North Texas campus provost, Marcus Balch

(RED OAK, Texas) – Marcus Balch, provost of Texas State Technical College’s North Texas campus, has a vision for how the campus can grow in 2023.

Balch has worked at TSTC for 22 years and been the North Texas campus’ provost for the last seven. During his time with TSTC, he has seen the campus grow in many ways. One such way is being more supportive of students and alumni.

“I think that the emphasis on really supporting our graduates, making sure that they’re presented with top-notch career opportunities, and providing assistance to get them through interviews and resume writing …  has really taken some big strides,” Balch said.

With this past growth in mind, in 2023 Balch envisions TSTC’s North Texas campus growing in ways that could best help reach his central goal, a goal that also happens to be TSTC’s mission: “Placing more Texans in great-paying jobs.”

“If we can increase the number of people that we’re training and give them the ability to earn more money, if we can increase those two numbers, then I think ultimately everything that we’re doing here is running us in the right direction,” Balch said.

To achieve this central goal, Balch wants to increase community partnerships and expand workforce training on the North Texas campus.

The Ellis County school districts are a primary area for community partnerships. TSTC has now partnered with seven schools for dual enrollment courses. This year, the campus is also housing three additional career and technical education program classes. Both partnerships bring hundreds of high school students to campus every day, allowing them to witness some of what TSTC does.

“Theoretically (they are) seeing what we do and hopefully gaining interest in what we do,” Balch said, “and hopefully wanting to tell their brother or their cousin or their friend about what we’re doing over here, and just create awareness for that.”

Balch also plans to expand workforce training on the North Texas campus. TSTC offers noncredit workforce training courses for those who want to update their skills without enrolling in traditional college classes. Balch said that the goal is to blend the noncredit and credit courses together so that the terms “noncredit” or “for credit” become solely “back-office talk.”

“It’s all training and transitioning toward the performance-based education, the competency style,” he said. “It really doesn’t matter if you’re a student fresh out of high school or you’ve worked in the field for 20 years, the competency is the competency. The training is going to be the same.”

With a focus on these areas, whether for traditional or nontraditional students, Balch believes that TSTC students will receive better jobs with better pay, leading to growth for TSTC’s  North Texas campus in return.

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