Commencement Speaker Dean Jackson Shares about the Power of Flexibility

FORT WORTH, Texas – Dean Jackson’s education has been a transformative journey.

He says he gained a certain big-picture perspective after attending a four-year university before shifting to Tarrant County College. The payoff comes this month when he graduates with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nondestructive Inspection, Testing & Evaluation.

He will explore that journey and lessons learned with fellow TCC graduates, their families and friends as the keynote speaker for TCC Northeast, TCC Northwest and TCC South commencement ceremonies at 6 p.m., May 15, Dickies Arena.

Dean says it had become a struggle at the four-year school to maintain the workload and have one-on-one time with his instructor. Enter TCC.

“TCC facilitated my need for a slightly slower pace and gave me plenty of resources to talk with my instructor or go to any of the learning labs on campus,” he said, adding that TCC’s flexibility enabled him to learn at an accelerated pace while retaining the knowledge he had acquired.

Venicia Queen, a nondestructive testing instructor, considers Dean “a shining star at TCC,” an amazing student and student worker before becoming an inspector at NDE Labs. She said he was a joy to teach and so helpful — the kind of student an instructor hates to see leave the class.

Dean plans to further his studies at Tarleton State University and continue working at NDE Labs, deepening his knowledge of X-ray ultrasound and penetrant training. He says that with TCC’s help, he built a portfolio that helped him land the inspector position.

“TCC is a fantastic college to get your core classes done or finish your associate degree,” he said. “However, it is an even better stepping stone to higher projects.”

Nondestructive Inspection, Testing & Evaluation – Tarrant County College (

Pathway: Business & Industry

Degree: Associate of Applied Science

Campus: TCC Northwest

Tarrant County College is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions and boasts the second-lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. A comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Tarrant County and online classes, TCC offers a range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training for area businesses and corporations.