2S0A0230 372x451 - TSTC provides different opportunities for learning

(RED OAK, Texas) – Texas State Technical College offers several ways for students to progress through school.

Different opportunities for learning, such as in-person day or night classes, online programs, hybrid programs that combine in-person and online classes, performance-based education and dual enrollment, provide TSTC students with the option to pick the pathway best suited to their needs.

“We just have so many demographics of people we work with, and everyone has different learning styles,” Marcus Balch, provost of TSTC’s North Texas campus, said. “In this day and age, people just have so much going on and everyone’s situation is different, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all. It’s our job, in my opinion, to be flexible, to adjust to what the market is telling us to do, and to ultimately be able to meet our students where they are and provide them with good employment opportunities after.”

TSTC’s North Texas campus has eight in-person programs, including Computer Networking and Systems Administration, Cybersecurity, Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Power and Controls, HVAC Technology, Industrial Systems, Precision Machining Technology and Welding Technology.

All of the programs, with the exception of Electrical Power and Controls, have both day and night classes. Electrical Power and Controls offers only day classes.

Six of North Texas’ eight programs are offered online and in a hybrid format. These programs include Computer Networking and Systems Administration, Cybersecurity, Electrical Power and Controls, HVAC Technology, Precision Machining Technology and Welding Technology.

Dual enrollment offers the opportunity for high school students to begin their higher education early. 

The benefit of starting dual enrollment is that students can get a head start on a career they may want to pursue,” Amari Armendariez, a TSTC Dual Enrollment recruitment representative, said. “Students get to complete one full semester of college courses for only $33 per credit hour, which is a lot less than other colleges offering dual enrollment programs.” 

Performance-based education, or PBE, is another option for students in the Computer Networking and Systems Administration, Cybersecurity and HVAC Technology programs. PBE can be fully online or set up as a hybrid program. 

“These are self-guided programs,” Justin Cleaver, a TSTC PBE mentor, said. “There is a pacing guide that the instructors have put together to say, ‘Hey, if you generally follow this kind of pace, you’re going to do well. If you go quicker, that’s great too.’”

If a student does not complete a PBE course by the end of the semester for whatever reason, they may enroll in the same course the following semester and pick up where they left off. If a student finishes a course early, they are able to enroll in and begin the next class. 

“With PBE you have students who have just graduated from high school, and then you’ve got students who are 50 years old and are now coming back to school because they have the time to do so,” Cleaver said. 

Balch said because of opportunities like these, TSTC is able to accommodate people’s busy lives.

“By providing different opportunities to engage people at earlier ages through dual enrollment opportunities or after they graduate from high school through competency-based learning, day classes, evening classes or virtual learning, we just meet people where they are,” Balch said.

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

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