Motivation in a New Year

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written by Arlenne Lozano
Video from the Student Life Chronicle

Motivation is a force that drives people to execute goals. Sustaining motivation can pay off in many ways; such as achieving personal goals, feeling successful or earning a reward. Hard work does pay off. Whether it’s working towards a degree or continuing education, the struggle to keep the motivation is real.

“I think we’re naturally goal-directed; we have a purpose for doing most things,” says ACC Counselor Dawn Allison. “‘I want this degree for this career’ or something like that, but then there is just every day slogging through the homework, studies, and attendance, so sometimes we lose sight of that.”

So, how can students keep the motivation going in the upcoming year and semester?

Have S.M.A.R.T. Goals:
Specific A person who knows what their goals are is off to a good start but it can become a problem if that goal is too broad. The more specific and narrow the goal is, the more manageable and achievable. Ask personal questions, such as: why is this goal important to me? What do I want to accomplish with this goal in mind? What resources do I have that will allow me to accomplish the goal?

Measurable – Having a goal that is measurable is important because it helps one keep track of the progress. Having access to measuring a goal opens the ability to stay focused and meet important deadlines.

Achievable – Having achievable goals is vital to the process itself. Continue to reach for the stars, but think about the realistic ways you can get there. Ask yourself, “what skills are necessary for a particular goal” – what is needed to build them – go from there.

Relevant   Sometimes a person’s goals are influenced by family, friends, other loved ones.

Another important question to ask yourself, “is this my goal?” Maybe trying to be an engineer, just because the family does it, is not what you truly want as a career. Making a goal personal can turn out to be very rewarding.

Time-limiting/Time-bound – Create a deadline or target date for each goal. Think about what you can accomplish in six days, weeks, months, and years from today. Think about what there is to do today i order to meet that deadline.

Students have a lot going on that requires a day-to-day balancing act. Prioritizing responsibilities can help make the tasks less intrusive, stressful and overbearing on one’s personal life.

Know What Personally Motivates You:
It is important for all individuals to understand what personally drives them each and every day.Allison said, “We’re driven by something to look forward to.” Perhaps the source is money, a new car, a degree, or good grades.

See an Advisor/Counselor:
Seeing an advisor can be important for students to find the help they might need. Students might need help with transferring, choosing classes, or knowing what their next academic step is. Educational goals can be either short or long-term, so it is important to take advantage of given opportunities. Make an appointment with a counselor at

Pick this story up in the Spring 2018 Life4U magazine on campus[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Honda PACT

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written by Nate Torres
Video by Amanda Lanclos

There is no shortage of people considering going back to school. The associated, and often deterring, question is often, “is it worth it?” Many weigh this by considering if the time and money invested will lead to better job opportunities. The determining factor is often the area of study.

Despite the bumps in the road that the auto industry has been going through, there is no shortage of cars on the road. Vehicles, eventually need repairs. To service those repairs, automotive technicians will be in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for auto technicians will grow at a steady rate of 6 percent over the next ten years, averaging 2,300 new positions a year in Texas, alone.

In response, ACC has been training students to help meet the demand for technicians. Many students are finding work even before they complete the program.

“All of our students get jobs,” says department chair Mike Schoebroek. “Employers are calling all the time looking for employees. Typically it’s one of three different types of employers. Of course the dealerships, then independent repair shops, and then franchises like Firestone, Jiffy Lube, and Christian Brothers.”

ACC is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). The department offers four certificates and an associate degree in automotive. With the certification, the school makes sure to keep the instruction evolving as the quickly as vehicles.

“I went to trade school in the seventies,” says adjunct professor Kevin McNeil. “These kids have to learn a lot more in the same amount of time that I did. [Cars] are getting more technical… it ain’t the seventies. You have to hook with a lab scope and a DBOM, read a schematic and do pin checks.”

For soon to be graduate Mike Lopez, the more instruction ACC can get him on the automotive industry the better. “I plan to further my career and come back to get the advanced certificate; which I advise everybody do. They have automatic transmissions II, alternative fuels, and diesel classes which they don’t teach for the regular certificate or degree so you come back and finish that while you’re working.”  

Advanced degrees or specialization is a great advantage for those who are already in the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor, specialization is a wise commitment reporting an increase from the average wage of $18 per hour to upwards of $30 an hour ($60000 per year) for those who specialize.

Honda has shown great interest in students looking to specialize with their PACT program through their partnership with ACC. This semester PACT is investing in ACC with a fleet of cars and specialty tools, so students are learning and working on Honda/Acura vehicles specifically. This program’s intentions are to provide students with many opportunities, especially those looking to find work at a dealership.

Howdy Honda’s shop foreman, says, “[Students] who come out of school with a PACT certificate are more likely to be hired here than the guy with the associate degree, because they’ve been working on our products.”

That’s not to say a generic automotive associate degree isn’t valued but as a former TSTC student, Bone says,  “… when I came out I was ASE certified in all 8 areas and I didn’t have a clue how to work on a Honda. I had an idea how to work on a GM transmission or a Ford transmission but a Honda transmission is completely different.”

