TSC spreads college knowledge during education expo
From medicine to media and criminal justice to computer science, the over 1,300 high school students who attended the 16th Annual Education & Career Expo at Texas Southmost College on Thursday had plenty to choose from while learning about their college options.
Nearly 90 exhibitors representing employers and colleges lined the hallways of the International Technology, Education and Commerce Center, which included instructors from 26 TSC programs, Texas Southmost College President Jesus Roberto Rodriguez said.
“Our purpose here is exposing them to different careers they might not be aware of,” he said of the students. “They get to know our instructors (and) current students in the field.”
Rodriguez said the expo is part of a larger effort backed by TSC’s Board of Trustees to “create a college environment that’s welcoming” and grow the campus community.
Students took tours and visited interactive displays created by college departments, including a phlebotomy demonstration using a dummy, law enforcement vehicles and building frames.
Maricela Perez, 18, of Juarez-Lincoln High School in La Joya said the expo felt overwhelming at first, but she was surprised at how easy it was to get information about the colleges and programs represented. As an aspiring registered nurse, she learned about the cost of tuition, difficulty of classes and application requirements from instructors and students.
“(I asked) everything I was scared to ask. It made me feel comfortable and made me realize I do want to join a school,” Perez said, adding a piece of advice for her peers. “I want students to actually ask questions because they’ll feel reassured if they’re not confident.”
Tanya Castro, a San Benito High School medical assistant instructor and surgical technician, said the expo gave students in her class a chance to learn about allied health and related careers.
“It opened their eyes to more opportunities,” she said. “If you’re planning to stay here because of your parents, you can start here and maybe work up to UTRGV (University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley.)”
San Benito High School senior Delyssa Garcia, 17, said she has plans to pursue a career in physical therapy. While the program she wants wasn’t offered by the expo presenters, Garcia said she was still glad to attend.
“I came to be aware of all these educational opportunities,” she said.
Blanca E. Lozano was one of the instructors speaking with students about TSC’s Computer Information Systems Program. She said students asked focused questions about the courses and employment in the field.
She added that high school counselors should feel free to reach out to or stay in touch with instructors from college programs.
“They have a future in mind,” Lozano said of the students. “They can get all the information they need, and this knowledge gives them the power to choose the correct career and the correct institution.”