Quitman High School junior Cole Papez plans to attend TSTC’s Marshall campus after he graduates. He hopes to enroll in both the Cybersecurity and Business Management Technology programs. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Marshall campus opened its doors to East Texas high schoolers on Thursday, March 7, for TechXperience Day, the college’s open house. 

Guided by the campus’s instructors and recruitment staff, the high schoolers discovered how successful their futures could be with a TSTC education.

Sarah Jane Walker, a career and technical education counselor for Tyler ISD, paid her eighth visit to the Marshall campus with her students in tow. The school district’s Career and Technology Center has several programs in common with TSTC that Walker says helps students with transferring into college.

“(TSTC’s) programs are really good,” Walker said. “The students get a lot of personal attention and high-skill and high-wage jobs. It’s kind of a hidden gem.”

Quitman High School junior Cole Papez attended TechXperience Day in search of a place to pursue his gifts in information technology. After seeing all that the Marshall campus has to offer, he now plans to join both the Cybersecurity and Business Management Technology programs after graduating from high school.

“Cole is a great hands-on learner; he was taking apart motherboards when he was 10,” Haley Papez, Cole’s mother, said. “(TSTC) is organized, welcoming, it’s pleasing to the eye, everybody is very helpful and encouraging. That’s the immediate feeling you get — you’re wanted here.”

Many students at Margie Chumbley Academy for Success in Nacogdoches are not interested in the traditional four-year college experience. Second-time TSTC visitor Matt Higgins, a social studies teacher at the academy, said he brings his students to the Marshall campus to provide them with alternative options and because many of them are interested in the Welding Technology and Diesel Equipment Technology programs.

“We brought a group here last year, and we had a very good experience and the kids loved it, so we came back,” Higgins said. “I think (TSTC) is fantastic. What is being done here is such an opportunity for so many students.”

Homeschooled high schooler Grae Schellenberg and his family had planned to visit TSTC’s Computer Programming Technology program since he takes dual credit classes in it. However, the family was left amazed by all of the programs that the Marshall campus offers.

“Everyone’s been super nice, the teachers are super knowledgeable, and (the campus) is really easy to navigate,” Racheal Schellenberg, Grae’s mother, said. “It’s been an awesome experience.”

To schedule a tour at TSTC, go to tstc.edu/visit-campus-form.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.

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High schools from all over East Texas were in attendance for TSTC’s TechXperience Day at the Marshall campus on Thursday, March 7. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)
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