(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Family and friends of 26 IDEA San Benito seniors learned that Texas State Technical College would be the students’ school of choice beginning this fall.

The high school students revealed their decision to attend TSTC during the annual college signing day celebration earlier this month.

“Most of the students said they wanted to attend TSTC for Automotive Technology, Nursing and Dental Hygiene,” said Casey Theivagt, the school’s director of college counseling. “They chose TSTC because it was close to home for them.”

The IDEA Public School system, which was founded in 1998, has a goal for students to enter the first year of college without needing remedial courses in any area. Theivagt said that goal is reached on an annual basis.

“We serve the underserved and low-income students of our communities. We are proud to have a 100% college articulation rate with our students,” she said.

The college signing day event is a way for students to celebrate their college choice while also meeting the school’s goal of having every student prepared for college.

Theivagt said students are required to submit six college applications during their senior year.

“They choose the schools in which to apply, and they choose the school they want to attend,” she said.

Past students have chosen TSTC because of the hands-on programs. Theivagt said students have shown interest in several programs, including Aircraft Airframe Technology, Automotive Technology, Dental Hygiene, Nursing and Wind Energy Technology.

“TSTC offers students a wide range of options,” she said.

Cledia Hernandez, TSTC’s Harlingen provost, said working with IDEA San Benito and other school districts to attract students pays off when she sees them enter the workforce.

“For many years, students believed their only option in higher education was a four-year degree,” she said. “It is great to see the awareness of the benefits and value of technical careers. With 70% of Texas jobs requiring a technical degree, we are excited to work with our secondary education partners to help students transition to our technical programs and prepare them to enter the workforce.”

Theivagt said having TSTC close to its campus is also helpful.

“Students who have toured the campus love what they see,” she said. “They have enjoyed attending events like the open house. The students have had a chance to visit some programs, and that helped them make their choice.”

Registration for the fall semester is underway. Scholarships are available. For more information, visit tstc.edu.


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