College advisor says Midland College feels like ‘home’May 20, 2024

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Haley McNerlin and her family enjoying a family beach vacation.  Pictured from left to right are Stella, Cole, Haley and Savannah.

Haley McNerlin grew up going to Midland College events.

“My family loved Chaps Basketball games, and I remember going to see Santa at the College’s Holiday evening,” she said.  “I always felt at home at MC.

“When I graduated from Midland High School in 2011, it was a ‘no brainer’ that I would attend Midland College.”

She graduated from MC in May 2013 with an Associate of Arts degree.  In October of that same year, she married her high school sweetheart Cole, and then the couple moved to College Station while Haley attended Texas A&M University, graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication.

Today, McNerlin is back at Midland College, this time in the role as one of the College’s Pathways Advisors.  In this capacity, she works with students, mainly in the Health Sciences programs, to help them plan their college pathways.  She and Cole still take advantage of MC basketball games and Holiday Evening festivities, but now they are accompanied with their two daughters Stella, age 5, and Savannah, age 3.

“I actually haven’t worked anywhere else since I graduated from high school,” McNerlin explained.  “When I was attending MC, I worked in the bookstore.  After I graduated from Texas A&M, Cole and I couldn’t wait to get back to Midland.  As soon as we moved back in 2015, I started working at MC as a secretary in the Math & Science Division.  Then, in 2017, I was promoted to Pathways Advisor.

“I love being a Pathways Advisor and helping students reach their goals toward rewarding and successful careers.”

McNerlin left Midland College for three years from 2018-2021 when her daughters were born, but in 2021, she was back working at the College as an Admissions Advisor.  Then, in 2022, she transferred once again to the position as Pathways Advisor.

“I advise a variety of students—those who are right out of high school and older nontraditional students who are wanting to make a better life for themselves and their families,” she explained.  “I really enjoy helping students in different stages in life.  Sometimes, they require a lot of encouragement in order to stay in school.  

“A lot of students I advise need someone in their corner, and that’s my job.  I was lucky when I was attending MC—I had a very supportive family; however, there are many students who don’t have that support system.  Quite a few of the students I advise are single mothers with young children.  It’s tough for them, so I try to offer them as much assistance as possible by helping them contact instructors or navigate financial aid and scholarship processes.  Things in life aren’t always easy, especially if you are going to school while juggling a job and family responsibilities.  No student at MC should have to fight battles alone; we are here to help.”  

McNerlin said that she first became interested in a job where she could work with and help people when she was a student at MC.  

“I took a class called Social Problems, and the instructor was David Edens,” she said.  “That class and Dr. Edens’ enthusiasm opened my eyes to the field of sociology and the fact that I would enjoy a career working with people.”

When McNerlin isn’t advising and helping students at Midland College, she enjoys reading, especially mystery novels, and spending time with her family.  She and Cole own a home on four acres in Midland County, and the family have what she refers to as a very spoiled retired rope horse named Spicey and a Golden Doodle named Birdie.

“Cole and I were both involved in rodeo when we were at Midland High,” she said.  “So, we grew up with horses and being outdoors.  We like living in a home that has outside space for Stella and Savannah to run and play.”

Another favorite family pastime is vacationing, either at the beach or camping in Cloudcroft, NM, where she says they enjoy relaxing around campfires and enjoying nature.  

 

Photo:  Haley McNerlin and her family enjoying a family beach vacation.  Pictured from left to right are Stella, Cole, Haley and Savannah.

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