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Never Too Late to Align Your Passion with Your Purpose

The Kolbe School to Graduate First Cohort

The first-ever graduating cohort from The Kolbe School of Innovation and Professional Studies is making history with their AAS degree completions at the University of St. Thomas-Houston. The Kolbe School's two-year, 100% online academic programs have proven to be career-forming, life-changing treasures for its students.

It was only four years ago that The Kolbe School was conceived and created. In December, a remarkable 16 AAS degrees in Cybersecurity and three AAS degrees in Network Technology will be conferred.

Chianti Grantham, M.Ed., Kolbe Academic Success Coach“I am so excited about our first graduating cohort!” Chianti Grantham, M.Ed, The Kolbe School Academic Success Coach, asserted. “The response to our programs has been overwhelming. Not only do we have this group of graduates, but we also currently have 177 registered students, and the number is steadily increasing.”

The Kolbe School offers the following programs:

·      Cybersecurity

·      Networking Technology

·      Electronic Technology

·      General Business

·      Drug & Alcohol Counseling

·      General Studies

·      Pragmatic Studies

Who Does The Kolbe School Serve?

The school is designed to serve a population of individuals between 18 and 65 who are choosing to change careers or being compelled to following COVID layoffs. Many have been out of school for quite a few years.

Grantham said, “These students are laser focused and committed to achieving their goal of furthering their education. Furthermore, the team at The Kolbe School is equally committed to ensuring the students have the support and resources to succeed.”

In addition to services like individual success coaches, The Kolbe School seeks internships for students. As a result, five cybersecurity students are fulfilling internships through Instructor Dr. Douglas Franklin at a company called ION.

Jeremy Rodriguez, AAS CybersecurityWhat Cybersecurity Grads Say About The Kolbe School

Soon-to-be AAS graduate Jeremy Rodriguez read about UST’s cybersecurity program in a Houston Chronicle article, and it resonated with the fast-food worker.

“I’ve always been around computers and enjoy the technology environment,” he said. “And the program’s online flexibility allowed me to keep working and earning money while I took the classes. That was important to me. The more I learned in the program, the more I enjoyed cyber, and I realized I want cybersecurity to be my career. I’m excited about my future.”

Jill Owens, AAS CybersecurityRodriguez plans to transfer to UST’s B.A. Cybersecurity program in the spring. His AAS virtual classmate, Jill Owens, is considering the same thing. Owens, a wife and mother, had been laid off from a travel management company due to COVID cutbacks.

“I saw on ABC News that UST was starting this cyber program and offering a free tuition semester. I thought, ‘People in cybersecurity aren’t getting laid off,’ so I applied, got accepted, and got the free tuition. Oh my God, the experience has been so wonderful.”

Wonderful indeed. The travel management company that laid her off rehired her to work in product technology using her new programming and configuration skills.

Prepared to Succeed

Dr. Nicole Walters, Dean of The Kolbe SchoolDean of The Kolbe School Dr. Nicole Walters said, “Our two-year degrees are lifelines to people, helping them to take care of themselves and their families. These graduates are a testament to hard work and dedication. They prove it’s never too late to align your passion with your purpose.”

But Owens insists the curriculum and the people at The Kolbe School make all the difference.

“You truly have people walking with you every step of the way,” Owens said. “I feel prepared by this experience. I’m ready. I have the tools to succeed. And it’s never going to get routine because these cyber challenges are always changing.”

Let their graduation serve as solid evidence that The Kolbe School is doing a tremendous amount of good within the community and accomplishing that through the Kolbe team’s zeal for education and devotion to their students.