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TSTC Ready to Welcome Students Back This Fall in North Texas

August 07, 2020 by Daniel Perry

(RED OAK, Texas) – Students attending Texas State Technical College’s North Texas campus will see differences in how they learn and interact as they start the fall semester on Monday, Aug. 31.

“I think the exciting part of the fall to me is we have new students coming to campus to begin their educational journey,” said Marcus Balch, provost of TSTC’s North Texas campus. “The new students, the returning students, the faculty and staff all get to participate in rebuilding the economy of Texas.”

Students will see ample signage promoting campus health and safety, as well as more hand-sanitizing stations. Students will need to wear face coverings at all times, and go in and out of designated entrances and exits at the Jim Pitts Industrial Technology Center. There will be more social distancing in labs. Students will not be allowed on the second floor.

One of the biggest changes is how classes will be taught, which began being modified in late March.

Programs that will be taught in an all-online format are Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology, Computer Networking and Systems Administration, and Cybersecurity.

Programs that will be taught in a hybrid format are Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Power and Controls; Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Industrial Systems – Electrical Specialization, Precision Machining Technology and Welding Technology. 

“The only time the students will be on campus is to complete the labs,” said Matthew Dobbs, an instructor in TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program. “This will allow the students that work to either have all afternoon or morning to work, or several weekdays  to allow for more work time.”

Tutoring will be available virtually. Students will need to go to TSTC’s student portal and click on the tutoring icon to fill out a form requesting help. The tutoring staff will connect students virtually to statewide tutors in their subject areas.

One thing that is not changing is TSTC’s commitment to its students.

Career Services is going virtual with its employer spotlights, career preparation workshops and one-on-one meetings with students using Webex and Google Meet.

“Since virtual platforms are the latest and most effective way of communication to ensure social distancing, students are going to have to adapt and get comfortable with speaking in front of a webcam and being spoken to from a computer monitor or laptop,” said Adrian Castanon, a TSTC Career Services coordinator.”

Castanon will have on-campus office hours each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Aug. 12. He will also be available virtually to work with students Monday through Friday.

Registration for the fall semester is underway.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Ready to Welcome Students Back This Fall in Williamson County

August 07, 2020 by Daniel Perry

(HUTTO, Texas) – Students attending Texas State Technical College’s Williamson County campus will see differences in how they learn and interact as they start the fall semester on Monday, Aug. 31.

Students will see ample signage promoting campus health and safety, and social distancing will be practiced in labs. Students will also have designated entrances and exits at the East Williamson County Higher Education Center. Face coverings will be required on campus at all times. 

One of the biggest changes is how classes will be taught, which began being modified in late March.

The Cybersecurity program and the first-semester college preparation course will move online.

The Culinary Arts, Industrial Systems, Precision Machining Technology, Welding Technology and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology programs will teach in a hybrid format, with on-campus labs and online lectures and tests. 

The new format is something Nelson Adams, lead instructor in TSTC’s Culinary Arts program, is excited about. The revamped curriculum will teach students what Adams said employers are looking for, graduates who have sound customer service and soft skills, along with the ability to ask for help and accept feedback.

“There will be a social aspect as they (students) share their discoveries with their cohort by way of short videos or posts,” Adams said. “Our students will be learning a full dimension of the industry that they are entering. Culinary Arts students will not just be watching videos. Instead, they will be studying recipes, costing out ingredients, researching cultures, and coming into the lab to demonstrate what they have learned by cooking the food they understand in a whole new spectrum.”

Tutoring will be available virtually. Students will go to TSTC’s student portal and click on the tutoring icon to fill out a form requesting help. The tutoring staff will connect students virtually to statewide tutors in their subject areas.

Something that is not changing is the commitment to students.

“Career Services is always here to help students, pandemic or not,” said Hunter Henry, a Career Services associate at the Williamson County campus. “From our side of things, students can feel safe in knowing that we can do practically all of our work with them without needing to be in the same room. On top of that, we still have employers hungry for the kinds of skills we teach here at TSTC.”

Registration for the fall semester is underway.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

Dental assistant course to be offered at TSTC’s Abilene campus

August 07, 2020 by Ben Barkley

(ABILENE, Texas) – To help fill the need for dental assistants, Texas State Technical College will offer a special workforce training program this fall.

The nine-week course will be held in Abilene and include 100 hours of classroom instruction and 40 clinical hours. Classes are scheduled to begin Sept. 21.

“The purpose of the program is to familiarize students with all areas of administrative and clinical dental assisting, focusing on the responsibilities required to function as an assistant in a dental practice,” said Cindy Brunett, TSTC’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education project manager.

Nationwide, there is a need for health care-related services, including dental assistants.

“With a workforce of over 300,000 strong, dental assisting ranks as the fourth-fastest-growing occupation in the health care technician field,” Brunett said.

To be eligible for the program, students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED. Brunett said students must also provide their own scrubs and pass a background check.

During the program, students will learn about dental office policies and guidelines, legal aspects of the practice, dental equipment and tooth structure.

One reason for offering the fast-track program was to attract military spouses in the Abilene area.

