Fast-track healthcare programs enrolling now

The Lee College Center for Workforce and Community Development is now accepting students into fast-track healthcare programs that can lead to rewarding and in-demand careers in the medical field in as little as 6-10 weeks.

Three of the workforce center’s healthcare programs will begin in the next two months: Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA), which starts Tuesday, Sept. 29; Certified Nurse Aid (CNA), which starts Monday, Oct. 12; and Dental Assistant (DA), which starts Tuesday, Oct. 13. Classes are filling quickly, so prospective students are advised to register as soon as possible.

Clinical medical assistants perform routine tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and optometrists running smoothly. Students in the CMA program complete 140 hours of classroom learning and 160 hours of clinical externship, getting hands-on training with administering medications, assisting with minor surgery, obtaining laboratory specimens and other duties.

Certified nurse aids provide basic care to residents of long-term care facilities, helping to ensure their comfort and safety. CNA program students complete 60 hours of lectures and labs, and 40 hours of clinical experience with direct patient and client care.

Dental assistants prepare patients for treatments and teeth cleanings, sterilize instruments, process oral X-rays and assist dentists during procedures. The 155-hour DA program includes classroom instruction and practical training; students complete a 48-hour clinical rotation in a dental office in the Baytown area.

The demand for quality healthcare continues to grow in the Houston-Sugarland-Baytown area, with more than 9,500 new jobs in the medical field expected to open this year alone. The healthcare field accounts for one in every 10 jobs in the region, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.

In addition to the CMA, CNA and DA programs, the Center for Workforce and Community Development offers several other fast-track healthcare options. For more information, contact the center at 281.425.6311 or visit www.lee.edu/workforce.

Free performances at Lee College

The Lee College Performing Arts Center (PAC) will be filled with music next weekend with the fourth annual Lee College Coffeehouse and a big band jazz ensemble from the U.S. Air Force Band of the West both set to take the stage for free shows.

The Coffeehouse is set for 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25, at the Black Box Theater inside the PAC. Local singers and instrumentalists ­ all current and former Lee College students and faculty ­ will showcase their talents and share the stage with special guest singer and songwriter Rick Busby.

A Nederland native now based in Austin, Busby left the corporate world in 1998 to pursue music full-time and has since released two albums. He is president of the Austin Songwriters Group and regularly performs throughout Texas, both solo and with Beaumont-based band ³The Rick Show.²

The Dimensions in Blue jazz ensemble from the U.S. Air Force Band of the West will perform at 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, in the PAC Main Performance Hall. Made up of 18 Airmen who are also highly trained professional musicians dedicated to serving their country through their artistry, the ensemble is widely considered one of the finest and most versatile big bands in the entire Air Force.

The group has kept its 1940s Glenn Miller Army Air Corps style at the center of its musical focus, blending the classic sound with more contemporary flair to connect with audiences of all ages.

For more information about the Lee College Coffeehouse, contact Ken Booker, director of Instrumental Music, at kbooker@lee.edu. For more information about the performance from Dimensions in Blue of the U.S. Air Force Band of the West, contact the Box Office at 281.425.6255 or visit www.lee.edu/pac.

Foundation Gala to be Oct. 1

The Lee College Foundation Board will host its 30th annual Foundation Gala on Thursday, Oct. 1, to raise much-needed funds to support new generations of deserving students.

The gala — a highly anticipated evening of music, food and entertainment that draws hundreds of Lee College friends and supporters each year — will be held at Sylvan Beach Pavilion. The festivities will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a seated dinner at 7:30 p.m.

This will mark the second year the Foundation Gala has been held at the historic Sylvan Beach Pavilion, which has undergone a complete renovation since its heyday as the home of big-brass bands, the Bathing Girl Revue and the Humble Oil company picnic. Guests will enjoy a silent auction and a live auction led by Baytown Mayor Steve DonCarlos, as well as music from Lee College student ensembles.

“The gala is always unique because we focus on students, their stories and their contributions,” said Roberta Wright, chairwoman of the Foundation Board. “It’s really a showcase for them.”

