Jose Mota

MiraCosta College Associate Counselor

MiraCosta College Associate Counselor Jose Mota is paying it forward.

“I honestly feel that MiraCosta provided me with the foundation to begin my educational journey,” he said. “So I try to do the best I can to help students who are there now. I want to give back to MiraCosta College students what I received when I was a student here.”

He must be doing something right. Mota was honored as Associate Faculty of the Year this past May for his dedication to students, his knowledge, his openness to questions, and his ability to inspire. He also developed the First Year Experience Program to help new students transition to college, and he serves as an advisor to the First Year Experience student club.

“As club advisor he is always taking the time to make sure things are getting done the correct way, answer questions, and has helped motivate me to have greater standards for myself,” said one student.

“Mr. Mota’s love for his career is very contagious,” said another student. “I see that he loves working with people, and because of him I also want to help people in the same way.”

Born in Mexico, Mota immigrated to United States at the age of eight and has made Oceanside his home ever since. He graduated from El Camino High School and attended MiraCosta College from 2001 to 2004, earning an associate of arts degree in psychology. He took part in both the Puente and EOPS programs, and “it was through my experience with those programs and working with counselors here that solidified my decision to find a career in counseling,” he said.

Mota transferred to Cal State San Marcos, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, then earned his master’s degree in counseling at San Diego State University in 2008. He quickly landed an internship at MiraCosta College, and a year later had become an associate counselor. Future plans include securing a Ph.D. in psychology.

His devotion to the First Year Experience Program stems from his desire “to help students the best way that I can.” The effort establishes a strong peer support network for new MiraCosta College students and set them up with mentors and faculty who can help them overcome any obstacles. It also includes field trips to four-year universities.

Mota also teaches a Counseling 101 course aimed at providing practical skills that help ensure success.

He says he had no idea that students had nominated him for the award. “It certainly was a surprise,” he said. “It was something that was unexpected, and I am deeply honored to have been chosen.”