“When the students complete the course, they will be able to get their national certification,” Brunett said. “If they move from Dyess Air Force Base, they will be recognized as a dental assistant if they pass the certification.”

Upon course completion, students will be prepared to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exam, Radiation Health and Safety exam and DANB Infection Control exam, she said.

Tuition costs include the textbook, Texas State Board of Dental Examiners exam fees and proctoring, a CPR certification course and the 40-hour clinical externship.

Brunett said with unemployment rates still near all-time highs, people are looking for a career opportunity.

“The need for these fast-track programs is especially high right now. This is the perfect time to roll out a program like this,” she said. “Many people may be looking at a career change, and this is a good first step.”

Plans are to hold classes in person this fall with all safety protocols in place to allow for social distancing. Brunett said that could change if required by state or local officials.

“We will have the capability to provide this program online,” she said. “Right now, the program is open on a first-come, first-served basis, and we are excited to provide this to our community.”

For more information on the course, contact Teresa Adames at teresa.adames@tstc.edu or Brunett at cindy.brunett@tstc.edu.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.

Wind Energy Technology instructor helps students reach for the sky

August 07, 2020 by Naissa Lopez

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Inspired by his own educators when he was a student at Texas State Technical College, Eutiquio Calderon is now paying it forward as an instructor for TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program. He is not only a mentor for his students, but also someone who constantly encourages them to reach for the sky.

“I am strict as an instructor, but I am also easy to get along with,” he said. “I encourage those who need it, praise students who deserve it, and always give a helping hand to those who ask for one.”

Calderon’s wife once reminded him of his goal to become an instructor after he graduated from college.

“Years ago, my wife told me that I mentioned that I wanted to gain work experience so that one day I could come back and become an instructor,” he said. “Four years later, I am here loving what I do — helping others achieve their education and career goals.”

Seeing students grow intellectually through their education is one of his favorite aspects of being an instructor.

“My students are like my children,” he said. “I see them grow as individuals in the year and a half that they are in my courses. I enjoy receiving emails from them saying that they are enjoying my classes. I have even received pictures from some beautiful wind farms that they are working in.”

Calderon said he enjoys celebrating educational milestones with his students.

“Some of my favorite memories are the graduation ceremonies,” he said. “Students are happy to be moving forward in their lives and are celebrated by friends and family. Some of them even ask me to be in their photos. It’s a proud feeling.”

Calderon’s passion also comes from a very personal anecdote that he takes with him into the classroom.

“I advise them with the mentality that my grandmother, Julia Calderon, would give to me: ‘Lo mas importante en la vida es la educacion,’” he said. “The most important thing in life is education.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind energy technology is expected to grow exponentially through 2028 and beyond.

To learn more about the program at TSTC, visit https://www.tstc.edu/programs/WindEnergyTechnology.

TSTC alumna brings taste of Colombia to the Valley

August 07, 2020 by Naissa Lopez

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Inspired by the coffee farm on which she was raised in her native Colombia, Johanna Lozano began her coffee company, Cafe Canasto, in 2018.

Lozano received her Associate of Applied Science degree from Texas State Technical College in Business Management Technology in 2015. She went on to work for the Texas Department of State Health Services before resigning in 2018 to make her love for coffee her full-time job.

“I grew up on a coffee farm in Colombia,” she said. “I have always been passionate about coffee. I saw the opportunity to start importing my own coffee, so I created the Cafe Canasto brand.”

For 1 1/2 years, Lozano catered and distributed her coffee brand all over the United States. This year she opened her own coffee shop in Brownsville to serve an array of Colombian treats and coffee creations.

“After seeing how well people were embracing a different culture and our Colombian food and drinks, I decided to open my shop,” she said. “Cafe Canasto finally opened its doors to the public in March.”

This important chapter in her life could not have been accomplished without those who are most important to her.

“I have loved my entrepreneurial journey very much,” Lozano said. “My husband has been my biggest supporter, and the community has truly given us their love.”

Some of Lozano’s fondest moments are the extracurricular activities she participated in at TSTC.

“Serving as the student government president left me with many great memories,” she said. “It not only allowed me to advocate for students, but I grew tremendously as a person.”

Student government was not the only opportunity that she had to reveal her leadership ability.

“Because of TSTC, I was able to become involved with the community,” Lozano said. “I was able to go to Washington, D.C., to meet other student leaders from all over the nation.”

Lozano said her time at TSTC gave her a learning experience that benefits her business venture, and the support she received outside the classroom is something she holds dear.

“TSTC is not only a great school that provides you with the necessary tools and knowledge to succeed, but the leaders there are very supportive, and that really makes a difference in students’ lives,” she reiterated. “Honestly, I could write a book about all the help and professional tools I received at TSTC.”

Cafe Canasto is located at 4008 Paredes Line Road in Brownsville.

To learn more about TSTC’s Business Management Technology program, visit https://tstc.edu/programs/BusinessManagementTechnology.

Texas State Technical College 3801 Campus Drive Waco, Texas 76705 254-799-3611
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