Small number of students head back to TSTC to complete coursework

On Monday, May 4, Texas State Technical College was a little less lonely as some students made their way back to campus to finish lab hours required before they graduate.

The return to TSTC was authorized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which has identified career and technical education as one area of education that may continue under Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order No. GA-16. Following strict guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the implementations set forth by the governor, TSTC was allowed to open its doors to students for the first time in seven weeks.

“It feels a little weird because it’s so quiet,” said Emergency Medical Technician student Justin Vasquez.

Vasquez, who is about to wrap up hours for the Emergency Medical Services program, expressed appreciation for how TSTC helped students adjust to continuing their education remotely.

“The virtual meetings with our instructors were awesome,” he said. “We were kept up to date not only on coursework, but also on potential returns to campus. The communication in general was maintained really well.”

Aviation maintenance instructor Leo Guajardo shared the eagerness students are experiencing as they get back to work.

“My students are excited to get back into a rhythm,” he said. “The team and I are ready to make mechanics.”

Several protocols were put into place to ensure that students and instructors were able to get back to learning in a safe environment.

“They’re disinfecting everything before and after we use them,” said Vasquez. “The labs that we’re doing are primarily solo, but the fact that they got us back on campus with all the safety guidelines is amazing.”

The anticipation to get back to campus wasn’t only felt by TSTC students.

“I love my job,” said Guajardo. “I am ready to get to work.”

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