Harlingen TSTC students worried about programs being retired

    Harlingen TSTC students worried about programs being retired

    Harlingen TSTC students are concerned over the retirement of some very popular technical programs at the local college.

    Students in the school's Agriculture Technology program reached out to CBS 4 when they heard the degree would no longer be offered. TSTC says it's all part of making sure their students meet the demand of growing jobs.

    "We're not only preparing for the industry that we have but the industry that's coming," says TSTC Harlingen's Provost, Cledia Hernandez.

    The technical college is doing what it can to prepare its students for life after graduation.

    "We are constantly looking at ways that we can improve upon our programs and are making sure we're working with industries, that we're bringing the right program," Hernandez said.

    But in doing so, Ag Tech students were shocked when they announced the program would come to an end.

    "You're taking a career, a very good career, a stepping stone for a student, and I just don't feel like that's the correct thing," says Ag student, Juan Martinez.

    School officials say assessing the need for the programs they offer in the real world affects what students can and can't take.

    "This is a process that we do on a regular basis because we understand that technology changes, industry demand changes," Hernandez said.

    Martinez believes the degree offers more than just the potential for farm work.

    "It's either animal science, you have wildlife, you can be a park ranger. If you decide to go to Kingsville, you can be a game warden, you can be an Ag teacher, an extension agent, things like that," he said.

    It's just one of five programs TSTC will end, others include:

    • Chemical Technical
    • Computer Maintenance Technology
    • Dental Assistant
    • Medical Information Transcriptionist

    "All of our TSTC students that have declared a major in any of the programs, we are committed as an institution to make sure that they receive the same quality, the same rigor and that we work with them through graduation and completion," Hernandez said.

    Some still hope that school officials will reconsider their decision.

    "I was raised on a farm with my grandpa but stuff that I learned with him was not the same as what I learned over here," Martinez said.

    The school's provost was not able to release what new programs will come to campus just yet, but ensures they'll make an announcement when the decisions have been finalized.

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