Archive for March, 2009

The State of Technical Education in Texas

There is an excellent post over at the TechCareers blog on technical education trends in Texas. A slideshow of interesting stats and quotes by TSTC Associate Vice Chancellor Michael Bettersworth linked there is worth watching. Here is a sample showing the challenge Texas has in filling technical jobs while attendance at technical programs is down:

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UPDATE: TechCareers Blog, a collaboration between TSTC Publishing and TSTC Emerging Technogies, has been added to the blogroll.

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TSTC Day at the Texas State Capitol

Texas State Technical College invaded the beautiful rotunda and halls of our magificent Capitol building in Austin on Tuesday March 24.  We had a great day with technology exhibits, an ice cream social, and delivery of a small gift and note from our Chancellor to every legislative office by our own TSTC Student Ambassadors.  A resolution proclaiming Texas State Technical College Day was passed in each house- one introduced by Representative Doc Anderson and the other by Senator Kip Averitt.

See a quick overview in my YouTube video:

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The Secret to Raising Smart Kids

March 27th, 2009 | Category: General, Research

… Is to not tell them that they are smart, according to a study written up in Scientific American. Here is a nice counterpoint to the book by Charles Murray that I reviewed earlier:

Many people assume that superior intelligence or ability is a key to success. But more than three decades of research shows that an overemphasis on intellect or talent-and the implication that such traits are innate and fixed-leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unmotivated to learn.

The point is less that intelligence is unimportant, than the idea that over-reliance on intelligence and innate ability tends to demotivate. Hard work DOES make a difference. Read the whole thing.

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More Kudos for Culinary

March 25th, 2009 | Category: Technical Education Awareness

Our culinary program (FSC - Food Service/Culinary Arts) received a glowing review in a guest column by the mother of a student in the Waco Trib on Sunday. It was nearly overlooked since our Aviation Maintenance program had a color picture on the front page Monday, but it deserves a mention and an excerpt:

Recently I saw in vivid detail where it appears my college-student daughter is going. It was so glorious as to make your mouth water…

Like many of the nationally recognized programs at TSTC, this is one of the best-kept secrets in town.

Armed with a passion for learning and a goal to succeed, students who enroll in food service/cullinary arts or any of the exemplary programs will be guided by top-notch (even award-winning) instructors using state-of the-art equipment.

Employers know that TSTC students gain the requisite knowledge and practical experience to meet workplace demands. They learn while using cutting-edge equipment in the labs, whether it is the blast-chiller in the food service lab or high-powered lasers in the nanotechnology program.

What she said!!!!

UPDATE: I had a fabulous meal at culinary today: Hot and sour soup (which I normally hate, but this was delicious), spring rolls, and an outstanding duck salad (Tea-Smoked Duck over Mung Bean salad).

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Waco Trib: Skills Matter

There was a great (FRONT PAGE!) article in the Waco paper on Monday that I have been too busy to blog about. The title says Local officials: Employers looking for skills and specialized training, not just four-year degrees. It mentions programs at TSTC (Aviation Maintenace and Automotive Tech) and McClennan Community College (Accounting and Nursing). The article also covers the important link to high schools for the programs.

My take: It’s a great article that gets to the heart of what we need to be doing - getting students serious about job skills starting in high school (not about degrees alone).

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The Gray Lady Discovers TSTC

March 25th, 2009 | Category: Environmental Tech, Technical Education Awareness

The New York Times has decided to include Texas State Technical College in “All the news that’s fit to print.” The article, Federal energy initiatives buoy hopes of job hunters, discusses “green job” money available from the Obama administration.

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Do You Have Issuus?

March 14th, 2009 | Category: Geek Stuff, Instructional Technology

Check out the post over at TSTC Publishing Blog about the Issuu web app.  It is a great way to view or preview published materials.  I found it visually compelling and very easy to use (and basic is free).  It might be very useful for a variety of educational uses.

Read the post and try it out.

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How Good Is Higher Ed in America?

March 13th, 2009 | Category: Higher Education

– The question from “Declining by Degrees.”

I really want to see this documentary.¬† If you’ve seen it, leave something in the comments.

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TSTC Wind Turbine Time Lapse

March 13th, 2009 | Category: Environmental Tech, Technical Education Awareness

I’ve been meaning to post this for a long time:

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Check out the program right here!

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A “Far-Fetched” Idea

March 08th, 2009 | Category: Geek Stuff, Technology

In 1981 (when they estimated 2000-3000 home computer users in the San Francisco Bay area) this seemed like a far-off dream:

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I find it interesting that it cost $5.00 to download a $0.20 paper in 1981.  The San Francisco Examiner (print and online) is now free.  Meanwhile the San Francisco Chronicle is in serious trouble.

Twenty-eight years from now, at a continually accelerating pace of change, what far-fetched things will be reality?

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A Very Satisfied Customer (Joy 8)

March 05th, 2009 | Category: Joy, Proprietary Schools

My blog stats often show that someone has found posts like this or this one by searching for information about proprietary schools (UTI, Lincoln Tech, ITT Tech, etc.).¬† Today I saw that someone came to this blog by searching on “Is TSTC better than UTI?”¬† I put that search in Google and found my blog.¬† I also found this thread about whether UTI or Wyotech were better schools.¬† In the middle of the thread, I found this comment:

“I went to TSTC. Got my instrumentation and electronics degree. I couldn’t be happier unless I hit the lotto.”

The poster is listed as an Operations Manager in the power industry.  Great education, great job - happy customer.

BTW - If you are considering a for-profit education, please read the posts linked above and check out TSTC or a local technical or community college technical program.¬† They vary in quality, but they are ALL a better deal than the for-profits.¬† Be happy, be educated, be employed.¬† Don’t get yourself in a huge debt to do it.

For the rest of the “Joy of Technical Education” series, click here.

UPDATE:  Instead of making you click back, let me recapitulate my suggestions for choosing post-secondary technical education here:

  • If the school you are considering can’t or WON’T summarize your costs like this - RUN!
  • If the school you are considering offers credits that can only be transferred to other schools that they own - RUN!
  • If attending a school leaves you in a financial straitjacket for many years to come - RUN!
  • If you teach high school CTE classes, please point your students toward high-quality technical and community college workforce programs.
  • Teacher or student: Check out the schools for yourself.¬† Talk to employers and advisory committee members.¬† Don’t just trust what the recruiters tell you.
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Careers That Can Fight Recession

March 05th, 2009 | Category: Skills in Demand

A nice little article is available at Yahoo Education.  It looks like computer support continues to be an area of great demand - an 18% increase.

Via Karen Stevens - thanks!

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Robotics at Rapoport ECHS

March 05th, 2009 | Category: Dual Credit, High School CTE

The Robot Ravensat Rapoport Academy have begun the long journey toward competitive glory.  Just at start - but it is great to see high school students working on engineering technology projects.

Thanks go out to TSTC Robotics and engineering technology faculty that are helping!

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SkillsUSA Again

March 01st, 2009 | Category: High School CTE, Technical Education Awareness

On Saturday I worked in the customer service contest for our last secondary regional of the year.  As I mentioned before, TSTC Waco hosts four Secondary SkillsUSA regionals every year.  It is a major undertaking, but well worth it.  It is great to see so many dedicated students working on technical and employability skills.

Of course, I would love a lot of these top-quality technical students to attend TSTC to help us continue to compete successfully in the post-secondary version!

Check out this video if you are not familiar with SkillsUSA:

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