BY Amanda Sotelo
Texas State Technical College recently hosted its Ninth Annual TSTC High School Counselor Update with nearly 100 high school counselors from across the Rio Grande Valley and the Coastal Bend in attendance.
The counselor update serves as a half-day program that focuses on the technologies and services TSTC offers. In addition, presentations are made discussing processes or changes in enrollment services, student learning and financial aid.
Counselors were also treated to a tour of the Allied Health building and the new Nursing Education Center.
“Not only is this a way to keep our high school counselors up to date on the many opportunities we have to offer, but it’s our way of saying thank you,” said Dora Colvin, director of recruitment. “They welcome us into their schools to talk to their students. They’re great partners.”
Rolando Gonzalez, Los Fresnos High School counselor, has been attending TSTC’s counselors update for the past four years and said he learns something new every time.
“TSTC does an excellent job keeping us informed and updated,” said Gonzalez. “This is really an educational outlet for counselors and it helps me serve my students better. I have full confidence in TSTC and what they have to offer.”
For Delicia Sanchez, Harlingen High School’s College and Career advisor, this is her second time attending and said she has been impressed with TSTC on more than one occasion.
“Today we got to tour the allied health programs and I can’t wait to take what I learned back to my students,” said Sanchez. “Health professions are growing in popularity and they’re in demand, so learning what I learned about TSTC’s Allied Health program will help me answer my students’ questions and guide them better.”
In addition to hearing from keynote speaker Dr. Michael J. Sandroussi, president of Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend, counselors had the chance to hear a student testimonial made by Cecilia Zebrowski, one of TSTC’s few female students in Tool and Die Technology.
Zebrowski is set to graduate December 2016 with an associate degree in Tool and Die Technology. She already has numerous job offers from Raytheon, Toyota, Space X and United Launch, to name a few. She said she wanted to be an example that counselors could use when speaking with their students about pursuing non-traditional programs.
“I let the counselors know about the types of opportunities and jobs I’ve been offered because of my time here at TSTC,” said Zebrowski. “But I spoke mainly to inspire these counselors to encourage their students and future generations to pursue education locally in non-traditional fields.”
Zebrowski inspired many of the counselors, like Cynthia De la Garza Gonzales, Career and Technology counselor for South Texas Independent School District.
“All of the information we’re getting today is valuable,” said De la Garza. “But I was truly impressed with the young lady who presented her testimony. She is a female in a male-dominated field and she’s succeeding. This will definitely help me inspire other students like her to pursue opportunities like she has.”
Many of the counselors were appreciative to be included in the counselors update. However, Colvin said it is TSTC who should be thanking them.
“We’ve collaborated with these school districts and counselors for many college initiatives,” said Colvin. “We thank them for everything they do for us and for the students. We’re excited to have them here at TSTC. We look forward to working with them and helping their students have a smooth transition to TSTC. “