Central Texas College (CTC) recently announced its Industrial Technology department is offering open entry for many of its programs throughout the spring semester. Students may enroll at any time and can start classes almost immediately. In addition, classes in the open-entry programs offer a clock-hour format allowing students to attend class around their work or family schedule.

“Classes in the open-entry program have a set number of allotted clock hours,” said Ronnie Turner, department chairperson – Industrial Technology. “The hours are the maximum allowable time a student has to complete the class. The classes are divided into a number of modules and each one is broken down by the hour to ensure timely course completion. This allows students to finish at their own pace. Once they complete a course, they move on to the next one.”

The open-entry classes are competency-based programs consisting of a series of modules. Each contains certain tasks which must be satisfactorily completed to meet industry standards. A written exam and a hands-on performance exam are part of each module. Student must pass both exams before proceeding to the next module.

While the open-entry and clock-hours format allows students to attend classes around their schedule, attendance is mandatory. For competency-based programs, students select the days and times which best accommodate their schedules then must complete the class within the allotted time. Turner noted classes include 40 percent online work and 60 percent hands-on classroom/lab work. “Once students complete 40 percent of their online tasks, they can then proceed to lab work on campus,” he said. “A limited number of students in their particular lab area are allowed at a time, and by appointment only, as part of our safety and social distancing practices.”

For students receiving VA assistance, there are a specific number of hours they must attend since they must in order to maintain a continuous enrollment. Once they determine their schedule, it becomes a contract between the student and the college.

To further assist students in completing their chosen program, CTC offers transfer credit for training received from an accredited technical school. The training must apply to the enrolled program, have occurred within the last five years and is accepted by CTC. A transcript from the college is required before credit can be awarded by the department chairperson. Prior and current military students may also qualify for evaluated credits from military education and experience.

The open entry programs currently offered are craftsman trades/building trades, diesel, graphics and printing, HVAC and welding. Automotive is semester-based and not offered as an open-entry program.

Returning students in the CTC Industrial Technology programs can register now for any of the available courses by contacting their instructor or the department assistant at either 254-526-1399 or 526-1235. Prospective students should contact the Career and Technical Education Center advisor via email at cate.center@ctcd.edu.