(ABILENE, Texas) – More than 200 high school students had the chance to interact with the latest technology during Texas State Technical College’s Industrial Technology Center open house on Friday, March 25.
Students discussed career pathways with different instructors and learned about various services provided by TSTC. It was the first in-person open house at TSTC’s Abilene campus since 2019.
Daniel Martin, TSTC’s director of student recruitment in West Texas, said the feedback from counselors and teachers was positive.
“The counselors and teachers were proud that we are hosting events like this,” he said. “It gives high school students the chance to see life on a college campus so they can make a decision about their future career plans.”
High school counselors had a shared goal for the students in attendance: direction.
“For a lot of our students, they do not realize the jobs that are out there,” said Sherri McMillan, the counselor at Newcastle Independent School District. “TSTC is training the students for the needed fields.”
Stacey Dement, a student services representative with Eula Independent School District, had the same mission.
“We want to show the students there are lucrative jobs out there,” she said. “We wanted to show them they can go to work by earning a two-year degree. This open house gives them a better perspective of what is available.”
Dement said many of her students made notes during the open house.
“They picked out their favorite programs so they will be getting more information,” she said.
Kenton Perryman, a senior at Eula High School, did not have to take many notes. He is currently a dual enrollment student in TSTC’s Industrial Systems program.
“I am going to be coming to TSTC to earn my certification,” he said. “I plan to work on owning my own business in metal and wood artwork and design. I think I have a natural talent for that.”
Perryman attends TSTC once a week and hopes others join him.
“I would like to see more people learn the trades provided here,” he said.
Industrial Systems instructor Terry Steelman was happy to see Perryman show his high school classmates around the department.
“He was showing his buddies around the lab and showing them what he has been learning,” he said.
Perryman said he had not been aware of all the services that TSTC provides to its students.
“It was really good to see what was available for us,” he said. “This gives us a general idea of what we can expect, like housing and student services.”
One area that many students were attracted to was the Wind Energy Technology turbine simulator, where they could rappel down the side.
Current TSTC student Isaias Lopez helped students up the ladder to the top of the simulator, as well as when they rappelled down the side. He said interest in the program grew as the day went on.
“This gave students a chance to dip their toes in the program,” he said.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.