I am an Adunct (part-time) Counselor here at Cypress College. While I do some counseling, my true loves are teaching and career counseling. I have taught:
- COUN 140C: Educational Planning
- COUN 141C: Career Exploration
- COUN 151C: Career & Life Planning (in person and online)
- COUN 150C: Academic and Life Success (traditional format as well as for the UTAP learning community)
In addition to teaching here at Cypress, I am also an Adjunct Professor at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. http://faculty.mtsac.edu/khigh/index.html
By the time I graduated from high school in 1979, I was developing a desire to obtain a college education. However, since I had not been prepared for college life, I was not ready for its challenges. Consequently, I floundered at Rio Hondo College for 18 years making every mistake that "underprepared" students typically make. For example in the beginning, I dropped more classes than I actually finished. However I was finally able to get my act together and transferred to Cal Poly Pomona in 1996 with an over 3.0 GPA.
Shortly after transferring in 1997, I was laid off from my full-time, nine-year clerical position in the corporate world. I decided to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to quit working full-time to go to school full-time to finish my degree. The challenges, stress, and frustrations of not being able to find answers to my questions during this time led me to want to help people who faced situations similar to mine. I realized the job I wanted did not yet exist, but I knew it somehow involved working with college students. I had a clear career goal in mind, so I hyper-focused on school and finished 120 units (equivalent to three years) in two years. I then went immediately into my graduate program at Azusa Pacific University and finished it in two years.
Shortly after graduating from APU, I was first hired by Mt. SAC as an Adjunct (part-time) Professor. However, economic downturns, not knowing which types of institutions would value what I had to offer, needing to "pay my dues" in a new career, and other unforeseeable challenges has resulted in my having about 16 jobs (mostly simultaneous part-time, temporary positions) since being laid off. During my varied experiences at universities, community colleges and working in the church, I found my "target audience" kept expanding to include basically all adults who have the desire and potential to succeed at finding their dreams and are willing to give the process what it takes. I also have come to realize that I best relate to most non-traditional student populations because they are usually the ones who have the most challenges to overcome during their journeys.
I returned to teaching at Mt. SAC in 2006, and have been working at Cypress since 2007. I have come to realize just how much I love it, and that I do truly enjoy working part-time because it allows me to focus on pursuing my own agenda instead of someone else's. I am also a part-time counselor at Golden West College
To address the demands of today's economy, I have an independent consulting business, Dream Chasers & Goal Setters. I also started a support group for the unemployed, and am also in the process of starting up a non-profit career transition resource center, New Career Vision.
My story illustrates five elements of finding a career you will enjoy: 1) Personality/talents, 2) values, 3) life experience, 4) working for an institution whose mission/purpose is consistent with your goals and values, and 5) the importance of focusing on the process and journey. This career allows me to operate in my natural giftedness of visionary leadership, planning and organizing, communicating, strategic thinking and relating. I value education, challenge, empowering others, and positively impacting peoples' lives. My interest comes from my own life experience (the journey of finding and achieving my own dream career was very long and very hard). I love working for the community college because helping under-prepared students succeed is part of its mission of providing open access to higher education. Finally taking the small steps necessary to get to your long-term goal; and staying focused on the vision in spite of distractions has been an important part of the process.