Minnesota native warms up to new career at TSTC

A Minnesota transplant, Jonathan Eichten is ready for his first South Texas summer at Texas State Technical College doing what he loves best – helping students start and finish college.

The 53-year-old is only a couple of weeks in as TSTC’s newest campus enrollment executive, but brings with him more than two decades of experience to the field.

“I’m so excited to be here at TSTC,” said Eichten. “I first heard of the college after meeting some people at a conference. So, after learning about the college and its commitment to technical education and jobs, and hearing about warmer weather, I was sold.”

Eichten said people always appear surprised that he chose the Rio Grande Valley as his new home, so he came up with a top-10 list to explain his reasoning.

A few items on his list, aside from the weather include – the fishing, the area’s value on family, the fresh fruit at H-E-B, the food, the palm trees and Texas is only two syllables making it easier than Minnesota to pronounce.

“My journey started in Minnesota and it has continued in Texas,” said Eichten. “I can’t wait to see what’s in store.”

Eichten earned his undergraduate degree in 1987 from St. John’s University in Minnesota in business and French; yes, Eichten is fluent in French and is now learning Spanish so he doesn’t feel left out in his new home.

He also earned, from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Business Administration in 1999 and a Ed.D. in 2005 with a dissertation focused on education and the transferring from a two-year college to a university.

“Working in higher education has always been my passion,” said Eichten. “I love working with students and helping them achieve success.”

During his 25 years with the Minnesota State Colleges and University System, or Minnesota State System, Eichten worked for several colleges and universities within the student services division improving and advancing the technology students use to enroll in college.

In his role before moving to TSTC, he was the senior assistant director of student support technology and implemented “Students First,” a project that focused on making it easier for students to navigate enrollment processes and student services available.

Within this project, Eichten played a major role in the improvement of student websites and campus portals and in the development of mobile friendly applications.

“Our goal by improving and developing technology is to give students all of the information they need and want right at their fingertips,” said Eichten. “All technology was adapted to fit the needs of the student and to help them identify college and career paths.”

Eichten added he believes students are better served with technology that gives them immediate solutions and answers.

Which is why his goals as TSTC’s campus enrollment executive is working with TSTC leadership in the near future to advance the technology that students use for enrolling and wait listing for classes that are at capacity.

“There are a lot of good things happening in the area of student services here at TSTC and I’m happy to be a part of it,” said Eichten. “Technology is the central point of how we serve students and it’s something that’s constantly evolving. We must always make sure that it fits our students’ needs and that our students know we’re here to serve them.”

For more information on the programs offered at TSTC, visit tstc.edu.