(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s commitment to student success starts at the beginning of each individual’s academic journey. The promise of a hands-on education comes to fruition because of faculty who are ready to make a difference. Claudia Arnold is dedicated to fulfilling that promise. As a lead instructor for TSTC’s First Year Seminar, she has one goal in mind: serve students better.
While the semester-long class is not required for students who have transferred with more than 24 credit hours, the benefits of enrolling provide an advantage that students would not have otherwise.
“We strongly recommend the seminar for all of our students,” said Arnold. “It’s beneficial because they’ll learn how to navigate the platform that we use for coursework, we go over the importance of networking, and also discuss the free resources offered by TSTC.”
With 15 years of experience at TSTC under her belt, Arnold’s call to education came when she saw the real impact she could have on a student.
“I grew an interest in education when I found out that a student I had been tutoring passed the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) math test,” she said. “His passing confirmed to me that I was able to get the subject matter across to students.”
Arnold’s determination to stand by her students has followed her into her career, in fact, it’s why she finds the First Year Seminar to be so important.
“I strongly believe students need to know that they are not alone in figuring out how to survive college,” she said. “They need to be introduced to all the amazing resources TSTC offers. They need to learn that instructors and staff are here to help them through their journey.”
Her past experiences are also why she is vocal with new TSTC students.
“I always tell them that back when I attended college, no one told me about the free resources.” she said.
The course may only last one semester, but the changes that Arnold sees in her students as they progress are vast and rewarding.
“As a team, we always get emails through the years of students thanking us because they learned so many things,” she said. “We make sure our students know who their advisor is so that they feel comfortable talking to them. We make it known that they are here to help them with anything they need.”
Encouragement is also something she very strongly reiterates to students on their academic journeys.
“I always tell them that once they start something, they need to finish it,” she said. “There is nothing more satisfying than accomplishing a long-term goal that you have set for yourself.”
TSTC fall registration is currently open. For more information, or to apply, visit tstc.edu/admissions/firststeps.