More than 60 professionals from TCC and area public and private schools met at TCC Northwest in October to discuss how best to reach a common goal – how to steer high school students, not only into higher education, but also into the proper pathways to individual success.
The was the second annual edition of the Counselor Symposium, said Lily Covio-Calzada, director of counseling at TCC Northwest. The event was suggested by President Zarina Blankenbaker “with the purpose of bringing ISD partners to our campus for thoughtful discernment and discussions focused around our collective goal.”
Attendees, including counselors from Eagle Mountain-Saginaw, Northwest, Keller, Lake Worth, Azle and Denton ISDs, heard keynote speaker Christine Hubbard, a former TCC administrator and now-president of the North Texas Community College Consortium, who spoke about the importance of K-12 and higher education collaboration to the Tarrant County Workforce.
Also on the program were a student panel led by Alex Vargas, coordinator of intercultural student engagement; a presentation on the Mobile GO Center by Sarah Taylor from College Access and Community Outreach; a guided facilities tour by Community and Technical Education adviser Vincent Sangsvang and table discussions and reports.
Evaluations of the symposium were highly favorable. “I thought the symposium was amazing, said Gracie Galindo, counselor at Fort Worth’s Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School. “I learned new information about TCC’s programs and the amazing benefits that students have by attending your programs, particularly in aviation.
“This is valuable information for many of my students who are not interested in attending traditional college classes but are more focused on a trade that is in demand and pays well! I always enjoy the presentations offered at TCC for counselors, but I would say this was one of the best.”
The symposium’s organizer, Coordinator of Special Services Christina Martinez, couldn’t help but agree. “Based on my observations and experience at this year’s symposium, I do believe that it was a great success. It was rewarding to see the growth in this year’s attendance, as well as to hear and read positive feedback from attendees,” she said. ”They not only seemed to enjoy the morning, but also gained valuable knowledge regarding the B.A.A.S. pathway shared by Dr. Hubbard, our keynote presenter. The student panel was also well received, with a few commenting that they would have liked to have spent more time with our students.”
Planning for next year’s symposium is already underway, and one of this year’s attendees, Jennifer, Edenfield, Coordinator Career and Technical Education at Lake Worth ISD, has volunteered to be part of the team.