Michael Garcia

PTEC student determines to re-career in 18 months

Michael Garcia came to COM with a plan: complete the five-semester process technology program in 18 months.

A decade prior, he had left college to work two jobs and help care for his ill grandfather. Though he became successful in health care administration, Garcia realized he needed a credential to advance.

Returning to COM in 2012, Garcia determined that this time, nothing would prevent him from finishing.

“I was a little apprehensive about coming back cause I’ve been out of college so long,” said Garcia.

Taking advantage of COM tutoring and labs, Garcia took four eight-week classes the first semester. His first transcript thrilled him: four A’s.

He determined to maintain his 4.0 average and excelled. He received a COM scholarship and competitive Shell scholarship open to students across the nation.

“The next victory was getting inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (the national community college honor society), then being a finalist in the speech competition, and giving the commencement speech,” said Garcia. “Can it get any better than that?”

Now having completed his goal of graduating in 18 months with a 4.0 average, he graduated with a paid summer internship at Marathon Petroleum.

He is proud to share his story – and to be an example for his three children, ages 3, 7 and 8.

“They’re excited. My daughter will say, ‘Look, I brought home A’s like Daddy does,” said Garcia. "I like that I am able to be an even better role model."