(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Texas State Technical College is unique out of the two-year colleges across the state. With greater hands-on learning opportunities and a more affordable cost of attendance, students graduate better prepared for the workforce.
The Diesel Equipment Technology program at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus is designed to help students understand not only diesel engines, but also all of the other surrounding systems while giving them the experience they need to excel in their careers.
The program focuses on medium- to heavy-duty truck maintenance and repair. Courses include everything from engines and powertrains to brakes, electrical systems, hydraulics and air conditioning. No matter how much experience students enter the program with, they will leave with the knowledge to be successful.
“My favorite thing to tell the students is that as long as they are smarter than what they are wrestling with, they are going to be OK,” said Jose Reyna, one of the instructors. “The students really are allowed to flourish on their own.”
Reyna cited the experience of the instructors at TSTC as being one of the reasons the college is so unique. Each instructor comes from years of experience in the field and is able to utilize that knowledge for the benefit of each student.
“The knowledge I gained from my trials and errors in the field I can bring to the table,” Reyna stated. “I say, ‘Here is what I have done, and this is what I have learned,’ so that they won’t make the same mistakes I may have when I was starting out.”
Many of the students from the program begin their careers at local truck and equipment suppliers and dealers after they graduate. With that said, upon exiting the program, students are equipped to work at any business or industry that works with or on diesel engines and trucks.
In addition to the hands-on training they receive, students also take academic courses including math and composition. These classes give the students a leg up for promotions and a chance for higher-paying jobs later down the line.
Enrollment at the Fort Bend County campus ranges usually from 70 to 80 students a semester. This spring semester brought in nearly 20 additional students, some fresh out of high school and others coming in from the workforce.
The students are in the lab almost every day of class. They begin with some classroom coaching but transition to the equipment and labs shortly after. The class will generally split into groups of three or four students as they huddle around an engine or other piece of equipment to learn how it works.
The Fort Bend County campus is equipped with five different trucks that the students can work on. Additionally, the program recently obtained an engine that rests on a stand. The engine is designed with teaching in mind. It has labels and ways to test things that wouldn’t be seen on a normal engine. It also allows students to see an engine from every angle, something an engine inside a truck cannot provide.
“Every semester I tell the students to keep things simple,” Reyna said. “If you keep things basic and you are smarter than what you are messing with, then you are going to succeed.”
And helping students succeed is what TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program is all about.
Diesel Equipment Technology is offered at the Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. It is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. If a participating graduate does not find a job in their field within six months of graduating, TSTC will refund their tuition.
According to onetonline.org, diesel engine specialists in Texas can earn a median salary of $47,850 a year. The website projected that there would be a 19% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.
For more information about TSTC, go to tstc.edu.