Archive for the ‘Higher Ed News’ Category

CBC brings Freedom Writer to Beeville campus to inspire faculty and staff

July 30, 2014


Photo Cutline: Manny Scott, an original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the 2007 acclaimed Hollywood movie, Freedom Writers, will be on the CBC Beeville campus on Friday, August 8 to speak to faculty and staff.

CBC brings Freedom Writer to Beeville campus to inspire faculty and staff

Coastal Bend College (CBC) faculty and staff will have the opportunity to attend a professional development session with Manny Scott, an original Freedom Writer, on Friday, August 8 at the Leadership Symposium taking place on the CBC Beeville campus.

An original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the 2007 hit movie Freedom Writers starring Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank and Grey’s Anatomy’s Patrick Dempsey, Scott has energized over a million leaders, educators, volunteers, and students worldwide with his authentic, inspiring messages of hope. Speaking to over 125 groups a year for the past decade, he is the speaker of choice for conferences, conventions, schools, fundraisers, and banquets.

The author of Dream Now: How to Take Hold of The Live You’ve Always Dreamed About, Scott’s unique message is one that has inspired, educated, and empowered almost a million people, helping them make the most of their lives.

At the age of fourteen, Manuel dropped out of school, and his English grammar was so poor that he was classified as an English as a Second Language student (ESL). By the age of 16, he had already lived in 26 different places. At an early age, he began using drugs and alcohol.

He says, "When I look back, I now see that I was heading down a path that would have destroyed me."

However, due to an amazing transformation, Scott has defied all the odds stacked against him.

"I was once dismissed as ‘unreachable’ and ‘unteachable,’ says Scott, "but something special happened, and I love sharing that message with others."

The high school drop-out now holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and Trinity International University. He is currently working on his Ph.D.

Scott’s appearance at CBC is made possible by the Title V Celebrando Educación grant. The grant’s goal is to improve retention and completion rates and increase enrollment in technical and/or professional occupational fields of study at CBC.

“The purpose of the Leadership Symposium is to learn, lead, and inspire. This symposium will provide information for dual enrollment adjunct instructors and staff that will enhance CBC’s current student success initiatives. We strive to ensure that each student has the same access and opportunity to succeed at CBC. Manny Scott will provide new perspectives in working with students by shedding light on the various challenges that today’s teens face as they navigate their way through college,” said Santos Jones, CBC Title V Cooperative Coordinator.

All CBC faculty and staff who attend the Leadership Symposium will earn professional development hours. In addition to Scott’s motivational speech, participants will also receive information about Campus Connect, Blackboard, and student retention best practices/strategies.

“I do not speak to impress people,” Scott explains, “but to impress upon them some invaluable lessons that could literally change the quality of their lives forever. When I speak, I try to make sure audiences are crystal clear about how to ‘turn the page’—to transform their lives. Whether I’m in Houston or Hong Kong, Kansas City or Cairo, Los Angeles or London, I carry a torch light of inspiration into the recesses of dormant potential, and show the gems that are sparkling there.”

For more information about attending the Leadership Symposium featuring Manny Scott, contact Santos Jones at (361) 354-2426 or faculty/staff can register online at

You’re Invited: Science Learning Commons Open House

March 17, 2014

Coastal Bend College’s Project OASIS invites community members to the Science Learning Commons Open House on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Fred C. Latcham, Jr. Academic-Science Building in room 131. Project OASIS is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) grant focusing on increasing the number of Hispanics and low income students obtaining degrees in STEM fields.

Since 2012, the grant has completely renovated several classrooms and laboratories in the Fred C. Latcham, Jr. Academic-Science Building. The new lab  features state of the art equipment such as smart boards, video microscopes, and brand new learning islands that are designed to facilitate group learning. In addition to having new equipment, students also have access to science case managers and supplemental instructors outside the classroom. The science case managers and supplemental instructors are available at no cost to students who need further assistance or tutoring in their courses.

The most recent addition this academic year is the Science Learning Commons where students can meet with their classmates to hold study groups or obtain supplemental instruction and tutoring. The Science Learning Commons features a Smart Board and other innovative technology that helps bring STEM related concepts to life. All these tools, services, and renovations are designed to improve student success rates in challenging courses such as math and science.

During the open house, visitors will be able to visit the Science Learning Commons, plus CBC faculty and supplemental instructors will have videos and demonstrations showcasing the new technology. There will be free refreshments available for all attendees. For more information, please contact Amy Gonzales, Project OASIS Assistant Director, at or by calling 361-354-2581.


· Project OASIS Science Learning Commons Open House

· Tuesday, March 25, 2014 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

· CBC Beeville Campus, Latcham Building, Room 131

CBC adds 12 college and career pathways for students

December 5, 2013

Coastal Bend College’s Adult Basic Education and Continuing Education divisions are proud to announce the implementation of 12 college and career pathways for students. These pathways are designed as open access points for students who have completed a high school education or are in the process through enrollment in a GED program, particularly CBC’s ABE/GED program.

The following 12 pathways were created to provide career options, milestones of success, and skills that directly lead to a higher level certificate or degree at CBC:

· Bookkeeping Specialist Certificate

· CIT – Networking Certificate

· CIT – Web Design Certificate

· Criminal Justice Certificate

· Early Childhood Specialist Certificate

· Medical Coding Specialist Certificate

· Office Specialist Certificate

· Oil and Gas Safety Certificate

· Oil Patch Preparation System (OPPS) Certificate

· Welding Specialist Certificate

· CDL Certificate

· CNA Certificate

In addition, these pathways will also assist CBC in providing additional training and education to high school students who are not at the collegiate level, but still need a skill to enter into the workforce. These pathways will be presented to local high schools in spring 2014 and on a continuous basis in an effort to reach all students. CBC’s goal is to expand higher education by delivering quality, affordable training and educational opportunities to anyone wishing to enter college and/or the workforce.

These career pathways also benefit students participating in the Vocational Advancement Basic Education Grant (VAST). VAST aims to build educational and training opportunities at CBC that will help students take advantage of the economic opportunities available in the Eagle Ford Shale. Furthermore, VAST opens up college opportunities and certificate training for students currently underutilized in the region due to lower skills, limited English and lack of a GED or high school diploma.

These pathways have the flexibility to be offered for credit or non-credit and will be offered to the general public and businesses as continuing education courses. For more information, please contact Dr. Denise Hutchinson-Bell, Director of Adult Basic Education, at (361) 354-2742 or via email at

The Coastal Bend College Board of Trustees approved the implementation of the new general education core curriculum for fall 2014. The new core curriculum was created utilizing the guidelines set forth by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and also includes input from CBC faculty and staff. Beginning fall 2014, students will only have to complete 42 semester credit hours in order to graduate/complete the core and transfer to a four-year university. The new core curriculum degree plan will be published in the 2014-2015 CBC Course Catalog that will be available in spring 2014.

The Board also approved maintaining a four-day instructional week and a five-day work week during the fall and spring semesters. CBC is committed to keeping higher education accessible and affordable for all students, and by maintaining a four-day instructional week, students will not be burdened with extra costs such as gas and childcare by having to attend class an extra day each week. CBC faculty and staff will work five-days a week in order to provide students with access to their professors and college services, while also allowing time for faculty and staff to attend trainings and meetings.

Beginning in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the college will no longer contribute the additional 1.9% supplement for employees utilizing the Optional Retirement Program (ORP). In FY14, for the first time, the State is only providing one half of the state rate to institutions, which means that although the rate is 6.6% this year, the State provides only 3.3% contribution to institutions. This impact continues to decline with fewer employees in the system however it is still an additional local cost to CBC. The number of projected employees impacted is 14.

The December 2013 CBC Board of Trustees regular meeting has been moved from Thursday, December 19 to Tuesday, December 17 at 5 p.m. inside the Robert J. Beasley Administration Building, Sandy Dirks Board Room, 3800 Charco Road, Beeville, TX 78102.

