2S0A0748 372x451 - TSTC Electrical Lineworker alum gives back as instructor

(MARSHALL, Texas) – A Texas State Technical College Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology alumnus recently returned to the college to give back as an instructor in the program.

Brandon Dickerson graduated from TSTC’s Marshall campus and in September 2022 returned to become an instructor. He said one of the main reasons he wanted to teach at TSTC was because of the growth in the program that he has seen.

“I came through this program about eight years ago,” Dickerson said. “Back then it had one instructor and six students. Now we have seven instructors and I think 170 students. Seeing how much it was growing and being able to still use my knowledge in linework, to get out of the field and to give back, basically just to share my knowledge of what I learned and the right and the wrong ways and show the students (is why I wanted to come back).”

Statewide lead for the Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program Eric Carithers had Dickerson as a student and said he has enjoyed seeing him in an instructor role.

“Seeing him go out and achieve what he’s achieved, the years of experience he’s gotten, and getting to journeyman level, it’s kind of cool to see somebody progress to a level in their life that they can come and give back to other students,” he said.

It is that ability to give back to the students that Dickerson said he has enjoyed so much about his new role.

“I enjoy watching these kids work and start the beginning of their careers,” he said. “It’s really cool to come to this program and to turn around and teach what I’ve learned over the eight years that I did it.”

Dickerson’s students have noticed and appreciated the dedication that he puts into his role. Students Chuck Yocom and Clay Salley both commented on the amount of time that Dickerson dedicates to his students.

“I think it’s cool that he drives an hour and a half over here,” Salley said. “He lives a long way away from here, but he’s still happy to be here every day and is just ready to help us with whatever we need.”

Yocom said something similar, commenting on Dickerson’s willingness to help.

“He’s out here every day after class with us,” he said. “He’ll be here for two hours with us. If you say you need help with something, you can go up there and he’ll take you off to the side and tell you how to do it.”

Carithers commented that even as a student, Dickerson was helping out other students and showing leadership qualities.

“He did work with others,” Carithers said. “Lots of times our instructors can sometimes be our students.”

Dickerson has been impressed by his students’ dedication.

“It’s watching them learn, and how some of them really enjoy it, pick things up real quick, and put in a hundred percent effort every day and get better,” he said. “I didn’t expect to see that when I came here, but it’s my favorite part.”

According to onetonline.org, electrical power-line installers and repairers can earn an average annual salary of $63,770 in Texas. The website projected that there would be a 24% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at its Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses. The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which refunds participating graduates their tuition if they are not hired in their field within six months of earning their degrees.

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

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