Tracey Clayton comes to Texas State Technical College from Tennessee, where she was first introduced to careers in higher education.
Now, with several years of experience under her belt as an educational advisor and as an enrollment coach for the college, she is helping students at TSTC find their potential and become college graduates.
“It’s so exciting to see students get ready to enter college,” she said. “My passion is to help students start their education so they can find opportunities that help them lead better lives.”
Higher education wasn’t always what Clayton had in mind as a profession.
For 15 years, the single mom practiced as a licensed massage therapist for spas, mobile clinics, chiropractic clinics and private clients.
But when the joints in her hands started giving her problems, she knew it was time for a career change.
“This profession fell into my lap by accident, but it helped me support my son,” she reminisced. “I was always giving family members and friends massages and they all told me the same thing, ‘This is your career,’ so when I couldn’t massage anymore, I decided to teach.”
She taught massage therapy for three years at a technical college in Tennessee, also serving as a new student and graduate advisor.
“This was my first go-around in the education sector and I loved it,” she said.
Then Clayton decided she was ready for a change. So with friends and family in the area and in Dallas, she chose Houston, Texas as her new home.
“Before making the move official, I applied everywhere. I wanted to work in higher education,” she said. “And then TSTC called. The moment I walked on campus and met the people around me, I knew this was where I was meant to be.”
Ten months later and Clayton said everyone at TSTC has become a second family and her favorite part: seeing the students she assists with enrollment being successful and getting closer to graduating.
“I love what I do and where I do it,” said Clayton. “TSTC has been a great place to work and my job feels rewarding. I can see myself growing here and staying for the long run.”
Clayton’s said her goals are to continue helping students pick the careers that are right for them and keeping her positive attitude because it can make a world of difference for those she serves.
And to help in her career development, she is also pursuing an online associate degree with TSTC in Business Management Technology.
“Nothing I have done or achieved has been easy, especially as a single mom,” said Clayton. “I can empathize with many of our students and I hope my story will inspire others to not give up on their dreams. Because TSTC helps create careers for anyone willing to work hard.”
Registration for Spring 2020 begins November 11. For more information, visithttps://tstc.edu.