Certificate in Faculty Preparation Student Spotlight: Dr. John Omburo

John Omburo

Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Dr. John Omburo, and I moved to the U.S 20 years ago with my family. Initially, my career was in automotive repairs and auto insurance appraisal. After looking for a job in the insurance or auto-repairs industry without success, I decided to go back to a community college with my children to update my education by enrolling in A.A. collision repairs, A.A. business administration, and a certificate. I graduated in three years. I then earned a scholarship for a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. During this time, I became more interested in continuing my studies with my children. Armed with a bachelor's degree from UTA, I landed a job as an adjunct instructor with Tarrant County Community College for over six years until COVID-19 struck. With the teaching experience I got from TCCD, I decided to enroll in the Certificate in Faculty Preparation from Cal Poly Humboldt. 

What motivated you to enroll in the Certificate in Faculty Preparation: Teaching in Higher Education program?

When I was teaching auto collision repairs at TCC, I got more interested in higher education. I decided to go for a master's degree at Southwest University in New Mexico. My thirst for higher education did not stop there with a master's degree, so I started looking for a university to do a Ph.D. in business administration. After graduating with a Ph.D. in business administration (management) from Grand Canyon University, I decided to look for a university to learn further, to qualify as a professional college lecturer. After a long search, I came to know about Humboldt’s program. 

How has the program positively impacted your personal and/or professional life?

I can say that higher education alone does not qualify one to be a teacher until you go through a training program like this one. I realized that I was doing some things right by chance, but this program has completely changed my life, and now I view teaching as a noble profession. 

What are your goals after completing the certificate?

I have gained a lot of experience in my life after coming from a very humble background as an automotive technician. I have managed to change my life through education and those of my children. I would be happy to assist struggling children, especially students from minority communities. As much as I am qualified to teach automotive repairs, I am passionate about teaching management in a community college or trade school to prepare students to start their businesses. Most students in community college struggle, and they need teachers like me who have returned to school later in life and managed it while reaching their goals. 

What were/are the most memorable growth moments for you in the program?

Through what our magnificent professors have covered with us, I can confidently say that I am a teacher because I now know the roles of a teacher – what to do, how to do it, and what not to do.

What else would you like to share about your experience as a student in the Certificate in Faculty Preparation program?

Since I did my bachelor's and Ph.D. degrees online, I feel that all teachers should be required to go through this program. It may not be easy because it requires a lot of discipline. Online studies are not easy for most students, but after going through it for my previous degrees, I find it more accessible because I have developed the discipline to stay engaged in an online program.