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TSTC sees continued increase in energy program enrollment

Posted at 6:21 PM, Sep 13, 2023

WACO, Texas — Solar power is getting gaining popularity across the state and now Texas State Technical College is seeing that demand in their enrollment numbers. It's not just solar, all of their energy programs are getting more popular.

Diego Hernandez is just one of the more than 150 students currently enrolled in TSTC's growing electrical programs.

"I love it a lot," he told 25 News.

"The complication of it makes your mind think and that's what I love most about it."

Hernandez signed up last year after doing some electrical work in high school.

"I always knew I wanted a manual labor kind of job and this one just stuck out the most," Hernandez said.

The idea of electrical work has been attracting more students than ever these last few years. TSTC has seen a more than 50 percent increase in their program's enrollments since 2021 and have had to expand their lab four times since 2019.

"It's real exciting, we brought in a team and our instructor growth has almost quadrupled," said TSTC instructor Darin Timmons.

"They're a good group of guys. We have master electricians, electrical contractors in our instructors to provide our students the best opportunity."

Timmons is an instructor in what they call the "Triple Crown Program". Students can get an associate in solar energy technology, then certificates in both electrical construction and energy efficiency. Timmons said these graduates are entering a high demand field.

"It doesn't matter if we get it from wind, water, solar, nuclear — it all still ends up in two little wires in your plug that runs everything we use today," he said. "It's a field that's definitely not going away."

"The stability and all that, how can you argue with a good thing?" student Brian Ervin said.

Ervin wasn't quite sure what he was signing up for, but says now more than a year later, he's really happy to be a part of the program's growth.

"I didn't know anything about the program, I just knew of it's potential," Ervin said.

"I just took it and here I am, I'm enjoying it and it's a great program to be in."