Coastal Bend College opened its doors this semester to a new campus director. Dr. Patricia Candia, a longtime college administrator, joined CBC in time to greet approximately 980 students on the Alice campus.
“We are getting close to growing out of our facility,” Candia explained. The increase in enrollment is immediately evident on campus. There is also a noticeable growth in the surrounding areas. Students from Benavidez, Ben Bolt and Falfurrias are attending Coastal Bend College in greater numbers. Orange Grove students have more than doubled since 2008.
Candia came in during a period of growth for the overall college district – almost 1,000 more students than enrolled in 2008 – and wants to keep that upward movement going. She is focused on expanding and increasing health service programs in response to regional demands for industry professionals.
“In today’s society, you need more than a high school diploma to be successful,” Candia said. “Community college is the best place to start whether you are looking to learn a skill, getting ready for a university degree or returning as an educator.”
Candia earned a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio, followed by a Masters of Education from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. Her doctorate degree is from Texas A&M University in College Station.
She joined Coastal Bend College from San Antonio’s St. Philip’s College where she spent more than 20 years. She attended St. Philip’s College as a student and returned as an employee. She was Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Interim President, then Vice President of Student Affairs.
“Program development is very important to Dr. Candia,” CBC President Dr. Thomas Baynum said. “She has a proven record of success. Her commitment to the students and community served by St. Philip’s College was highly regarded and she is greatly respected. I am confident that Dr. Candia brings to Coastal Bend College and the Alice community the same commitment and the benefit of her years of experience.”
Candia is married to Abel Candia who teaches Anatomy and Physiology at St. Philip’s College. They have two children. Rhiannon Walsh is married to Sean and works in San Antonio schools as a behavior specialist. Geoffrey Candia, a recent culinary arts graduate from St. Philip’s College and a current Coastal Bend College student, works at The Palm, an upscale restaurant in San Antonio.
Also new to Coastal Bend College – Alice Campus are faculty members Megan Capeheart, early education; Jiri “George” Kucera, math; and Emmanuel Alvarado, Spanish.