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High school students will earn Computer Support certificate from LIT, walk in May graduation

BEAUMONT – Brandon Hadnot never thought he’d be able to do this.

But on May 13, the Taylor Career Center senior will graduate from Lamar Institute of Technology with a certificate of completion in Computer Support Technology.

The program, which began in the fall of 2012, is spearheaded by Lauri Arnold, program director of Computer Networking and Troubleshooting Technology at LIT, and taught by Luke Bourgeois, instructor II in the CNTT program.

Eleven students from the Taylor Career Center program will graduate from LIT with their certificates of completion. This is the LIT’s first class of high school students to graduate with a certificate.

Hadnot, who moved to Beaumont from Newton, said that he is excited about earning his college certificate before he graduates from high school.

“Coming From a small town (Newton), I never thought this could happen,” he said.

This particular certificate prepares students to design, install, operate and troubleshoot computer network systems.

While LIT students can receive their certificate in two semesters, the high school students took two years because of their required high school classes.

According to Bourgeois, the certificate qualifies the students to work as an entry-level IT support desktop technician.

Bourgeois says that the idea to make the certificate available to high school students occurred a few years ago when he and Arnold realized that the high school, co-enrolled students were actually completing enough hours for a certificate program.

“[LIT] had a certificate program in place,” he said, “but the classes we taught at the Career Center didn’t meet the requirements. So, we created a certificate program to match our high school student program hours.”

The result has been an enthusiastic group of students who are thrilled at the prospect of graduating from college in mid-May.

“As the reality sets in that they will walk in a college graduation ceremony before they graduate high school, they definitely get excited,’ said Bourgeois. “I hear stories about how they tell their friends and their friends don’t even believe it. They can’t wait to show off their pictures.”

On April 17, the prospective college graduates visited LIT’s campus to meet Dr. Paul Szuch, president of LIT, and tour the campus. They also listened to presentations from the Student Services and Financial Aid departments.

About half of the students say that they’ll enroll in LIT in the fall and complete the requirements of an associate of applied science degree in Computer Networking and Troubleshooting Technology.

Lauri Arnold spoke to them about how happy she was to have them as graduates and as prospective LIT students.

“You’re halfway there,” she said, “You’re going to come in already knowing what is going on.”

She also discussed the certifications that they would need to acquire during the completion of their associate’s degrees.

LIT will graduate more than 300 students at 7 p.m. on May 13 at the Montagne Center. Texas State University System Chancellor Dr. Brian McCall will be the commencement speaker.

Taylor Career students who will earn their certificates are Gerarado Alvarado, Daniel Castillo, Jonathan Garcia, Michael Guidry Jr., Brandon Hadnot, William Lopez, Darius Molo, Ryan Romero, Luis Suarez, Alex Tony and Frederick Wright.

Any BISD students who are interested in the two-year program at Taylor Career Center should contact their home campus’s career counselor and ask about the Computer Maintenance program at Taylor Career Center. Any student or parent who has a question about the program can e-mail Luke Bourgeois at

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