R.W. Dirks donates $5,000 to CBC Foundation

R.W. Dirks donates $5,000 to CBC Foundation


Coastal Bend College (CBC) President Dr. Beatriz T. Espinoza (left) received a $5,000 donation from R.W. Dirks (right) as part of the R.W. Dirks Challenge campaign.

R.W. “Bill” Dirks has been a champion and pioneer for Bee County College (BCC), and subsequently CBC, since he joined the Board of Trustees in 1971.

He was involved in laying the foundation for a robust, student-centered institution to educate and serve the South Texas region.

Dirks served his community and the college as a trustee for 37 years. His children attended BCC/CBC and his daughter Laura Fischer currently serves as the President of the CBC Board of Trustees and the CBC Foundation.

Over the course of his decades of service, Dirks has donated over $170,000 to the college, “I am very much in support of the college, because Coastal Bend College is the best thing that has ever happened to this community.”

As part of his donation for the College’s 50th anniversary in 2015, Dirks issued a challenge to supporters and friends of the college to collectively match his donation, and thus the R.W. Dirks Challenge was born.

To date, nearly $9,000 has been raised as part of the challenge with Dirks matching the first $5,000 this week. Now through August 31, 2016, Dirks will match all donations to the R.W. Dirks Challenge up to $25,000.

Dirks’ challenge is all about investing in our future workforce and improving the quality of life in our community with a more educated citizenry. For more information on the R.W. Dirks Challenge, please visit http://www.showussomelove.org, email foundation@coastalbend.edu or call (361) 354-2348.

CBC Trustees take Oath of Office


BEEVILLE—Coastal Bend College Board of Trustees Victor Gomez, Dr. George P. “Trace” Morrill III, and Dr. Martha Warner took their oath of office for their respective seats on the board at the regular board meeting held on May 18. Gomez and Morrill won their seats during the May 7 election, and Warner ran unopposed.

Gomez has been a CBC trustee since he was elected in 2010. He grew up in Bee County and is a graduate of Coastal Bend College, where he earned a Vocational Nursing Certificate and an Associate Degree in Applied Science. Gomez and his wife Linda Mae are involved in several community organizations and causes.

Morrill is a local attorney who has served as a CBC trustee since his appointment in 2014. He has also served the College as president of the Coastal Bend College Foundation before becoming a trustee. He and his wife Jessica are active in Bee County area organizations.

Warner served as the elected District Attorney for the 156th Judicial District covering Bee, Live Oak, and McMullen counties from 2004-2012. Although Warner retired in 2013, she still prosecutes felony cases and assists the new district attorney as needed. Warner and her husband Frank, who is also an attorney, own Southwest Land and Title Co. in Beeville.

The CBC Board of Trustees is composed of seven elected trustees who each serve a six-year term. Their regularly scheduled monthly meetings are held the third Wednesday of each month inside the Sandy R. Dirks Board Room inside the Beasley Administration Building at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.coastalbend.edu/board.

Area high school seniors attend annual Cougar Day event

Cougar Day_2

Photo Cutline: High school seniors from A.C. Jones attended Cougar Day orientation on April 1 at the CBC Beeville campus.

BEEVILLE, TX—This academic year, Coastal Bend College (CBC) has experienced record enrollment. At census day on February 5, the College had a student enrollment count of 4,272—the largest spring semester on record.

After a few years of declining enrollment due in part to the Eagle Ford Shale boom, CBC President Dr. Beatriz T. Espinoza, under the guidance of the CBC Board of Trustees, led the college effort to increase its community and high school outreach efforts. One of the largest student recruitment events is Cougar Day, which was held on April 1 on the CBC Beeville campus.

Cougar Day is a new student orientation that is part of the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to increase student success and retention rates. Although Cougar Days are typically held in the summer, CBC transitioned to offering them in the spring semester to reach high school seniors earlier.

“We’ve seen that the earlier students learn about financial aid, admissions, testing and courses, the more likely they are to succeed. We’re proud of our enrollment growth, but are always focused on student success,” said CBC Executive Dean of Student Services Lupe Ganceres.

Students from local area high schools A.C. Jones, Freer, George West, Pleasanton, Skidmore-Tynan, Tilden, Runge and Wharton were in attendance for the daylong event which included five breakout sessions covering topics such as CBC’s admissions and financial aid process and highlighting student services and student clubs/activities.

After the breakout sessions, students had the opportunity to begin the CBC admissions process and many registered for the fall 2016 semester.

“It’s always great to see students prepared and ready to go for their first semester as a college student before they’ve even graduated from high school. Knowing we have a positive impact on these students’ futures is rewarding,” Ganceres added.

