High school counselors get a lesson on technical education opportunities

Almost 50 high school counselors from the Fort Bend County area gathered at the Rosenberg Civic Center March 22 for the first-ever counselors update on Texas State Technical College, which is expanding its programs and physical presence in the area.

“It’s important that area counselors become familiar with our programs, financial aid and admissions processes so they can take that information back to the students and help them make informed decisions on their futures,” explained TSTC Director of Recruitment Dora Colvin.

TSTC has been in the Fort Bend area for 15 years offering heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology, diesel equipment technology and precision machining technology at the Wharton Community College location. Because of industry demand in the region and a skills gap in Texas, TSTC is expanding its program offerings bringing in cyber security, industrial maintenance technology, telecommunications convergence technology and welding technology.

Elkins High School counselor Brian Williams applauded TSTC for expanding in Fort Bend County.

“Fort Bend ISD is building a career technology center so there’s a real fit here. There’s going to be welding, automotive and other programs and I see great opportunities at TSTC for our students,” explained Williams.

Dwana Durgens of Kempner High School pointed out as counselors it is important to be fully informed on financial aid and program offerings.

“It’s our job to go back with the information our students need to make decisions about their futures,” said Durgens. “It’s about making the connections and helping our students connect the dots.

TSTC is in phase one of construction of a 102-square-foot building set to be completed by early June with construction beginning on a second building soon after.

“These buildings will have classrooms, state-of-the-art technical labs uniquely designed for the Fort Bend County and greater Houston area workforce needs,” explained Vice Chancellor and Chief Execution Officer Randall Wooten. “The jobs are there. Our graduates will have an opportunity to be in high-paying skilled jobs.”

To support the community, TSTC announced it will give out five hundred $1,000 scholarships to enrolling students.

“We are investing right back into the community and our students. We also have financial aid and grants,” said Wooten. “We are doing all we can to make sure our students succeed at TSTC and ultimately be prepared for the regional workforce.”

According to TSTC administrators, the campus is projected to expand into a sprawling six to eight building campus that will eventually be able to provide services and support for 5,000 students.

TSTC serves Texas through 10 campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater, Waco and Williamson County. The college celebrated its 50-year anniversary last year. More than 100,000 students have graduated into the Texas workforce.

For more information on TSTC, programs or admissions, go online at tstc.edu or call 281-239-1548.

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