At Coastal Bend College your future begins here—and now. Let us help you advance your career and education. With so many programs, there’s bound to be something perfect for you. Let us tell you how. Contact us for more information about the programs and courses offered at Coastal Bend College by calling 1-866-722-2838 ext. 2266. Or you can visit us on the web at You can also find us on Facebook at and Twitter at

Coastal Bend College Awarded 2014 Military Friendly Schools ® Designation

September 13, 2013


Victory Media, the media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named Coastal Bend College to the coveted Military Friendly Schools® list. The 2014 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows Coastal Bend College’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, Vice President at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran.   “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.” 

The Military Friendly Schools® media and website, found at, feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences.  The 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.  These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility, and other services to those who served.

“Coastal Bend College offers so many high quality workforce programs and college courses that are available to servicemen and women. We can help them take that next step in their life by helping to further their education and reach their goals. I am honored CBC has been deemed ‘Military Friendly’ because we are here to truly serve our veterans/dependents and service members,” said Rosie Streicher, CBC Veterans Affairs Specialist.

Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools ® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding. The survey results that comprise the 2014 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria, and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country. 

For more information about veteran benefits, programs, and scholarships at Coastal Bend College, please visit or call (361) 354-2421.

CBC extends hours for fall registration

August 20, 2013

Coastal Bend College will be open extended hours at all CBC locations from August 21, 2013 through August 30, 2013 to better serve students and the general public with fall registration. The CBC Beeville campus will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and the CBC Alice, Kingsville, and Pleasanton sites will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

During these extended business hours, prospective students will have access to many of the same services and assistance offered during CBC’s normal business hours. Student services staff from advising, counseling, admissions, and financial aid will help guide students every step of the way from applying to CBC to registering for classes. In addition to student services staff, representatives from the CBC Business Office will be on hand to help facilitate tuition payment plans.

To view a full listing of the course offerings by location, please visit or visit any CBC location to learn more. Many courses and programs are still open this fall to anyone wanting to begin a new education or career path. CBC offers courses in a variety of formats to help meet students’ needs: face-to-face, online/Internet, distance learning, and hybrid. Weekend College is now available at all CBC locations this fall. Enrolling in Weekend College allows students the ability to earn their Associate of Arts or Science degree while only attending courses every-other-weekend. For more information about Weekend College, contact Danny Garcia at (361) 354-2570.

Federal aid and grants are also available to those who qualify. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid online at Students should use CBC’s school code of 003546 to ensure their financial aid application is received by the CBC Financial Aid Office. Students should also have a completed admissions application on file. The free admissions application can be completed online at Individuals who need assistance with submitting their financial aid or admissions application are encouraged to visit any CBC location for one-on-one assistance.

For more information on registering for classes, please contact the Student Development Office at your nearest CBC location:

• Beeville: Sandra Walsh, (361) 354-2266

• Alice: Dee Berthold, (361) 664-2981 ext. 3025

• Kingsville: Amanda Barrera, (361) 592-1615 ext. 4077

• Pleasanton: Katie Sherman, (830) 569-4222 ext. 1203

At Coastal Bend College your future begins here—and now. Let us help you advance your career and education. With so many programs, there’s bound to be something perfect for you. Let us tell you how by contacting us for more information about the programs and courses offered at Coastal Bend College by calling 1-866-722-2838 ext. 2266. Or you can visit us on the web at, on Facebook at, or on Twitter at


CBC Recognized As National Leader

February 28, 2013

ATD Leader College release photo

Pictured left to right: Kristi Schroeder, Bobbie Jo Hill, Paula Kenney-Wallace, Seated: Irma Cantu, Division Chair; Not Pictured: Elsa Brown, Cheon-Sig Lee, George Kucera, Dave Zimmerman, and Christi Morgan.

Coastal Bend College has been recertified as a Leader College by Achieving The Dream (ATD). This is a nationwide initiative begun by the Lumina Foundation, a 1.7 billion dollar foundation focused on supporting effective practices in higher education.  Achieving the Dream works to support community colleges in their work to improve student completion on a national level and leads the nation’s most comprehensive, non-governmental reform network for community college student success and completion.  The group and its 200 member community college network have successfully impacted student engagement and graduation for over 3.5 million of the nation’s community college students. In 2009 Coastal Bend College was one of 13 colleges across the country to be recognized as a Leader College for AtD.

