As a member of the San Jacinto College Central Campus educational planning, counseling, and completion department, A. J. Elsner is one of the staff members soon-to-be housed in the campus’ new Welcome Center opening spring 2020.
An alumnus of the College, Elsner is able to see many facets of the college experience which helps him in his role as an educational planner. However, he understands that completing college is not a one-size-fits-all formula.
“Many of our students are first-generation college students, so they don’t have anyone at home to guide them through the experience of what it means to be a college student,” said Elsner. “Sometimes just one question or conversation you have with a student can change their life. As educational planners, we strive to meet each individual student wherever they’re at along their educational journey.”
He adds that the journey itself changes more rapidly than most people realize, and celebrating those changes and differences is something Elsner and the College’s educational planning, counseling, and completion staff members strive to embrace.
“Being able to help a student find their path, even if it looks very different from your own, is why we’re here. The students we see at commencement are the ones that we’ve seen in our offices, and we know the obstacles, stumbles, and sacrifices they’ve faced to earn that cap and gown. It’s unbelievably rewarding to see them walk across the stage knowing that they have accomplished a goal that at one point they thought was impossible. We really are changing students’ lives every day.”
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 served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. San Jacinto College is a 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institution, a 2017 Aspen Prize Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers eight areas of study that puts students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs.