BY Amanda Sotelo

Texas State Technical College continuously aims at providing all of its students with training that includes the latest technologies being used in the industries. Recently, two programs at TSTC have made big investments for their students to prepare them for the workforce after graduation.

Telecommunications Technology and Architecture Design and Engineering Graphics have purchased drones that are the same ones used by companies their students have the possibility of working for after graduating from their programs.

“Having the opportunity of making this purchase and investment for our students in invaluable,” said David Sanchez, instructor for telecommunication technology. “This allows us to expose them and get them familiar with equipment they will use when they enter the workforce.”

The classes within telecommunications currently incorporating the drone into curriculum is Wireless Fundamentals and Introduction to Telecommunications. Students are given step by step instructions on how to properly handle the drone. This latest technology is then used to teach students how to complete aerial inspections of sub towers, compile the photos taken during flight and translate them into inspector reports.

“These drones are already being used by prominent companies such as AT&T, which hires a large number of our students,” said Sanchez. “This not only makes an inspector’s job easier, but it also reduces accidents out in the field.”

Sanchez said his department is also using the drone for research and recruitment purposes, to attract more students to the program.

“Everything is telecommunications, we use it every day,” said Sanchez. “And it’s not going anywhere as long as we all want to stay connected.”

With similar use, but under a different concept, Architecture Design and Engineering department chair David Campos has also included a drone in a couple of his classes.

Currently, the students in his Civil Design and Surveying courses use a drone to study land patterns and elevations. Students design the program that will control the drone and the readings it provides for their reports. Because this drone is designed to break apart at landing, they also learn how to assemble it.

“This is new technology in the Valley in terms of industry,” said Campos. “Our job is to expose our students to the changing technology.”

Campos said the drones cut the surveying workload in half, but he still makes it a point to train students on the traditional surveying systems.

“In order for students to truly appreciate the advantages of technology, they need to know traditional systems also,” said Campos. “It’s important that they become well-rounded in all aspects of surveying equipment.”

Francisco Gallegos, a student in Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics, said the training he received in this program has prepared him for the workforce. He expects to graduate in August 2016.

“Everything we’re learning how to use, like the drone, definitely opens doors for us,” said Gallegos. “Not a lot of programs have this type of opportunity, but here at TSTC we have every option available to us.”

For more information on Telecommunications Technology call 956-364-4732.

For more information on Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics call 956-364-4694.

Registration for summer and fall 2016 begins April 4. Apply online anytime at