Breckenridge Texan

Area high school students get hands-on look at TSTC programs

Area high school students get hands-on look at TSTC programs
February 28
07:42 2020

Juniors and seniors from area high schools got a firsthand look at some of the programs offered by TSTC West Texas during an open house Thursday at the Breckenridge campus.

The event provided prospective students with a chance to tour the school’s teaching facilities, meet with instructors and interact with current TSTC students.

Some of the programs that students got a look at included Vocational Nursing, Welding Technology, Business Management Technology, Chemical Dependency Counseling and Occupational Safety Compliance Technology, which are taught at the Breckenridge campus. There were also representatives from programs at some of the other TSTC campuses, including Wind Energy Technology, Computer Programming Technology and Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology.

During Thursday’s event, students were also able to get assistance with signing up for classes and applying for financial aid.

Debbie Karl, TSTC Associate Provost and director of the Breckenridge campus, said that in addition to being able to sign up for the Chemical Dependency Counseling and Business Management Technology classes that are scheduled to start this summer at the Breckenridge campus, students can also register now for any of the programs scheduled for the fall at any of the campuses, They can also apply for financial aid at this time.

According to Karl, the Breckenridge TSTC campus enrollment is holding steady. She said they are anticipating a spike in enrollment in some of the classes. For example, they have 12 dual-credit welding students enrolled right now at Breckenridge High School, and they expect half of those to come over to the TSTC campus to finish the program after they graduate.

Additionally, she said they also expect better enrollment for the Occupational Safety Compliance Technology program because of a growing demand for safety compliance on businesses by insurance companies.

Vocational Nursing program remains strong at Breckenridge campus

The vocational nursing program continues to be the most popular program at the Breckenridge campus, and the demand for nurses remains high. Karl said they have an intake of 30 students each year, and it takes about 16 months to complete the Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) certification.

Once a nursing student has completed the LVN program at the Breckenridge campus, they can enter the workforce or enroll in the Registered Nurse (RN) program at the TSTC Sweetwater campus. After that, they can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing through a partnership between TSTC and the Texas Tech University Nursing School in Abilene.

This fall, Karl said, TSTC will launch a dual-credit nursing program with Breckenridge High School that will be open to junior and senior students.

Karl said TSTC is always evaluating the types of programs they offer, and they work with the business community to make sure they are providing the types of skills employers need.  In order to open a program at the campus, TSTC needs to be able to place at least 10 students a year from that graduating class. They have about a 95 percent job placement for students who graduate from all of their programs.

“I believe we have a good mix of programs for the Breckenridge campus,” she said.

Occupation Safety Compliance Technology instructor Teresa Purcell speaks with Breckenridge High School juniors Destiny Folsom, Elle Jackson and TiPhane Newman during the TSTC open house for area high school students on Thursday. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Photo cutline, top photo: TSTC Vocational Nursing students Ryan Hall (right) and Rebecca Payne (center) talk with Breckenridge High School junior Addison Street while she tries on a pregnancy suit in the TSTC nursing lab during an open house for area high school students. Fellow student Haylee Hight takes her picture. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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