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BETTY REYNARD — Technical education offers benefits to students, others

Recently, I was honored by being named first vice president of a national organization dedicated to excellence in the quality of postsecondary technical education with an emphasis on professional development.

The American Technical Education Association was founded nearly 100 years ago in New York City to support the principles of teaching technical programs in the U.S.

For a century, the ATEA has focused its efforts on making sure Americans have the best opportunity available to seek their fortunes through careers based in technical ability.

Lamar State College Port Arthur is proud to offer a broad spectrum of programs that range from academic to athletic, music and drama, to petrochemical and office administration.

You’ll find that over the past several years, we have focused our efforts on expanding and promoting the technical aspect of our offerings. Those efforts are in direct correlation to meeting the needs of our community, especially in the area of petrochemical and other similar industries.

We have invested in an entire facility to house Process Technology and Instrumentation programs and added Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning and Drafting Technology in the state-of-the-art Umphrey Industrial Technology Center. The Umphrey Center is a point of pride on campus and in the community with full labs offering first-hand, real-world experience with the equipment students will see in the field once they graduate.

Our dedication to broadening our technical program offerings is no whimsical effort. There are so many benefits to technical education at the community college level for both the students who pursue degrees and certificates and the communities from which they come:

1 – Financial benefits: A degree or certificate from LSCPA costs much less than a degree from a four-year university while providing many of the same benefits. LSCPA students finish programs in two years or less, which means less money spent on tuition, fees and textbooks. Not only do shorter programs minimize costs, they also help students enter the workforce more quickly.

2 – Small classes: Have you ever felt invisible in a room? That doesn’t happen at LSCPA. Students participate in classes that have fewer students, giving instructors the opportunity to work more one-on-one with their pupils. The small classes also more readily allow for crucial hands-on experience. Students in cosmetology, medical coding, HVAC, software design and so many other technical programs deserve the opportunity to experience as much hands-on time as possible. Doing so provides the best chances for immediate job opportunities out of college. LSCPA has a remarkable reputation with local business and industry. Those with jobs to offer know that Lamar State College Port Arthur produces quality, well-trained employees.

3 – Another option: Did you find classes in high school uninteresting? Technical programs are challenging in-demand programs designed to prepare students for a rewarding career in the workforce. Whatever path you choose to pursue, LSCPA provides 24/7 tutoring and several other support programs to assure your success. We will help you succeed beyond your expectations.

4 – Partnerships: LSCPA is a very active participant in the world of business and industry in Port Arthur, Southeast Texas, the state and nation. We partner with the best companies because those companies are looking for the best students to hire to support their future successes. They realize the importance of technical education in creating a strong workforce. That’s why you will see the logos of major petrochemical companies emblazoned throughout the Umphrey Industrial Technology Center. They support our students so they can, in turn, support the community in years to come.

In the coming years, as I serve as first vice president of the ATEA and then as president of the organization in 2024, I hope to represent our college, our state and the nation in the ongoing effort to improvise and expand technical education opportunities.

Most important, I will represent the needs of our community and the students of LSCPA.

You deserve nothing less than that.


Dr. Betty Reynard is president of Lamar State College Port Arthur. She can be contacted at reynardbj@lamarpa.edu.