Helping Bobcats find
the path to happiness
Some people believe that a career choice should lead to a good income and be a means of financing a good life. Terence Parker, Texas State’s assistant director of Retention, Management and Planning, believes that the path to personal fulfillment starts with finding out what makes you happy, insight he gained through experience.
When Parker transferred from Hill College to Texas State as a business major, he became involved in numerous organizations, such as the Association of Black Students, NAACP and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. His over-involvement and lack of passion for his major soon caught up with him, however, and he began to struggle academically. He didn’t reach out for help until he faced academic suspension.
During his appeal hearing, Parker encountered two faculty members who offered him mentorship. With their guidance and support, Parker changed his major to education and was inspired to succeed. “They believed in me and really did help me and propel me academically. I got focused,” Parker says.
After graduating from Texas State with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science in 1992, Parker pursued a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2009, also at Texas State. In his current role, he helps students determine their personal goals and guides them to an appropriate academic path.
Parker oversees such programs as the African-American Male Dialogue Series, which focuses on African-American male involvement on campus, and Bobcat Bond, which connects transfer and second-year students with a faculty, staff or peer mentor to help them get adjusted on campus. These programs provide important social and personal interaction and yield significant results as well. “Every student feels like Texas State is home. It’s good for them to feel that someone cares about them and their success here,” says Parker. So far, 14 students have graduated from the African-American Male Dialogue Series.
For Parker, the reward is genuine satisfaction in knowing that students he has helped have a better future. “I truly believe it’s my calling that I’m here at this particular point in higher education to help students,” he says. Parker feels fulfilled and happy, knowing he didn’t choose his career just to be successful but because this is something he is passionate about.
For more information about programs available to help you succeed at Texas State, visit the Division of Student Affairs Programs and Services page.