Big Spring Herald

Area HS Students Rack Up College Credit at TSTC


Texas State Technical College Industrial Systems students practice reading blueprints in preparatio­n to create a tool tray.

ABILENE There have been many firsts since Texas State Technical College opened its Industrial Technology Center in Abilene in 2018. But one that has many excited is the first cohort of dual enrollment students starting in the Industrial Systems program.

Five seniors from Eula Independen­t School District started classes in the Industrial Systems program this fall. These students are on campus Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, working in labs as they earn six credit hours.

“This is very exciting for TSTC to have the first dual enrollment cohort of Industrial Systems students ever in West Texas. This will accelerate the amount of time these students need to spend in college and help them enter the workforce sooner. The sky’s the limit for these young men,” Rene Ralston, TSTC director of dual enrollment, said.

The students are taking Introducti­on to Industrial Maintenanc­e and Blueprint Reading and Sketching this semester. In the spring they will take another six hours to graduate from high school with 12 college credit hours.

For Eula ISD counselor Kortni Collins, the program was exactly what these students needed.

“These guys are so smart and have so much potential; they just weren’t being challenged in a traditiona­l, lecture-type classroom. But when we visited the industrial systems program, their eyes just lit up and they were like kids in a candy store,” Collins said.

As excited as the students are, this is a milestone moment for TSTC Industrial Systems instructor Daniel Diaz.

“It just astounds me how much (the Industrial Systems) program has grown in a year. We’ve only been here a year, and I have to remind myself of that because it is awesome to see these guys, still in high school, with the passion and dedication to better their future here,” Diaz said.

With one semester of college complete by the time they graduate from high school, the students could graduate from TSTC with a Certificat­e 1 after taking

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Courtesy photo

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