PACT will offer a 16-week certificate course as well as a two year associate degree similar to ACC’s generic program. Either way, time spent in ACC’s automotive programs seems to be a sure way to open doors to an automotive career. Bone says, “I like word of mouth but education, you can’t beat it.”

Pick this story up in the Spring 2018 Life4U magazine on campus

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Building Resumes

Written by Mariana Foran

Starting college, there are many things to think about like paying for classes, which ones to take, where to live and more. Ultimately, ACC provides students with an education and sources to add to a resume to get a job in the appropriate area of study. However, not many know how to write a resume, or what to even put on it.

Many advisors suggest students build their experience at ACC by joining student organizations, volunteering, internships and anything that can give you experience beyond the classroom.

“I think the biggest mistake I see college students make when it comes to building their resume is, they don’t pay attention to anything except school,” says ACC advisor Don Bradley. “They do the bare minimum to get by and at the end they find themselves with a piece paper, nothing more. If an employer had a choice between two college graduates, one with a degree and one with a degree and an impressive resume of things they did in college who do you think they are going to hire?”

It’s not uncommon to attend class, go home and/or work and call it a day. However, the Office of Student Life offers multiple ways to to volunteer and participate in campus activities. If being on campus is too limiting, they can help you find ways to be involved in the community.

Bradley says, “I was very protective over my GPA and basically did whatever I could fit into my schedule. Doing stuff gives you experience and you never know who you might meet or what kind of connections you can make.”

Every job application should have a tailored resume and cover letter.

Resumes should include several sections: your career objective, a list of experience and skills that pertain to the job and education. It is ok to apply to jobs before graduation, just be sure to place your expected graduation date under the education section. If a list of references isn’t asked for, then include it at the bottom of your resume. Have three or four references of current and/ past co-workers and managers who can speak, honestly, about your work ethic.

Cover Letter
In addition to a resume, many employers, often, ask for a cover letter. A cover letter is a summary of your resume and a formal way of introducing yourself. This is the opportunity to explain how a past experience or skill set, listed in your resume, makes you a top candidate for the job.

“Sincerity is an important element to a good cover letter,” says Bradley. “Staying away from empty phrases also, give people the facts they need not a flowy paragraph about how you’re a people person. The absolute worst thing you can do is use your cover letter to kiss up. Being a kiss up is a big turn off and it makes you seem lazy,”

When writing a cover letter, try keep it about a page long. Human Resources and the managers are receiving many resumes and cover letters (if asked), so be sure to keep it short simple and to the point. Formally address the boss or company you are writing it to and close it with the best way to reach out to you for an interview.

The libraries on every ACC campus has readings that can help you build your resume and cover letter. Or you can visit their online guide at For hands-on learning, the Highland ACCelerator hosts several Resume & Cover Letter workshops throughout the semester.

Pick this story up in the Spring 2018 Life4U magazine on campus.

Alternate Route to Success

Jessica Youssefi, Reporter 

Students attend college for different reasons, but the desire for success is a common trait.

Whether they are using community college as a way to familiarize themselves with the nuances of college life, or as a way to re-acclimate to an academic lifestyle, community colleges around the country offer opportunities and hope for individuals looking to achieve their goals.

For some, like UT graduate and former student at Northlake Community College in Dallas, Texas, Reihaneh Haijibeigi, community college served as a segue from high school academia to college-critical curriculum.

“I took my first community college courses while I was still a high school student,” said Haijibeigi.

“The handful of courses I took allowed me to juggle many different passions without falling behind in rigorous coursework.”

Community college is known for its diversity; it is very common to find people of different ages, ethnicities and financial backgrounds.

Community college provides an avenue for students who may be facing financial difficulties, hectic schedules and apprehensions about embarking on their education.

ACC currently enrolls more than 43,000 credit students and serves an additional 15,000 students each year through non-credit programs.

Community college has been the beginning of many success stories for students who are eager to get their foot in the door of knowledge. It continues to help students, young and old, connect the bridge between just starting out in college, and preparing them for the leap to a university.

It is vital that there are adequate resources extended to people who have the desire and drive to gain an education, and the tools needed to gain success in higher education can be found within community college.

Faculty/Staff Spotlight

Angela Yousef, Contributor 

 Roxane Royalty is a counselor and associate professor at the Highland Campus and has been with ACC for five years.

ACCENT: Do you have a role model?

Royalty: Yes, my previous boss in San Antonio — director of services for women and non traditional students.

ACCENT: What do you like most about ACC?

Royalty: Working with students of different backgrounds, the diverse cultures and learning new things from them.

ACCENT: What are the challenges with your occupation?

Royalty: Not being able to solve every student situation because of limited resources or challenges outside of my control or areas of expertise.

ACCENT: What do you enjoy about interacting with students?

Royalty: Getting to know them and seeing them succeed with a short or long term goal.

ACCENT: What do you do for fun?

Royalty: I like exercise, bike riding or running. I ran half a marathon one time!