AUBURNDALE, Fla. — Southern Technical College is celebrating a new bus stop and adding a new diploma program.

  • New bus stop in front of Auburndale campus
  • Citrus Connection offers free rides to Southern Technical College students
  • Debuting a new veterinary assistant diploma program

The trade school added a bus stop in front of its Auburndale campus.

Jesus Tomas, an Afghanistan war vet and single father of two, is one of the students who is grateful for the improvement. His car broke down a few weeks ago.

“My car ended up blowing a cylinder. Then it blew another cylinder. Then I had to end up getting a whole new engine. I wasn’t going to be able to afford it,” said Tomas.

Contemplating dropping out of his Patient Care Technician Diploma Program or riding a bike to class, he learned Citrus Connection offers free rides to Southern Technical College students

“If you download the app, you can set up notifications so when the bus is like 15-20 minutes from bus stop, your phone gets text messages. So it’s not bad. It’s convenient,” Tomas explained.

The trade school’s executive director Zachary Galilei said about 20 percent of the students use the service.

“We have single mothers, fathers, we have people who are trying to find jobs. To be able to allow them to come to school and help them get a better life for themselves while giving them the ability to know that at least transportation is one less worry for them really helps them,” said Galilei.

Along with the new bus stop, Southern Technical College is also about to add a new veterinary assistant diploma program.

“We find that there is a great need in the Polk County area. We don’t really see a lot of options for that right now. It’s going be a 10-month program so if someone is looking into getting into the veterinary field and make a change they can do that really quickly,” said Galilei.

The trade school’s executive director said they plan to start offering night classes for the veterinary assistant diploma program this summer. The college also offers an associate degree in welding, as well as diploma programs in medical assisting, and heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technology (HVAC). ​