(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Attending Texas State Technical College has helped many students achieve their goals for their careers and lives. Alyssa Valdez is hoping the same can be said for her once she graduates from TSTC with her heavy truck specialization associate degree in Diesel Equipment Technology.
Valdez is a third-semester student. Originally from Granbury, she lives in West Columbia while attending TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus. She decided to attend TSTC as a leap of faith, and she has been loving it every step of the way.
What made you choose TSTC and the Diesel Equipment Technology program?
Right after high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to travel, and buses are diesel, so I thought I might as well take a diesel class. I looked up the schools that offered a diesel program and saw TSTC was one of the best. I thought I would try it out.
I was originally attending up in Waco, but transferred here because of finances. I knew nothing about vehicles before coming here. But I thought it would be fun and interesting to learn. I plan to eventually take other programs, like welding. I like the mix of programs. Before attending I was not a hands-on type of person, but I love it now. It is something I want to do for a while.
What have you enjoyed about the program so far?
There aren’t many women in the field. But despite that, no one treats me differently. We are all learning here. I love it.
What are you looking to do once you make it through the program?
My dream is to travel and live on a bus, so I wanted to know how to fix it and keep it running. I came to TSTC so that I could learn that. More than that, I want to become a traveling mechanic. If something breaks down on the highway or elsewhere, I could show up in my bus and fix the issue. I thought that would be a cool career opportunity.
What is something you are hoping to learn as you continue?
I am the kind of person who wants to know everything. I can’t say there is one thing in particular I’m looking for. I do hope I will keep getting better at studying and the online portion of the class. Reading about engines can be difficult since they are so complex. The hands-on portion, however, really helps me understand what I am reading better.
Diesel Equipment Technology is available at TSTC’s Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. Depending on campus location, the program offers Associate of Applied Science degrees with different specializations, as well as several certificates of completion and a Basic Diesel occupational skills achievement award.
The program is one of nine Money-Back Guarantee programs in which tuition is refunded if the participating graduate has not found employment in their field of study within six months of graduation.
According to onetonline.org, diesel engine specialists in Texas can earn a median salary of $47,850 a year. The website projected that there would be a 19% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.
For more information about TSTC, go to tstc.edu.