(HUTTO, Texas) – More than 20 juniors and seniors at Taylor High School are enrolled this year in free dual enrollment welding classes through Texas State Technical College’s East Williamson County campus.
“It’s a really good opportunity we have,” said Tristin Stewart, a Taylor High School senior. “It feels good to get credits outside of high school (classes) with TSTC.”
Megan Hanson, a TSTC dual enrollment representative, is particularly proud of the students taking on the challenge of the college’s classes. She is a graduate of Taylor High School.
“I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “I am a Taylor Duck, so it’s near and dear to me.”
Scott Bishop, a welding teacher at Taylor High School, received approval from TSTC to teach its curriculum to dual enrollment students. Students stay on their home campus to take classes.
“I think it has been good,” he said. “It is on par with what we have been doing.”
Bishop said his students who are taking dual enrollment classes now will need to figure out if welding is the profession they want to pursue once they graduate.
“There are a lot of welding jobs, and the pay is good,” said Juan Medina, a Taylor High School senior.
Medina and Stewart, along with their senior classmates Johnathan Robles and Justice Tucker, are all scheduled to graduate from high school this spring and attend TSTC’s East Williamson County campus in the fall. .Medina and Robles will be first-generation college graduates once they finish TSTC.
Robles said he wants to stay in the area to work but eventually move to Houston. He also has an interest in learning about business.
“I like working with my hands,” he said. “I’m in automotive (class) also. I like putting things together and being real mechanical.”
Tucker said he wants to attend college close to home because it will save money and he can take advantage of increasing job opportunities in Williamson County.
“I want to start as early as possible,” he said.
Bishop said he plans to host a certified welding instructor in May to test the dual enrollment students so they can receive specific industry certifications.
Taylor High School plans to offer TSTC’s Culinary Arts, Cybersecurity, and Welding Technology programs in the fall, along with TSTC’s Industrial Systems and Precision Machining Technology programs, through the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program.
“The partnership between the Taylor Independent School District and TSTC can provide students today with more precise opportunities in their education and help prepare students for careers while meeting graduation requirements,” said Misty Houston, Taylor ISD’s college, career and military readiness coordinator.
TSTC is proud to showcase the students, staff and faculty who support dual enrollment efforts during Career and Technical Education Month.
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.