Discovering options – former dental assistant finds niche in online courses
Student of the Week: Emily Lozano
Making full use of online courses at South Texas College, Emily Lozano says she is close to wrapping up an associate degree in education with the hopes of starting a career as an elementary level teacher.
Utilizing STC’s online campus to manage a family along with her school work, Emily says taking all of her courses completely online has given her an option she wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Born in Houston, Emily said she lived there until she was 10 years old before moving to Monterrey, Mexico. She has lived in the Valley since 2012.
Initially studying dentistry in Mexico, and began a career as a dental assistant when she arrived in the Valley. After a few years of work, Emily says she was encouraged by a younger sibling to return to college.
“It was my little sister who encouraged me to come back to school,” Emily said. “She was an early college student and I started seeing all of her achievements. I am still very proud of her, and she is my biggest motivation.”
Beginning at STC in the fall of 2018, Emily says it took her five years to return to college after initially completing her dental assistant certificate. Exactly one year later, she says she is close to graduating from STC and hopes to begin training in a school setting.
"You have to keep moving forward because you never know where a degree can take you. There is always an opportunity for a better job out there.”
“It’s easier than dental assistant work, and I love having the opportunity to help little people with their education,” Emily said. “I would really love to make a difference in their lives.”
Starting in 1997 with two course sections and 57 students, the Distance Learning Program at STC has since expanded to include 34 online programs, 668 online sections, 340 faculty, and over 6,000 students as of fall 2019.
Students can earn one of 34 degrees and certificates entirely online as they pursue their career goals.
“To students who are in the position I was in waiting to come back to school, I would tell them not to wait too long,” she said. “Every year that passes comes with more obstacles, but you have to keep moving forward because you never know where a degree can take you. There is always an opportunity for a better job out there.”
Students who are interested in online courses at STC can visit https://www.southtexascollege.edu/online/ to get started.