Instructor serves as campus business resource


Villarreal helps guide her students into entrepreneurship

To an outsider, the world of business seems to be about sitting in an office cube, drinking a cup of coffee, working all day on a computer and answering phones before the clock hits 5:30 p.m.

Sometimes those working in business set professionalism as a boundary and consider paychecks a reward.

Delta College business instructor Martha Villarreal takes professionalism to the next level.

Her student’s success is her reward.

“I like to see my students succeed because it makes me love my job more,” said Villarreal.

Villarreal has been working at Delta College for 24 years and has helped more than 30 students start their own businesses.

She works closely with each student to help them accomplish the goal of becoming an entrepreneur.

She helps her students with a wide variety of businesses such as web design, a Vietnamese restaurant, retail, clown business, window tinting, auto glass repair and  tax preparation, among others.

Villarreal’s classes introduce the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and she guides her students towards the path of success.

SBDC is an organization that offers free business consulting and affordable training.

Services are available to Delta students as well as individuals nationwide.

Before becoming a professor, she was the Project Director at U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Center.

Her love of teaching began when she was assisting her clients to understand the basics of business.

She started out as a part-time professor at Delta, teaching law courses.

Villarreal is passionate about her job and uses unique strategies to engage her students in the subject she’s teaching.

For example, she brings in current events to the classroom that are relevant to the students’ lives.

She also offers extra credit to students who go to SBDC.

Villarreal teaches nine courses in various aspects of law and business this semester.

She was born and raised in Los Angeles and came to Stockton when she was 30.

Villarreal earned her Juris Doctorate degree from University of California, Los Angeles.

She soon discovered that  her passion for teaching surpassed her ambition for becoming a lawyer.

“When I see effort in my students, I will go out of my way to help them,” Villarreal said.

In a 2008 survey of graduates, Villarreal was recognized as one of the top professors at Delta College in the business department, according to The Record newspaper.