(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College recently introduced the Rapid Industry Skills and Employability, or RISE, program that allows students to train for a new job in as little as 7 1/2 weeks. Upon completion, students receive an Occupational Skills Award, which gives them the credentials to head off into their new career.

One of the RISE programs is Basic Web Design. The online program teaches students the basics of interface design and web programming.

Statewide department chair Shannon Ferguson and lead instructor David Trower discussed the benefits and components of the accelerated curriculum.

“Students will learn basic HTML and CSS skills so they can do editing of existing (computer) code and write some new code themselves,” Trower said. “They will also be given an introduction to JavaScript as a client-side language to manipulate HTML and CSS inside the web browser.”

The program also touches on other aspects that average users never know are happening behind the scenes of the web pages they visit.

“Students learn how to create the user interface of websites, using wire frames and mock-ups created in Adobe XD and Adobe Photoshop,” he said. “Finally, they learn the development life cycle of web design, and how to use WordPress to create blog posts, pages, and basic WordPress administration.”

Despite being online, students in this program can expect to receive the hands-on support that TSTC is known for.

“The instructors of the Web Design and Development department are firmly committed to our students in providing them the same support that we provided our students when we were face to face,” Trower said. “We have continued our open-door policy to our students through virtual meetings, video conferences, email, Google Hangouts, and videos. We pride ourselves on being accessible to our students outside of the classroom.”

Ferguson reiterated the importance of communication between student and instructor.

“We constantly encourage our students to stay in regular communication with us,” he said. “We offer our students engagement opportunities by providing weekly question-and-answer forums, live virtual sessions, virtual office hours, and rapid response to students’ questions and inquiries. Beyond that, we monitor student activity and reach out to our students at the earliest signs of struggles.”

He added that the e-learning format offers a new level of convenience for many students.

“An online aspect opens the door to students to take our program where they are,” he said. “They are not limited by geography, time of day, or life circumstances. Our online program gives them the flexibility to work our program into their busy schedules.”

To learn more about the Basic Web Design Occupational Skills Award, visit https://www.tstc.edu/programslist/rise.

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