Horseshoe Bay Police Officer Completes Degree with Texas Tech’s University College

by STEVE PETERSON

December 08, 2011

When Texas Tech University awards academic degrees to the graduating class of 2011, the celebration will be especially meaningful to Patrol Officer Javier J. Castro from the Horseshoe Bay Police Department.

For the past 10 semesters, Castro has worked diligently to complete his Bachelor of Arts in University Studies degree – while trying to balance educational responsibilities with those of work and family. The flexible nature of the program, offered by University College and facilitated through the Texas Tech regional site in Highland Lakes, allowed him to adapt his education accordingly.

“Texas Tech University at Highland Lakes provided the convenience of both face-to-face and online classes, which were extremely beneficial for my schedule” said Castro.

Since the fall of 2008, Castro has taken as many classes as possible each semester while working full-time and helping his wife raise their five children.

“My work schedule requires that I work Friday to Monday, and includes shifts of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., so a Bachelor of University Studies degree was very appealing to me – particularly the customization options and the availability of online courses,” he said. “I constantly work more than 40 hours a week and I needed an educational program that would be accommodating.”

Castro said that during his days off, he’d complete his homework while his wife was at work and his kids were at school. He’d then attend traditional classroom-based classes in the evening. “Following class, I’d hurry home to spend a little time with the family before they went to bed, and then I’d continue with my homework into the early morning hours.”

Despite the overwhelming time commitments, the sight of their father studying at all hours of the day has served to inspire the Castro children. “They study much harder than I ever did at their ages,” he said. His kids have told him that they too plan to attend Texas Tech when they finish their secondary education.

“My children are extremely proud that I am a Red Raider and that I will be graduating from Texas Tech University.”

An undergraduate degree will help Castro be more competitive as he seeks to advance his career, particularly regarding the continuing educational requirements for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) license as a peace officer, jailer and telecommunications operator. Additionally, his college education – with concentrations in Sociology, English, and History – provide him with opportunities beyond the law enforcement field, should he choose to pursue them.

This past September, the Rotary Club of Marble Falls held their 9-11 Memorial Ceremony where they honored many of their community members serving in law enforcement and as emergency responders. Castro was among the recipients of the Rotary Club’s Patriot Award, and cherishes the recognition from his community.

“I love my job and the citizens that allow me to serve them, so receiving this award was truly an honor,” he said. “I could not have done anything without the support from my community and my department’s administration, and to this I give my most sincere thanks.”

Still, the potential for the most rewarding experience yet for Castro could be his upcoming graduation. “I have always dreamed of being in my last semester of college, and how it would feel,” he said. “It will be an amazing feeling once I have received my degree.”

While glad to be done, he’d like to emphasize that he thoroughly enjoyed his educational experience with Tech and is very grateful to have had the convenience of a regional site located so close to his home. He also said that he owes much to his professors. “I wouldn’t be where I am now without their constant support and assistance,” he said.

Finally, Castro would like to offer the following advice to anyone in the Highland Lakes area that is thinking about pursuing college-level studies. “TTU at Highland Lakes has provided me with a superior educational experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking an institution of higher learning.”


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