Lee College Education Center of South Liberty County offering summer classes

Staff to be available at the center May 31 to help students with application process

BAYTOWN, TX — The Lee College Education Center of South Liberty County is hosting credit and non-credit classes this summer, and interested students can receive help from college staff for the application and enrollment process.

Transition specialists will be on site at the center from 8 a.m.-7 p.m., this Tuesday, May 31, to answer questions and to offer assistance with applications. The center is located at 1715 Highway 146 Bypass in Liberty.

If students complete applications on May 31, the college will provide the steps necessary to enroll in classes at the South Liberty County education center over the following two weeks. Those who submit applications after May 31 will need to complete their enrollment at the main Lee College campus in Baytown.

The deadline to submit applications for the summer semester at the South Liberty County education center is Saturday, June 11, during the free open house that will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Summer classes will run from June 20 through Aug. 12.

For more information about applying and enrolling for the summer semester at the Lee College Education Center of South Liberty County, contact Katie Marek at 832.556.5616.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee named AACC Award of Excellence triple-finalist

President, faculty, staff & industry partner presented with honors at convention in Chicago

AACC 2016 Annual Convention
Lee College was recognized at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Convention, held April 11, 2016, in Chicago, for being an Awards of Excellence finalist in three categories. Pictured, from left: Dr. Charlene Dukes, chairwoman of the AACC Board of Directors; Vera Walker, student support adviser; Dr. Cathy Kemper-Pelle, vice president of Learning; Dr. Daria Willis, dean of Academic Studies; Dr. Dennis Brown, president; Paul Guilfoyle, ExxonMobil North American Growth Project; Treva Brown-Askey, chairwoman of Developmental Education; Dr. Christina Ponce, vice president of Student Success, Workforce & Resource Development; DeDe Griffith, director of Student Success; Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, president and CEO of the AACC; Connie Tilton, ExxonMobil Baytown Area Public and Government Affairs; and Debi Jordan, executive director of the Center for Workforce and Community Development.

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College received national recognition as a 2016 American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Award of Excellence finalist in three categories: Exemplary Board/CEO, Faculty Innovation and Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership.

Nearly 1,200 community colleges are members of the AACC and eligible for the Awards of Excellence. Finalists and winners for 2016 were presented with their awards in April at the association’s Annual Convention in Chicago.

The Exemplary Board/CEO award recognized the collaboration and working relationship between Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown and the Board of Regents for promoting effectiveness in governance. Treva Brown-Askey, chairwoman of Developmental Education, was a finalist in the Faculty Innovation category for demonstrating leadership in the development and implementation of a campus program that had a positive impact on the learning experience for students. The Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership category recognized the collaboration between Lee College and ExxonMobil for demonstrating success in advancing the mission of the institution, economic prosperity of the community and learning excellence.

Lee College won the AACC Award of Excellence for Student Success in 2015 for its work to engage the entire campus and community in creating a college-going culture that ensures a successful student experience from high school through higher education. Lee College was also one of four national finalists for the 2015 Award of Excellence in the Exemplary Board/CEO category.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

ADN program honors 73 grads at pinning ceremony

BAYTOWN, TX — More than 70 new Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) graduates were recognized for their achievements and welcomed into the nursing profession this month at the annual pinning ceremony, which marks the culmination of their Lee College journey and entry into the next phase of their careers.

Lee College 2016 Nurse Pinning Ceremony
Lee College 2016 Nurse Pinning Ceremony

“It is very hard to sum up every quality that makes a great nurse; that list would be endless,” said Tracy Allen, director of the nursing program and a Lee College alumna. “Hard work, dedication to patient care, incredible spirit and passion for excellence drive nurses every day to participate in the healthcare of patients and families across the globe. You are prepared, you have done the work and the connection you have made with Lee College and the nursing program will be forever ingrained in who you are and who you become as a professional.”

The Lee College nursing program emphasizes practical experience that prepares students for the realities of a clinical setting. From their first semester, students are required to spend time in both traditional classes and the laboratory and hands-on clinical environment. They are also encouraged to become lifelong learners and continue their education beyond the associate degree, following the example of several Nursing Division faculty members who are pursuing doctoral and master’s degrees in the field.

“As faculty, our goal is to challenge the students to think independently, provide feedback for improvement and nurture great ideas and successes,” said Roy Barefield, an Associate Degree Nursing instructor who delivered a heartfelt and personal salute to the Class of 2016. “You have met those challenges, you met the bar as we raised it higher and higher, and you proved that if you prepare and believe in yourself, you can achieve your goal and your dream. We rejoice in all you have done.”

At the pinning ceremony, faculty members called graduates to the stage one by one to affix the coveted metal pin to the chests of their starched, white uniforms. Graduates then lined up in two rows to receive the light of knowledge from their instructors, passing the live flame from one ceramic lamp to the next before reciting the Florence Nightingale Pledge taken by all professional nurses.

