2017: Jefferson Tiangco
Class of 2005
Jefferson Tiangco was born and raised in the Philippines and pursued his education as an accountant in his country. In 2003, he and his family moved to the US to pursue new opportunities.
Tiangco recalls the culture shock when he arrived in the US and found the language barrier to be intimidating. Not only were the English language and culture challenging, he also faced financial struggles not having a permanent home or vehicle for several years. However, his willingness and determination to succeed were much greater than the challenges. He knew that education would assist him, so he enrolled at Norco College in fall 2003. He set high goals, which began with just four college courses.
Tiangco continued his education and graduated from Norco College in 2005. He transferred to California State University, Fullerton, and in 2008 he graduated summa cum laude with a baccalaureate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and a minor in Spanish.
He began working for Norco College shortly after graduation as an instructional support specialist and credits Norco College for preparing him with not only his education, but also his work experience. Tiangco recalls several significant accomplishments while at Norco College: he developed the College website after accreditation, started social media accounts, technology training, and developed class schedules, and worked on a variety of projects.
A couple of years later, Tiangco decided to continue his education and went back to Cal State Fullerton. In 2014, he earned a master’s degree in Education with a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) emphasis. He then took on part-time teaching positions as an ESL instructor at Fullerton College and Norco College – all while working full time. His passion and talent for teaching grew so strong that he pursued and earned a full-time teaching position at Fullerton College.