Representatives of Red Oak ISD traveled to the Texas State Technical College Waco campus this past Thursday to see its technical programs firsthand and talk about future collaboration with TSTC.

Red Oak TSTC provost Marcus Balch led the district's delegation and said the visit was a way for staff from the school district and TSTC to learn more about each other's missions.

"I think it went really well," Balch said. "I hope we can find more ways to connect and be more strategic."

Some of the technical programs the group visited include aviation maintenance, culinary arts, electrical lineworker technology, instrumentation and welding technology.

"I like the amount of different programs that are available and the first-rate equipment the students have to work with," Red Oak High School principal Miller Beaird stated.

Beaird said he enjoyed seeing TSTC's commitment to showing students' ways to be successful and employable in the workplace. He said some of what he heard could benefit future graduates of ROHS, citing that up to 40 percent of the school's graduates do not immediately find employment or enroll in college after they graduate.

"TSTC could help decrease that number," Beaird stressed.

Lisa Menton, the Red Oak school district's career and technical education director, said about 100 ROHS students will be taking dual enrollment classes starting this fall at TSTC. She said this is a number that can grow as students and faculty learn more about TSTC's offerings at other campuses.

Menton said some of the technical programs she liked were building construction technology and electrical power and controls.

"I gained a lot of good knowledge I can pass on to the teachers," Menton noted.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.