JaCorey Mosely, Austin Community College
Upon receiving the TEXAAN Scholarship, I had been advising for a total of four and a half years. Half of that time was spent learning the lay of the land, trying to figure out exactly where I fit in the best within the advising world. It was attending various conferences such as TEXAAN that helped me find my fit.
When I became an Academic Advisor, I never saw myself working in any area that involved education. I had tunnel vision, believing that teaching younger children their ABC’s was not a life I was about. I do value those who do teach these essentials, but it was not for me.
When I got my first advising position at UT-Arlington, I immediately fell in love with it. The chance to make an impact in a thriving student’s life has been empowering. Since Day One, I grew with my students on their individual journeys of accomplishing their educational goals and pursuing their dreams.
At UTA, I worked with exploratory students who were trying to figure out what they wanted to major in, taking the opportunity to learn about UTA’s degrees and what careers they could potentially lead too. I was given the chance to teach a major exploration course for students who needed a bit more assistance with the decision making process.
Teaching the course opened my eyes to understanding the panic undeclared students experience trying to keep up with their peers. They feel a societal type of pressure and shame that shouldn’t exist. I also worked with students who had been displaced from their majors, or had way too many credit hours, and were just unsure of what it is they wanted to do.
This is what led me to my position at Texas State University. Working in the PACE Advising Center, I focused on first year students. Within that first year, I was responsible for helping freshman develop themselves to be successful in their second year and beyond. I had to set the foundation, so to speak. Working with first year students, I also noticed other developmental issues I wanted to help solve. This led me to pursuing my master’s degree in Developmental Education. I met so many students who expressed similar issues. I kept wondering what was going on, prior to college, that they were missing.
I feel it is important to assist students on all levels of development. Whether they are first generation, athletes, undocumented, under represented, minorities, or international, it doesn’t matter. A student is a student, and working in advising has taught me that lesson.
Attending TEXAAN conferences has contributed to the open mindedness I have when it comes to interacting with students. While they are all students, they have individual, and unique, ideas and talents to offer. I always enjoy going to different sessions about topics that were not familiar. I can recall from this past conference (Fort Worth, 2017) presentations about veterans and athletes. You get a different take on things when you finally get the actual story.
Receiving the TEXAAN Scholarship has definitely assisted me with being able to continue my work in higher education. Although advising isn’t my main position anymore, I now get into the high schools and help students prepare for college before they get there, working with Austin Community College’s Early College Start program. I feel this position is going to be immensely rewarding to me as I get to go out and be an informant to students. I get to spread awareness, and knowledge, to help students understand the hidden curriculum of higher education.
From all of the conferences I have attended, whether it be NACADA or TEXAAN, one thing I have learned from my fellow higher education professionals is to start the conversation and do something with your knowledge. That is what I will be doing and encourage everyone else to do as well. We learn so much and hold on to all of this information, but who is that helping? It never hurts to get out there and assist others who want to be helped.
I believe if you truly care and are passionate about what you do, or want to do, it will show through your work. I’ve gotten to the point where I can look at what I do as a profession, not just a job. I am helping others, and myself, and having a great time doing it. So again, I want to thank the committee for awarding me with the TEXAAN Scholarship. I am truly grateful for it.
Enrollment and Outreach Specialist, High School Programs
Austin Community College