From engineer to endowed professor
I take my role very seriously. All I want to do is teach, develop leaders and train education professionals.
Antonio Corrales, associate professor of Educational Leadership (EDLS) at University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), was recently named an endowed professor and currently serves as the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program director. After fleeing his home country of Venezuela and starting a new life in the U.S., Corrales put his career as an engineer behind him, and decided to focus on what made him happy and how he could make a difference.
Corrales obtained a Master of Science in Educational Management and in 2015, a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UH- Clear Lake. He planned to work as a superintendent of education throughout his career. However, his career trajectory took a different turn after he applied for a job at UHCL.
“I applied for a job here and was selected. I was scared in the beginning because it was not like being a superintendent,” Corrales said. “Teaching at UHCL ended up being the best decision of my life. I started writing books, attending conferences and helping school districts nationwide.”
Corrales said his objective is to always add value to organizations and anyone he is helping. He said sometimes it isn’t “politically savvy” to start all over again, but it can be necessary to achieve a goal along with proper planning.
“I base a lot of my approach on strategic planning,” Corrales said. “I teach strategic planning and everything we do is based on that. It’s more dynamic and allows stakeholder involvement.”
Corrales said he is committed to developing individuals who have a strong work ethic, grit, flexibility, adaptability and can perform in school achievement.
“I always tell my applicants for the doctoral program that we are not a number-based program; we accept students based on our needs. Most importantly, we want students who have a reason ‘why,’” Corrales said. “We want students that really want to make a change in society.”
Corrales added that when he became director of the EDLS program, there was work to do with increasing enrollment, and he is glad he could make a difference.
“Enrollment has tripled, and there are over 100 students in the program today. It’s one of the best programs in the state of Texas,” Corrales said. “We have produced many superintendents, higher education professionals and administrators. Eighty percent of our students secure better jobs while in the program.”
Corrales said he is able to fulfill his life mission at UHCL and is devoted to helping students reach their potential. He helps students discover their “superpowers” that make them outstanding leaders.
For more information about UHCL’s College of Education, visit www.uhcl.edu/education/.