VC was in couple’s higher education plans from start

Goyens1 Daniel and Claire Goyen attended Victoria College together before getting married in 2002.

Daniel and Claire Goyen enrolled at Victoria College seeking a little bit of normalcy in their lives.

“My high school situation was pretty much all over the place,” Daniel said. “I was homeschooled as a freshman, went to Faith Academy as a sophomore, and then I finished at Victoria High School.”

“I was just getting to know Victoria,” said Claire, whose family moved to Victoria from New Iberia, La., during her sophomore year in high school. “Then not long after I graduated from high school, my parents decided to move.”

The Goyens, who began dating soon after Claire moved to Victoria, enrolled together at VC in 2000.

“I wasn’t ready to move off and go to school,” Daniel said. “Victoria College definitely made sense for me and, of course, Claire played a big factor in that. We knew we didn’t want to go our separate ways.”

“I really liked VC’s campus,” Claire said. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I knew VC would get me on a great start toward doing that.”

Daniel and Claire were married in 2002 while attending Victoria College. After graduating from VC, they both transferred to the University of Houston-Victoria where Daniel obtained his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2004 and Claire acquired her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 2005.

Daniel worked 30 hours per week at his family’s Victoria business, Goyen Electric, while taking as many as 19 credit hours of classes per semester at VC. Even though Daniel graduated near the top of his class at Victoria High School, he quickly learned he was in for a challenge at Victoria College.

“I learned from the time I stepped in my first class that you needed to be on time, you had to study, and you had to work hard,” Daniel said. “It was about being diligent and learning the material. You couldn’t just show up for class on test day and pass.”

The couple recalls attending Victoria College’s athletic events and playing ping-pong at the Student Center.

“We made a lot of lifelong connections that we’ve been able to keep,” said Claire, who has taught K-4 students at Trinity Episcopal School in Victoria for eight years after teaching first grade at Chandler Elementary School for seven years.

Daniel is now operations manager of Goyen Electric. He said his company has benefitted from Victoria College’s industrial trades programs and courses.

“We’ve seen more qualified apprentice candidates, and Victoria College has a lot to do with that,” Daniel said. “People of all ages need to take advantage of the training VC provides. In two years or even less, you are well-prepared for a good-paying career. It’s worked for us at Goyen Electric.”

Daniel and Claire, who have a 9-year-old daughter, Avery, and a 3-year-old son, Everett, said they wouldn’t have changed a thing as far as their higher education is concerned.

“Daniel could have gone to college anywhere,” Claire said. “But we chose Victoria College. VC wasn’t our Plan B.  It’s where we wanted to go all along.”