man in plaid shirt working on light switch with two people watching

(ABILENE, Texas) – For one day, Abilene Independent School District seniors had the opportunity to see what it was like being a college student.

“We wanted to expose our students to the postsecondary experience, and show them that TSTC (Texas State Technical College) is a fantastic option to get an education and into the workforce,” said Jay Ashby, director of Abilene ISD’s LIFT (Leadership and Innovation in Future Technologies) Center.

Nearly 80 high school seniors spent the day conducting hands-on projects led by TSTC instructors. Activities ranged from welding to building a car that would have to use sensors to make its way around a track.

“Our goal was to inform students of the fact that there are great technical careers in Abilene,” said Kyle Smith, TSTC’s senior advisor to the deputy chancellor. “At the end of the day, it was all about continuing to provide a workforce for the economic development of Abilene.”

Students had the chance to work with instructors from theElectromechanical Technology, Emergency Medical Services, Industrial Systems, Welding Technology and Wind Energy Technology programs.

Ashby said many students enjoyed their time learning how to change a light switch or riding in the ambulance simulator.

“I wanted them to get that hands-on experience. This was a highlight of what TSTC has to offer students,” he said. “It was also good for the students to know what is available next door to where they go to high school.”

Nick Williamson, TSTC’s student recruiting coordinator in West Texas, said hosting an event with hands-on experiences was valuable for his team.

“We were able to get students immersed in what it was like to be a college student for one day,” he said. “It was exciting to see how much they enjoyed the different activities.”

A second Abilene ISD Day is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 15. The TSTC programs scheduled to be showcased during the event are Aircraft Powerplant Technology, Automotive Technology, Computer Networking and Systems Administration, Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Power and Controls and Occupational Safety and Environmental Compliance.

For more information about TSTC, visit

AISD 4 200x300 - Abilene ISD students become TSTC students for one day

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