A recent college graduate came to Russell Parker with a problem.
Parker, Director of Adult Career Development and Certifications at Tulsa Tech, said the graduate’s sculpture art degree wasn’t helping them find a job. Tulsa Tech’s Adult part-time classes help people in all kinds of situations improve their job or find a new one.
“A lot of our students who come back are young people who have gone through college, gotten their degree, can’t find a job, and they come back to us and say, ‘What can I do?’” Parker said.
Tulsa Tech facilitates five core learning divisions across six Tulsa-area campuses and the web. It hosts courses that can improve the working lives of people new to the workforce or veterans of a field. Students can enroll in cost-friendly courses taught by Industry expert faculty to switch careers or become equipped with new skills to rise the corporate ladder.
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“That’s one of the reasons I love this department so much,” Parker said. “I get to know people in all different kinds of circumstances and situations who just want a better life for themselves and their family and we can provide that to them at a reasonable cost.”
Tulsa Tech’s course diversity is astonishing.
The art, education and enrichment program helps facilitate careers working with preschool students and child development. The business, computers and technology umbrella covers everything in the information technology world. A certification and license can help students begin careers such as security guards and home inspectors. The healthcare and wellness sector covers nursing and medical assisting. Manufacturing, construction and transportation teaches heavy trades like welding, plumbing and HVAC.
Employers desire the skills taught at Tulsa Tech. Parker attested to the strength of the manufacturing, construction and transportation field when it comes to the job search.
“I can tell you if anyone wants to go through plumbing, I could almost 100% guarantee that they would have a job before they finish with us because the construction industry is in such desperate need of plumbers,” Parker said. “They get hired up usually before they even finish our program and start to work before the finish, that’s the way it is in a lot of our construction areas.”
These adult classes are available to students across the Tulsa area.
“You just have to be 16 to attend one of our classes,” Parker said. “So, we have students who come out of high school who aren’t able to come to a full-time program, they can come in the evening. Or young people who have gone out and gotten a job that’s a lower-paying job, but they still need to work and have to come back and get trained for something better.”
Tulsa Tech employs about 150 adjunct instructors, experts in the field who teach their craft to others.
“All of our instructors are primarily industry experts who enjoy teaching what they do, and we hire on a part-time basis, and they come and teach what their trade is in the evening,” Parker said.
“They are all people who are either working or teaching in that area. You aren’t going to get someone teaching you HVAC who doesn’t work or train like a full-time instructor in that area.” Parker acknowledged the sacrifices of enrolling in classes but said the benefits can be even greater.
“You have to be self-motivated because you’re paying on your own, you’re giving up your evening time,” Parker said. “We just have a lot of people who want an opportunity to improve their life situation and continue to grow.”