(ABILENE, Texas) – More than 400 high school students learned that Texas State Technical College offers training opportunities in many career fields.
Students visited with instructors and completed hands-on activities during a Fall Preview Day on TSTC’s East Campus in Abilene on Thursday, Nov. 3. The event was organized by the college’s Student Recruitment department to showcase some of the programs that are taught throughout the state.
Jason Lawson, principal of Tolar High School, took time to visit each program for one reason.
“I brought students who were interested in welding,” he said. “It was great to see the different programs available. I would have brought a plethora of students to learn about these programs.”
Lawson later learned that TSTC would host a second Fall Preview Day on Dec. 1 at the Sweetwater campus.
“This was a great opportunity for our students to see there are different opportunities available to them,” he said. “In today’s society, you can make more money by going to a technical school and not have all of the college debt.”
Melissa Wilson, a counselor with Eastland High School, was happy to see one student find a career opportunity with Automotive Technology.
“It was good to see him find something he was passionate about,” she said. “Being from a small town, sometimes students do not grasp all of the opportunities available to them.”
Kay Ribble, a counselor at May Independent School District, wanted her students to see the different programs available at TSTC.
“I wanted them to be interested in different programs,” she said. “For those that do not know exactly what they want to do, this gave them a chance to see what they could do.”
Nick Williamson, TSTC’s coordinator of student recruitment, said he hopes that students left with a good idea of what TSTC can offer them.
“We want to give them a real-life feel for our programs,” he said. “It was a chance to let them see what kinds of experiences we can provide for them.”
One of the popular stops was the Industrial Systems lab, where students could build a simple circuit through the guidance of instructor Terry Steelman.
“Everyone had a good time with the activity,” Steelman said. “I looked up at one point and noticed we had more students wanting to learn to put the circuit together. They had a blast doing something they had not done before.”
Kendel Hopper, the agriculture science teacher at May High School, said the event showed his students that they have a variety of career fields available to them.
“It was really eye-opening for me to see what students can do,” he said. “A lot of the students I brought were for welding, but there are other opportunities for them in machining, electrical and plumbing.”
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.