Have you spent several decades in a job that pays the bills but leaves you feeling trapped or unfulfilled? What if you could take a career 180 from the comfort of home?

Elizabeth Harvey did. In 2017, the longtime interior designer harnessed the power of a San Jacinto College online degree program to pursue a more fulfilling career.

In 2014, Harvey’s mom had received a Stage 4 kidney cancer diagnosis. She passed away a year later. Losing her not only brought Harvey to a life crossroads, but also motivated her to enroll in San Jac’s online cancer data management program.

“I wanted a career that I felt was more brain and less brawn,” she said. “But the biggest thing was I felt it was a tribute to my mother. This is a field where I could make a difference for people.”

Logging on from Austin

Online courses gave Harvey flexibility to continue her Austin-area design work during the day and study on evenings and weekends.

Except for two classes with live webinars, all classes were on her own schedule. Thanks to her San Jac program, Harvey landed an internship and a job with the Texas Cancer Registry even before completing her advanced technical certificate.

Since 2018, she has enjoyed four promotions at Texas Cancer Registry. Today, she works as a Program Specialist V, mentoring students and new cancer reporters, presenting public workshops, and serving as team lead for the quality assurance/training team.

Doctors, researchers, and others in the cancer field worldwide develop and fine-tune their treatments based on data that Harvey and other tumor registrars consolidate and edit for accuracy and consistency.

“I wish I knew about this career path earlier in life,” Harvey said. “I love my new career and my job with the Texas Cancer Registry.”

Giving that dream a chance

Do you have a new or longtime dream or goal? It’s never too late to go after it with online classes.

San Jac offers a variety of affordable online programs to train you for a new path, including:

  • Business entrepreneur and management
  • Business office systems and support (administrative/executive assistant)
  • Cancer data management
  • Child development/early childhood education
  • Computer information technology
  • Construction management
  • Criminal justice
  • Health information management
  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • Real estate

All resources available to in-person students are also available for online students. While you may take your classes online, you can choose online or in-person advising, tutoring, and more, depending on your schedule and needs.

“San Jac is here to help you all along the way, whether you choose to take your classes online or in person,” said Niki Whiteside, assistant vice chancellor, instructional innovation and support. “If you need help, please call us. We will help point you in the best direction to meet your needs.”

Harvey credits her success to instructor support, personal determination, time management, and positivity. But what was the biggest reason she succeeded? She clicked the “Apply” button.

“It’s better to look back and say, ‘At least I tried,’ instead of ‘I wish I had tried,’” she said.

Learn more at sanjac.edu/online or call 281-998-6150.

Courtney Morris