The first Foundation Gala was held in 1983 at the suggestion of board member George Walmsley — both to raise money, and to raise awareness of the foundation’s mission to provide for the needs of Lee College students through scholarships and other types of support. Under the direction of its board, the foundation has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships this year alone.

All invited to Nursing meeting

The Lee College Nursing Division will host a site review this month for continuing accreditation of its Associate Degree Nursing program, and members of the public are invited to meet with the team from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) during their visit to campus.

The ACEN is the national agency responsible for ensuring that nursing education programs meet and properly apply standards and criteria for educational quality. Programs that successfully earn accreditation have shown they have clear and appropriate objectives they are working to achieve on behalf of the students and communities they serve. The Associate Degree Nursing program at Lee College has held ACEN accreditation since 1986, and was last re-evaluated by the agency in 2010.

ACEN site visitors will meet with the public at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30, in Room E-06 of the McNulty-Haddick Building on campus.

Those interested in sharing comments with the ACEN team can also submit them in writing to Dr. Marsal Stoll, Chief Executive Officer, via email to mstoll@acenursing.org, or postal mail to 3343 Peachetree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326. All written comments must be received by Sunday, Sept. 20.

For more information about the ACEN site visit or continuing accreditation of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Lee College, contact Tracy Allen, Director of Nursing, at 281.425.6541.

Youth tennis program revamped, relaunched

Philadelphia native Rob Coles was just 7 years old when he first picked up a tennis racket, embarking on what would become a 30-year career as a tennis player, coach and instructor at private clubs and community organizations across the country.

Rob Coles, tennis pro
Rob Coles, tennis pro

Now Coles is bringing his talent and passion for the sport he loves to Lee College as the new tennis professional, directing a revamped youth tennis program that kicked off this fall.

The tennis program will include private and group lessons for children aged 4-18 years, with an emphasis on helping students develop strong hand-eye coordination and proper footwork and movement. There will also be opportunities for free match play, junior team tennis and in-house competitions.

“Every class we do will be age and skill-level appropriate,” said Coles, who played tennis at Slippery Rock University. “The goal is to get all the kids playing — both with their peers in class, and against their peers in class.”

Coles was initially drawn to tennis because of his intense competitive spirit. After playing and coaching extensively from Pennsylvania to California and many states in between, he saw how the sport gave young people more than just the motivation to be their best. Through tennis, they also learn the value of hard work, patience and taking the time to think things through, he said.

“At higher levels, tennis becomes a moving chess match; there are many parallels between what happens on the court and what happens in life,” said Coles, who still keeps in touch with many of his pupils and maintains contacts at top collegiate programs. “With kids, you can see their growth as they create goals and achieve them. It’s really fun to watch their game get better and become part of their lives.”

For more information about the youth tennis program at Lee College, contact Coles at 281.425.6843 or rcoles@lee.edu.

Study ranks Lee in nation’s 50 best community colleges

Lee College is one of the 50 best community colleges in the country, according to the results of a nationwide study released this week by personal finance website <a href=”http://www.wallethub.com&#8221; target=”_blank”>WalletHub</a>.

Lee College was one of four community colleges in Texas to be ranked among the top 50 community colleges in the country on the WalletHub list, compiled through an analysis of 670 institutions nationwide. Community colleges in the study were compared across four dimensions: cost and financing, classroom experience, education outcomes and career outcomes.

Lee College was 45th overall on the WalletHub list, ranking 12th in the education outcomes category that measured first-year retention rates, graduation rates and credentials awarded. The college ranked 29th in cost and financing, which measured factors including tuition and fees; the amount of local, state, and federal aid; and the school’s per-pupil spending.

The WalletHub list is not the first time Lee College has ranked highly in a nationwide study. In May, the Brookings Institution ranked Lee College second in the nation for contribution to the economic success of its graduates — placing in the top 1 percent of all community colleges in the United States. In 2014, PayScale ranked Lee College fourth among U.S. two-year institutions for graduate earning potential, and Community College Week recognized the college as one of the top associate-degree producers in the country.