• 46°

Lamar State College Port Arthur offers degrees from paralegal to video game design

The start of school is right around the corner, and for those transitioning from high school to college it can seem like a daunting task to pick a major.

Lamar State College Port Arthur boasts careers in business and technology that range from cosmetology to game design.

Sheila Guillot, department chair of business and industrial technology said LSCPA offers the only program locally for game design, a class that has really taken off in the past two years.

“Graphic design is undergoing new courses, we’re updating everything so the technology is more up-to-date,” she said. “Our software developer/game design program had their instructor take them last year to the Skills USA Competition in Waco, and they won first place in programming. This year, they went to the Skills USA Competition and won silver in game design. They went to nationals in Kentucky and made fourth place.

“If students are interested in designing games, designing programs then that’s the program to be in — software developer/game design.”

Guillot said the department also offers degrees in many programs that aren’t often advertised in high school, such as paralegal.

“Our paralegal program students do not work as attorneys, but they work under the supervision of an attorney,” she said. “However, our program is one of nine that is approved by the American Bar Association in the state of Texas. That is a really good field to go into.”

Other programs offered include the business management program, accounting, drafting and more.

Guillot said a career in great demand has been the heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

“We have a state-of-the-art facility for HVAC,” she said. “Our instructor, Morgan Chaddick, is wonderful. He’s young and understands 18- to 20-year-olds. He can relate the material to the students, break it down and really help them understand. We have a great facility for him and we could really use some HVAC students.”

The department also offers process technology and instrumentation technology, medical coding and medical office administration programs.

“If students aren’t really into the nursing side of the medical field, they can get into the administration side of it,” Guillot said. “Coding is like a puzzle. The doctor says you have the flu and the coder figures out what code that belongs to. Doctors are paid based on these codes. You go and say they have the H1N1 flu, you figure it out and you bill for that. That’s how the doctors get reimbursed. Coding is also in high demand.”

Guillot said she is hoping to work with the Port Arthur Economic Development Center to bring a culinary art program to the school by fall 2020.

Guillot stresses the importance of returning to school and encourages recent graduates to consider attending a two-year trade school versus a four-year university.

“Going to a two-year trade school you will earn more money than going for a four-year degree in some programs,” she said. “It’s also less expensive because we’ve cut tuition by 29 percent, so we’re where we were ten years ago.”

LSCPA also offers dual credit classes in schools across Nederland, Port Arthur, Port Neches and Bob Hope, with a drafting program at Memorial High School.

“We have a lot going on that people aren’t aware of,” Guillot said. “We’re really trying to help out all the students across our area and get them here at the school.”

For more information, visit https://www.lamarpa.edu/Home.