Prospective students for the 2016-2017 academic year who missed out on Cougar Day should plan to attend one of the New Student Orientation sessions offered during the summer or visit one-on-one with an advisor to learn more.

CBC Board Approves Polling Places for Upcoming Election

Headline: CBC Board Approves Polling Places for Upcoming Election     

BEEVILLE, TX— At their Feb. 17 regular meeting, the Coastal Bend College (CBC) Board of Trustees approved the polling places for the May 7, 2016 trustee elections. Registered Bee County voters will be able to cast their ballot at the Pawnee Independent School District’s Library, Pettus Independent School District’s Board Room, Skidmore-Tynan Independent School District’s Board Room, and the CBC Beeville Campus inside the Frank Jostes Visual Arts Building Foyer.

Early voting for the trustee elections will take place from April 25-May 3 at the CBC Beeville Campus inside the Robert J. Beasley Administration Building (former registrar’s office). For more information about obtaining absentee ballots or other general election information, contact Early Voting Clerk Stacie Yanta at (361) 354-2207.

The Board also approved for the renovation of a chemistry lab and adjacent stockroom inside the Fred C. Latcham building on the Beeville campus. The renovations will be fully funded by Project OASIS—a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) grant focusing on increasing the number of Hispanics and low-income students obtaining degrees in STEM fields.

Project OASIS is in its fifth year and has provided the College with opportunities to remodel and improve biology classrooms and laboratories at all CBC locations. These renovations aim to increase student success rates while providing opportunities for students to engage in active learning with their peers and instructors.

Registration for summer, fall and Wintermester (December 2016) courses will open on Monday, February 29. Students without holds may register online through Campus Connect or visit an advisor at any CBC location. Prospective students can submit their admissions application at www.coastalbend.edu/applynow.

About the CBC Board of Trustees:

The CBC Board of Trustees is comprised of seven elected trustees that serve six-year terms. Their regularly scheduled meeting is on the third Wednesday of every month at 5:30 pm on the Coastal Bend College Beeville Campus, Robert J. Beasley Administration Building inside the Sandy Dirks Board Room. Meeting notices, agendas and board packets can be found online at www.coastalbend.edu/board.

Coastal Bend College receives Achieving the Dream Leader College recertification through 2018

Headline: Coastal Bend College receives Achieving the Dream Leader College recertification through 2018 


Sub Headline: CBC has been honored with Leader College designation since 2009

Coastal Bend College (CBC) received recertification as an Achieving the Dream Leader College through 2018. The College initially received Leader College status in 2009.

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for community college student success and completion.

Leader Colleges are demonstrating the power of the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement by raising persistence and graduation rates and closing achievement gaps. Each college approaches the work differently, but with the guidance of the model and Achieving the Dream Coaches, colleges implement data-informed programs and policies that build long-term, institution-wide commitment to student success.

Additionally, each Leader College has successfully implemented at least one student success intervention that is advancing student outcomes. The intervention is of sufficient scale to benefit a substantial proportion of the total target student population. Indeed, these institutions have met high standards of practice and performance and Achieving the Dream expects these colleges to support other colleges within the Achieving the Dream community of learners.

“I am supremely excited that our colleagues across the nation recognize excellence at CBC. Our faculty and staff make a positive difference in our work with students. In this National Reform Agenda, we are at the forefront of student success; with that level of responsibility, we make serving our students with a positive college experience a top priority,” said CBC President Dr. Beatriz T. Espinoza.

The College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), CBC Smart Start, is the college’s approach to boosting student success rates for first-time college students. The QEP is includes mandatory student orientation, a dedicated advisor, and enrollment in “My Cougar Course,” otherwise known as EDUC 1300. The three QEP components work together to provide students with the knowledge and access to student support services at all CBC locations and online. As a result, the College has seen increases in success and graduation rates in first-time college students.

Developmental education (DE) initiatives to increase the number of students advancing to and completing college level coursework continues to be a top priority for CBC. CBC has reduced the number of DE courses students have to take, curriculum was revamped to improve student learning, and faculty received training on how to increase student engagement and success in the classroom. For the last two academic years, CBC’s Mathematics Division has implemented the New Mathways Project – a statewide initiative led by the University of Texas (UT) Dana Center – to help redesign the math curriculum to make the concepts easier to learn for students.

Looking forward, CBC will continue to strive to improve on the services, initiatives and programs offered to students district wide. For more information on the College’s programs and course offerings, please visit http://www.coastalbend.edu.