Leader Colleges are evaluated on whether or not they have met high standards of practice and performance. Data collection and reporting is extensive and colleges must have demonstrated a commitment to and progress on the four principles of Achieving the Dream: committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement, and systemic institutional improvement. Leader Colleges will serve as mentors within the Achieving the Dream community of learners as well as advocates for the principles of Achieving the Dream.

Coastal Bend College was recently recertified as a Leader College on the basis of two measures of dedicated interventions to help students succeed. First, students required to take the developmental math courses were supported through successful completion.

Irma Cantu, chair of CBC’s College Preparatory Studies department says, “Our first student success measure was for Developmental Education Math students to successfully complete developmental instruction so that they could move on to college credit courses.  We were able to detail the successful completion of the developmental instruction sequence over four years.  Because our institutional data trends with national data showing that math courses are often barriers to achievement, we settled our focus there.

“In 2008, the successful completion rate (end of course grade of A, B, or C) was at 33%.  After we began the initiative, student successful completions rose to 42% (2009-10), increasing to a successful completion rate of 75% in 2011-2012. We are very encouraged. Our plans are to continue to refine and improve our process. We believe we’re on the right track. And certainly, this is a good thing for our students.”

Second, these same students fared very well when they advanced to the “gatekeeper” math courses, which have traditionally been the courses that keep students from attaining a degree, such as the first college level math course.  Slightly more than half (51%)of the students taking Developmental Math  and enrolling in college algebra at CBC were successful in the 2008-09 academic year, which is the baseline for this student success measure. The success rate for all gatekeeper math course students increased steadily over the next few years, resulting in an overall successful course completion rate of 82% for the students who had participated in the Developmental Math Initiative. More impressive is that the Developmental students attained a higher rate of successful completion in the gatekeeper math course than students who did not need developmental math.

“We are an open access gateway to higher education. Not all students come prepared to take college level coursework, but what is important is that they show up ready to learn and fulfill dreams of college attainment and building career pathways. For those students we have a very strong College Preparatory Studies department and are very proud of their dedication and work for student success. “ says Dr. Beatriz Espinoza. “The recognition we have received from Achieving the Dream is significant and something we hope our entire community can be proud of.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about Achieving the Dream and Coastal Bend College’s College Preparatory Studies departmental initiatives are encouraged to contact Susan Smedley, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for CBC at (361) 354-2399 or


Dr. Beatriz Espinoza named Coastal Bend College president

March 23, 2012

Dr. Beatriz Espinoza“Dr. Beatriz Espinoza aligned with the responsibilities and expectations we were looking for in our new president,” said Paul Jaure, Coastal Bend College Board of Trustees Chair. The board made the decision to select Espinoza in closed session during a March 22 board meeting. The finalist was announced less than 30 minutes later. “We look forward to her leadership.”

Espinoza comes to CBC from Yuba Community College District in Marysville, Calif. where she served as Vice Chancellor for Educational Planning and Services. She is an experienced educator and college administrator with 25 years in higher education. She holds a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology and Educational Psychology and a Masters in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison; and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg.

“I think the board made an outstanding choice,” said CBC Interim President Dr. Jimmy Goodson. “Dr. Espinoza’s visit to the college was very important in the selection process.”

Goodson said “she related very well to the Coastal Bend College community.” He found that she was well-prepared intellectually and experientially for the interview. “She completely understands the mission and role of a community college.”

She was selected from five finalists. Daylong visits by each candidate for the position included public forums, receptions and interviews with various college populations.

“On behalf of the faculty of Coastal Bend College, I would like to thank the Board of Trustees for providing an opportunity for active faculty participation in the selection process for the next college president,” Donna Atkins, CBC Faculty Senate President, told the board. Representatives from the faculty senate, staff association, student body and administrative leadership interviewed each candidate during the selection process.

The candidates remained in Beeville, but spoke with representatives from Alice, Kingsville and Pleasanton through live video feed. Each participant, whether he or she attended the forums, interviewed the candidates, or watched the online coverage, was given the opportunity to comment on each visitor. These comments were reviewed by the board.

