TSTC graduation is Friday, graduates are already working

Three hundred twenty-six students will graduate from Texas State Technical College West Texas on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 7 p.m. at the Abilene Civic Center. During the Student Award Ceremony last week in Sweetwater, there was a repetitive theme in the student introductions … these graduates were already placed in jobs and many already working. This was true across TSTC programs. Graduates from Wind Energy & Turbine Technology had to come in after hours to take their final exam because they were already working. Sarah Kimble, graduating from the Computer Aided-Drafting and Design program, was hired on the spot when NCG interviewed students at the Sweetwater campus last fall. The stories of students already working kept flowing … for pipe welding, applied engineering and computer networking graduates. The theme was so evident that Interim President Kyle Smith took a minute to explain why this was happening to family and friends in the audience. “In TSTC's new Value-Added Funding Model, there is even more emphasis placed on ensuring that our students obtain employment,” said Smith. “In other words, the assistance we provide our students goes far beyond their walking across the stage at graduation.”Among this semester’s graduates, is the inaugural class of the pipe welding program. Raymond Muñoz is graduating from the two-semester program which kicked-off in August. The U.S. Army Veteran returned home to Sweetwater after tours to Iraq and Afghanistan and began looking for options. He checked in to attending TSTC. “I chose to study welding because it stuck out to me. It’s a part of everything,” said Muñoz. Muñoz received a Leadership Award at Convocation for his extracurricular work as well. He helped create and served as President of the TSTC Welding Club this year.There will be 326 students graduating, five with multiple degrees with 194 of those degrees being Associate of Applied Science and 137 Certificates of Completion.Thirty one graduates will be receiving the Board of Regents honor for accomplishing a 4.000 GPA every term. There will be 103 graduating with honors for a 3.500-3.999 cumulative GPA. Also, 80 will receive Phi Theta Kappa Honors and seven Cyrus Scholarships have been awarded.