University of Houston student, Kirby Langseth, recently graduated from San Jacinto College, saving approximately $25,000 in his pursuit of a business degree. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department.
University student finds that community college is no joke
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- August 23, 2012
PASADENA, Texas – Mother knows best, and Kirby Langseth found that to be true after battling both the stereotypes and the actual realities of community college.
"I thought it was going to be joke," said Langseth. "All of my friends were going away for college, and I wanted to go with them."
Langseth had his hopes set on moving away to a university right after graduating from Deer Park High School (DPHS). Besides, that’s what many of his closest friends were doing at the time. However, little by little, each one started moving back home, and that's when he knew that mom, Dr. Leone Langseth Clark, had won their bet.
"At first, he was furious, just crushed," said Clark, an assistant principal at DPHS. "He wanted to go away for college, but my thought process was that I didn't need to spend thousands of dollars to prove myself right when he could spend one year proving me wrong."
Community college proves cost effective; the average tuition cost for one year at a Texas community college is $2,303, compared to approximately $7,396 at a public university, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
After successful completion of two years at San Jacinto College, Langseth is making it known to others how he saved more than $25,000 in tuition and board by staying local, while also nabbing the university of his choice.
"Some of my friends have come back home after losing a ton of money with nothing to show for it," said Langseth. "They were just numbers in huge classrooms. My professors at San Jacinto College knew my name, my learning style, and how to answer my questions."
Langseth credits his history professor, Kyle Goyette, for encouraging him to apply to the University of Houston's College of Business to pursue a bachelor's degree in supply chain management. His psychology professor, Stefanie Mitchell, was the person who taught him how to conquer college business on his own initiative. Of course, Langseth had his grandfather, Dr. Robert Ervin, to look up to, who once served as department chair of social studies at San Jacinto College. Also, Langseth's mother and father are graduates of the College themselves who went on to earn degrees at esteemed universities.
"I wish I could have told the old me that it's not about where you get your degree from but more about how you learn to be a college student on your own," said Langseth. "During my two years at community college, I learned professionalism, how to be a university student, and not spend copious amounts of money doing so. I also made the connections I needed to get to the next step.”
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.