Tomball P-TECH program receives expansion grant for more courses at Lone Star College-Tomball

 HOUSTON (Feb. 14, 2024) – The Tomball Star Academy Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) program trains students to work in the health care industry. The program is a partnership among Lone Star College-Tomball, Tomball ISD and HCA Healthcare Tomball.

“This strategic alliance offers P-TECH students incredible access and exposure that are invaluable in one of today’s most viable and in-demand fields, health care,” said Katerina Wingfield, LSC-Tomball dean, Academic Affairs. “Unlike most high school programs, students will learn directly from health care professionals in a world-class hospital and clinical facility.”

The Tomball Star Academy P-TECH program opened in fall 2023 with the first cohort of 25 ninth graders taking rigorous academic coursework through LSC-Tomball and shadowing HCA Healthcare Tomball mentors on medical rotations. The program received an $86,000 grant from Educate Texas at the Communities Foundation of Texas to expand current course offerings at LSC-Tomball in fall 2024.

“These new offerings are a natural expansion of existing programs and will offer students more options in the health care track,” said Wingfield. “The additional opportunities will help provide an extra layer of qualifications they can use to transfer to a four-year university or directly enter the workforce.”

The expansion planning grant will support LSC-Tomball in exploring new pathway offerings such as Health Information Technology, Medical Administrative Support and Medical Administrative Services-Medical Front Desk. Tomball Star Academy P-TECH students, like Claire Murphy, will receive assistance with selecting the most appropriate health care career path for them to pursue. Murphy believes the program reinforces critical skills to ensure her success in the program and as a future pediatrician.

“My experience has been rewarding and allowed us (students) to work with and learn from industry professionals, gaining the necessary experience to benefit us in the future,” said Murphy. “We are strengthening our discipline, time management and communications skills, all needed to be successful despite our different paths.”

Other P-TECH program expansion considerations include extending certificate programs beyond LSC-Tomball to other LSC campuses and area school systems seeking to develop robust health care education pathways.

“We aim to broaden existing clinical partnerships to include additional hospitals and health care facilities,” said Wingfield. “We also want to plan for opportunities that may support the purchase of supplementary equipment for both our skills labs and partner institutions like Tomball Star Academy and offer diversified health care pathways to better prepare students for health-related careers.”

Tomball Star Academy P-TECH is a four-year program that trains students in electrocardiography, phlebotomy, medical terminology, nurse aide and medical law and ethics. Throughout the program, students build relationships with experts across various health care specialties at HCA Healthcare Tomball.

“Students are immersed in the daily reality of these in-demand careers,” said Wingfield. “The P-TECH program is a test drive to help students find their talent-career fit while previewing the pace and expectations of the professional world.”

Upon completion, graduates will earn a high school diploma, an associate of science degree and industry certifications. They will also qualify for entry-level positions and be first in line to interview for openings at HCA Healthcare Tomball. Learn more at

Lone Star College enrolls over 80,000 students each semester providing high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Mario K. Castillo, J.D., serves as Chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area. LSC has been named a 2023 Great Colleges to Work For® institution by the Chronicle of Higher Education and recognized by Fortune Magazine and Great Place To Work® as one of this year’s Best Workplaces in Texas™. LSC consists of eight colleges, seven centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence and Lone Star Corporate College.



Media Contacts:

Bill Van Rysdam 832.813.6206, desk / 713.504.8115, cell /

Roycelyn Bastian 832.813.6673, desk / 832.510.4108, cell /

Lone Star College logo in red, white, and blue