“Every evaluation was looked at,” Jaure said. “We valued the comments and every one of them was considered in determining the best candidate for the job.”

Some comments remarked on Espinoza’s “passion for higher education,” “demonstrated knowledge of our college,” and “experience with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).” She was referred to as “energetic” and “experienced.”

Someone noted that he or she was impressed with Dr. Espinoza because “this is the first time she went out for a job as president and she was selected as a finalist for both El Paso Community College and Coastal Bend College.”

Someone wrote that “she is an excellent fit for a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).”  Dr. Espinoza has a background with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and is experienced in working with minority student populations in diverse communities. CBC is a designated HSI with a Hispanic population of approximately 70 percent.

Dr. Espinoza started her college path with the assistance of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) scholarship after 18 years as an agricultural farm-worker. She attributes her college success largely to the support of her family and other people who “cared enough to remove barriers, build bridges and track new paths for a first generation college student.”

Her transition into community college administration culminated 13 years ago as she completed a post-doctorate in the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin. Since then, she has served in various administrative roles, including Vice President for Workforce Learning Services at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Ariz. She also worked in Dallas, Galveston, Tempe and Chicago as part of her 25 years in higher education.

The late Dr. Grady C. Hogue was president of Coastal Bend College from its inception in 1965 to 1984. He was followed by Dr. Norman E. Wallace from 1984 to 1999 and Dr. John M. Brockman from 1999 to 2007. Dr. Thomas B. Baynum headed the college from 2007 to 2011, followed by Interim President Dr. Jimmy Goodson, who will step down in June.

Espinoza is slated to start work the first week of June. She will be accompanied to Beeville by her husband and six-year-old daughter.


Coastal Bend College closed for spring break

March 9, 2012

Coastal Bend College is closed March 12-16 for spring break. Administrative offices will open and classes will resume on Monday, March 19. For more information on college events and activities, please go to


Dr. David Pelham visits Coastal Bend College

March 9, 2012

“Community college is not just a professional obligation for me. It is my avocation and my vocation,” Dr. David Pelham said to Coastal Bend College faculty and staff. He came to South Texas from the United Arab Emirates to visit CBC at the invitation of the Coastal Bend College Board of Trustees. Pelham is one of five candidates for college president selected to interview for the position.

Dr. W. David Pelham

Dr. David Pelham, a candidate for college president, spoke to the Coastal Bend College community during several forums held throughout the day.

Pelham, Director of Higher Colleges of Technology – Fujairah in Fujairah, UAE, said it was his own experiences as a community college student that launched his career in higher education as an instructor and, later, an administrator.

He said, “I know the role that community college played for me. Had it not been for a conversation that I had with one of my teachers during my second semester at community college, I wouldn’t be here today.”

That conversation, Dr. Pelham explained, was the impetus for him joining the debate team in college and then accepting a debate scholarship that took him to university. Years later, when Pelham was a speech instructor, he was invited by the same faculty member, who was, at that time, president of Lake City Community College in Florida, to take an administrative position. Over time, he rose to be the college vice president.

Dr. Pelham served as president at College of the Siskiyous in Weeds, Calif. and then Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Calif. for a total of eight years before accepting a position in Fujairah. In his capacity as director, Pelham’s faculty and staff represented 30 nationalities with a student population predominately of the Emirates. “That’s been an incredible learning opportunity – being out of my culture.”

He said the decision to go to UAE was based on the uniqueness of the opportunity and the desire to experience life outside of the United States. After a couple of years, Pelham is ready to return.


Dr. Jimmy Cargill visits Coastal Bend College

March 8, 2012
Dr. Jimmy Cargill

Dr. Jimmy Cargill, second from left, and his wife, Sandra, chat with CBC Technology Division Chair Jack Young and Bob Roberts, Drafting and Design instructor.

Dr. Jimmy Cargill, President of Dawson Community College in Dawson, Mont., was recently invited by Coastal Bend College to interview for the position of college president. Cargill toured the campus and met with members of the college community.

“I am honest. I am capable. I am forward-moving,” the Houston native said to CBC faculty, staff and students. “I think that’s what you want in a president.” He answered questions about leadership, foundations and organization during several forums held throughout the day.



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