TSC graduates first dual enrollment students - Brownsville Herald: Education

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TSC graduates first dual enrollment students

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Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 11:32 am

For the first time since Texas Southmost College reopened as a comprehensive community college in fall 2013, a cohort of dual enrollment students graduated from TSC before completing high school.

Four Los Fresnos High School juniors - Ernesto Estrada, Jose Francisco Arreola Jr., Joel Garcia and Jared Gomez - walked across the stage of the TSC Jacob Brown Auditorium Dec. 14 before their family and friends, andreceived a Residential Electrician Certificate of Proficiency – Level One.

“I’m so proud of them, they’ve given up a lot of their time to be in this program,” said TSC residential electrician adjunct instructor Emiliana Moreno Escobar.“They are my first cohort of students and they are setting the standard. This program is providing the community quality electricians that are very skilled in the trade, and the students have an opportunity to make a lot of money.”

The Los Fresnos High School students were first introduced to the Residential Electrician program through TSC’s Dual Enrollmentduring their freshman year.

“I never really had looked into this, but when they introduced this to me during freshman year, I was like, ‘wow, this is amazing,’” said 16-year-old Ernesto Estrada. “I got a lot of hands-on experience. It’s a great opportunity for kids. Everyone in school is amazed that I was graduating from college.”

As part of the Residential Electrician program, the students took eight courses that taught them skills on electrical safety and tools, residential and commercial wiring, calculations and troubleshooting.

“It’s an experience and I really liked it,” said 17-year-old Arreola Jr. “I liked the instructor and the environment. It’s different. It’s not like being in a classroom all the time. We get to go out and apply what we learned in the field.”

The new graduates saw the value of taking dual enrollment courses when they were freshmen and how it can benefit them academically and professionally.

“I like the fact that I’m getting college hours,” said 17-year-old Gomez. “It feels great to be graduating college before high school. The program gave me a head start and I’ll always have a skill that I learned that I can fall back on.”

They also liked the bragging rights they earned by graduating college before high school.

“It’s so cool, I get to tell people that I’m graduating from college before graduating from high school,” said Arreola Jr. “It’s great to be ahead of the game.”

Garcia, 16, plans to work in the field as soon as he graduates next year.

“The program was great,” said Garcia. “It was interesting to learn how to wire houses and where everything goes. It was a great opportunity to learn about this field.”

For more information about TSC’s Dual Enrollment program, call 956-295-3439.

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