(HUTTO, Texas) - Texas State Technical College’s East Williamson County campus hosted more than 30 eighth-grade students from Taylor Middle School for a tour on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
The students visited the Industrial Systems – Mechanical Specialization and Precision Machining Technology programs. These programs are what the Taylor Independent School District has chosen for its students to take part in as part of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program starting this fall.
“It’s good for them to come in and get exposed so they can visually understand what goes on behind the scenes,” said Albert Martinez, an instructor in TSTC’s Industrial Systems – Mechanical Specialization program.
During the tour, students saw Apolinar Ruiz, an instructor in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program, demonstrate how to use a computer numerical control machine and a 3D printer to make small parts.
“It’s easier for them to understand the concept,” Ruiz said about the students seeing the program’s equipment. “I can explain more in-depth.”
Some of TSTC’s instructors visited the middle school last fall to introduce their programs to students. Misty Houston, the school district’s college, career and military readiness coordinator, said students who were on the tour signed up to attend the field trip based on their interest in the technical programs.
Beginning in the 2023-24 academic year, the district’s students selected for the P-TECH program can take high school courses along with TSTC classes in the two programs. The goal is for seniors to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in either Industrial Systems – Mechanical Specialization or Precision Machining Technology.
The high school students will take the same curriculum as TSTC’s students.
“We are not lowering our standards,” said Nelson Adams, associate provost of TSTC’s East Williamson County campus.
The deadline for Taylor ISD students to apply for the P-TECH program is Feb. 28.
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.