001 and has been given to more than 300 TSTC employees statewide. Recipients are nominated by their peers for their work toward advancing the technical college’s mission.

“The teammates who win this award model excellence for us all and are recognized for both their sound character and for advancing TSTC’s new direction,” TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser said. “Due to their caring and dedicated efforts, TSTC continues to make a difference in the employment success of our students.”

Briggs joined TSTC in 2015 and said he was shocked by the recognition. He says he is determined to find out who nominated him so he can say thank you.

“It’s just such an awesome honor because there are so many people who are doing their job really well, and to be recognized as one of those people makes me want to keep going and do even better,” he said.

Briggs said TSTC has become part of his family and he loves working with people who have the same passion as he has.

“My favorite part of this job is watching our students walk across that stage and graduate because you know they are about to make a positive impact on the world,” he said.

After working as a paramedic for nine years, Briggs felt called to enter the education world and help people in a new way. He hopes to help expand the EMS program at TSTC and spread awareness of the need for more EMS professionals.

Cowart was also surprised to learn she was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Excellence Award.

“I was in a state of shock because I haven’t been here very long, but it felt so validating,” she said.

Cowart began teaching English and Humanities classes at TSTC in 2015. She teaches both online and in-person classes.

“Education is so powerful. And if I can help these students become good communicators, that opens so many doors on top of their technical skills,” she said.

Cowart earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Louisiana State University at Alexandria and her first master’s in English from DePaul University. She decided to pursue a second master’s in Education Technology and Instructional Design from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to better serve her students. She completed the degree while continuing to teach her regular course load.

“I am so glad I am at TSTC in West Texas because there is a definite sense of family and support here. It just makes you want to do your best,” Cowart said.

Briggs and Cowart will join 33 other TSTC employees statewide who will be honored at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration in May in Austin.

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

Matt Briggs, from Texas State Technical College in Abilene, is the Clinical Coordinator for the Emergency Medical Services program. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 
Two Employees at TSTC Recognized for Outstanding Service
Susan Cowart, from Texas State Technical College in Abilene, teaches academic English and Humanities. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 

Houston Company Representatives Visit TSTC’s EPC Program

(ABILENE) – Representatives of a Houston company recently spoke to Electrical Power and Controls program students at Texas State Technical College about industry growth and the jobs outlook.

“We want TSTC students because we know that what they’re learning in the class is what we need in the field. We’ve hired students from TSTC before but this new location means more potential talent,” Alan Postiglione, Business Development Manager for Absolute Testing said.

Founded in 2008, Absolute Testing Services, Inc. has grown from having five technicians to an organization that serves customers internationally. One of the first five technicians was TSTC alumnus Blake Forester.Forester graduated in 2003 from TSTC in Waco with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Instrumentation Technology.

“Absolute drew me in because I would get the chance to start with a company from the ground up,” Forester said. “Since then, it’s been the people who are amazing and that they keep us busy with all different types of work that make me happy to be here.

He is not the only TSTC alumni recruited by Absolute. Cody Lindsey graduated from TSTC in Waco’s Electrical Power and Controls program in 2014 and started working for Absolute.

“You’re never treated like a number. (Absolute) is very family oriented and gives you the chance to learn and grow,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey says if there was any advice he could offer this class of graduates, it was to never be afraid to ask questions and find a company that aligns with your personal goals.

TSTC opened the Industrial Technology Center in Abilene last fall  with new programs in Electrical Power and Controls, Instrumentation Technology and Welding.

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

Houston Company Representatives Visit TSTCs EPC Program

Representatives from Absolute Testing Services, Inc. spoke with TSTC in Abilene Electrical Power and Controls students about career opportunities.