By Jason Middlebrooks/ south campus editor

South Campus technical students can join a society that offers scholarships, networking and recognition.

“You always hear about honor societies in the academic,” South strategic initiative coordinator Dionne Bagsby Jones said. “I think that’s one of the things that makes this very unique. It is specifically tailored for technical career students.”

South has started a chapter of the National Technical Honor Society, which has a variety of scholarships, offering over $250,000 annually. After joining the society, students will receive letters of recommendation, a membership certificate and scholarship opportunities. Students must have a 3.0 GPA to join. The membership cost is a one-time fee of $30.

Bagsby Jones got the idea of starting a chapter from SE business associate professor Jeneen Sims.

“It is an excellent opportunity for students to gain extra scholarships,” Sims said. “Our students were very excited. They have the ability to be recruited by local businesses.”

Jones felt the society would be a good fit for South because it has the most technical programs. The society will provide networking for students and allow them to meet people with the same career goals.

“I think it fits well with what we are doing here,” said faculty adviser John Bullard. “We have five or six buildings here that students take classes in. It’s not just electronics. We have automotive, computers, IT and telecommunications. All those are available here. We want to give them the opportunity to join this organization.”

Jones and Bullard are considering starting a group to help students who are interested in joining but do not meet the required GPA.

“If we started a group for students that’s basically saying, ‘Hey, I want to aspire to that,’ the students can excel,” Bullard said.

Bullard can relate to students who are talented in the technical arena but who struggled outside of it. Bullard preferred to work, so he would take many technical classes.

“Once we give [the students] the option to be part of this, they seem to blossom,” Bullard said. “I didn’t like English. I didn’t like history. I was never into the arts, but I would take a lot of technical classes because I love to work. Once I stayed on the technical track, I excelled.”

The “long-run” goal for Jones, Bullard and the society is to help students get a career that will help them long term, a career that will help students support themselves and their families in the future.

“This allows us to give recognition to students who decide to pursue a career in technical education,” Jones said.

For more information, contact Bullard at john.bullard@tccd.edu or Bagsby Jones at dionne.bagsby@tccd.edu.