(HUTTO, Texas) – Hutto High School students with an interest in culinary arts have a quicker pathway to earning an associate degree at Texas State Technical College’s East Williamson County campus through dual enrollment classes.
“Dual enrollment students have the benefit of seeing the culinary world before having to pay,” said Brian Bohannon, a Culinary Arts teaching lab assistant at TSTC. “It has been great having the dual enrollment students from Hutto.”
Dual enrollment enables high school students to take college-level courses as they work toward high school diplomas and earn college semester-credit hours.
Hutto High School’s Culinary Arts program averages 60 students per year. Freshmen and sophomores choose two prerequisite classes before moving on in the Culinary Arts program.
There are two levels of classes within the program that high school juniors and seniors can take. When students become juniors, they can also decide whether to enroll in dual enrollment classes with TSTC’s Culinary Arts program.
“I have a lot of successful students that have gone through my program and have graduated from TSTC’s program,” Said Farraje, a Culinary Arts instructor at Hutto High School, said. “It is something to be proud of.”
Alexis Gamboa is in his second semester in the Culinary Arts program at TSTC. The Hutto High School graduate took dual enrollment classes.
“I didn’t know that the classes had dual enrollment at the start, but when I found out how useful it was, I was elated,” he said. “The classes really helped me be prepared for TSTC and make it so much easier to enroll.”
Gamboa said his TSTC classes have been a good experience.
“The program that we have used for online learning has been very easy to work with and makes classes much easier,” Gamboa said. “I have enjoyed the program so much that I am excited for the next semester and to see what new things I will learn.”
Farraje said he sees a need for trained culinary workers to fill positions as Austin and its suburbs grow. He said having a degree provides graduates with the expertise, knowledge and skills to progress within the culinary industry’s ranks.
“When you get a formal education, it reinforces whatever you are doing,” Farraje said.
TSTC in East Williamson County also has dual enrollment partnerships with Dillard McCollum High School in San Antonio for Automotive Technology, Jubilee Academy in San Antonio for Business Management Technology, Jubilee Academy in Wells Branch for Medical Office Specialist, Liberty Hill High School for Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology and Digital Media Design, and Texas Can Academy in San Antonio for Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology.
According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, more than 151,000 Texas high school students took dual enrollment classes in fall 2017.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.