North Texas

(RED OAK, Texas) – Texas State Technical College held its Back-to-School Bash on Thursday at its North Texas campus in Red Oak.

Students, faculty and staff were treated to hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and sodas. Those attending gathered at tables arranged in the first floor hallway of the Jim Pitts Industrial Technology Center.

Marcus Balch, provost of TSTC’s North Texas campus, said there were many things to be excited about as the new academic year begins.

Balch said the number of Red Oak High School students taking dual enrollment classes at TSTC has increased from 75 last year to 125 this year. Also, recruitment and dual enrollment staff from TSTC will be at the high school 20 hours a week to work with students on post-high school plans.

Students will soon be learning in an expanded lab space for the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology program.

Balch said he is pleased to see growth in the Electrical Power and Controls program, which has about 20 TSTC students this semester. The program, along with Computer Networking and Systems Administration, Cyber Security, Diesel Equipment Technology, Industrial Systems and Welding Technology, offers day and night classes.

“We have some quality students coming in,” Balch said.

Christian Correa of Ferris is a first-year Welding Technology student pursuing a certificate. He chose welding because he did it in high school. His goal is to learn as much as he can before graduating and pursuing a job in the oil and gas industry.

“Eventually I want to have a shop with my brother, who graduated from here in Diesel Equipment Technology,” Correa said.

Carlos Barcenas of Venus is also a first-year student studying for a Welding Technology certificate.

“I didn’t have plans after high school but decided to try it,” Barcenas said about attending TSTC. “Everyone treats you different in a good way.”

After graduation, Barcenas wants to get a job doing tungsten inert gas welding.

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