“We congratulate you on finishing a very rigorous curriculum,” said Lee College Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown. “Every one of you knows that it’s difficult, and we understand why is has to be so rigorous: You’re going to become a licensed registered nurse. You have the opportunity to work at hospitals, clinical sites, doctor’s offices, public health units and in many different settings. I know how well-trained you are, and I know your patients will be in good hands.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

In attached photo: The Lee College Associate Degree Nursing program graduates received pins and recognition Friday, May 13, 2016, to welcome them into their new profession. The annual pinning ceremony marks the culmination of their Lee College journey and entry into the next phase of their nursing careers.

Lee College Study Abroad program explores Belize

Students and faculty return to campus May 23, will share insights from trip on May 31

BAYTOWN, TX — The Lee College Study Abroad program headed off this week to the Central American country of Belize for an eight-day exploration of Mayan ruins, the natural beauty of land and sea, and the unique relationship between place and identity.

Study Abroad group photo

Students and faculty in the Lee College Study Abroad program headed off Monday, May 16, on an eight-day trip to Belize. Study Abroad allows students to travel internationally while earning academic credit toward their Lee College degree.

Study Abroad allows students to experience another country while also earning academic credit for their Lee College degrees. Students and faculty left for Belize on May 16 and will return to campus on May 23. The program was revived at the college last year with a trip to Great Britain, Ireland, and Wales.

As part of their participation, Study Abroad students had to complete intensive English and kinesiology classes that began weeks before their departure and provided a theoretical foundation for their journey. They must also share impressions from their trip with the community upon their return.

This year’s Study Abroad English course included readings of “Writing Takes Place” by Sidney I. Dobrin and important works of Belizean literature that covered the country’s history, folklore, myths, art and cuisine. Students will present their insights from Belize to the community on May 31 — and have already shared their work with the public at the invitation of the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium Academic Symposium, which carried the theme, “Time and Place as Context.”

“The concepts of ‘placed-based’ education and eco-composition will guide our exploration,” said Georgeann Ward, coordinator of the Lee College Honors Program and instructor of the Study Abroad ENGL 2341 class.

Graeme Cox, chairman of the Kinesiology and Wellness Division, taught the Study Abroad KINE 1164 class and is also accompanying the students to Belize. The kinesiology course prepared students for activities they will participate in during their trip.

“Students improved their fitness levels, made positive changes to their diets and feel physically prepared for our adventures,” Cox said.

Both instructors hope that through their travels, Study Abroad students will learn as much about themselves and their own relationship to place as they do about the wonders of a foreign country.

“Intellectually curious, hard-working, and courageous, our students show how powerful education can be when it encourages students to understand themselves and their relationship to the world around them,” Ward said.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee ranked among Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges of 2016

National ranking follows college being named an AACC Award of Excellence triple-finalist

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College is one of the country’s Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges of 2016, according to a list compiled and recently released by Value Colleges, an independent online guide that examines value and affordability in undergraduate and graduate college education.

Lee College ranked 14th of 614 U.S. community colleges considered for the Value Colleges list. The Top 50 institutions were selected based on graduation and transfer rates, mid-level salary for graduates and actual tuition. In addition, Lee College was noted for its status as a Leader College in Achieving the Dream, a national initiative to improve student success at community colleges; its selection by the Aspen Institute as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible for the prestigious Prize for Excellence; its status as one of the top community colleges issuing associate’s degrees to Hispanic students; and its high-quality science and professional programs. The college’s proximity to the thriving job market along the Houston Ship Channel was also mentioned.

Value Colleges initially used data on 1,717 U.S. community colleges to find public, open-admission schools with graduation rates of 45 percent or higher, costs of less than $10,000 per year and enrollment of more than 1,000 students. The data was taken from the College Measures database.

The Value Colleges ranking comes after Lee College received national recognition in April as a 2016 American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Award of Excellence finalist in three categories: Exemplary Board/CEO, Faculty Innovation and Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership. Nearly 1,200 community colleges are members of the AACC.

The Exemplary Board/CEO award recognized the collaboration and working relationship between Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown and the Board of Regents for promoting effectiveness in governance. Treva Brown-Askey, chairwoman of Developmental Education, was a finalist in the Faculty Innovation category for demonstrating leadership in the development and implementation of a campus program that had a positive impact on the learning experience for students. The Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership category recognized the collaboration between Lee College and ExxonMobil for demonstrating success in advancing the mission of the institution, economic prosperity of the community and learning excellence.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee College honors more than 600 graduates at spring commencement ceremonies

BAYTOWN, TX — Texas State Rep. John Zerwas advised the more than 600 graduates who received associate degrees and certificates at the 2016 Lee College spring commencement ceremonies to never underestimate the value of the gift of knowledge they had been given.

2016 Lee College Spring Commencement“Knowledge gives you the unique advantage to control your own destiny,” said Zerwas, who delivered the keynote address at both the 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. graduations held Saturday, May 14, in the Sports Arena on campus. “Graduates from this institution are highly sought for this very reason, and you should be confident in knowing that your time at Lee College has contributed to the will, capacity and character that will allow you to rally others toward a common purpose and vision.”

Now in his fifth term as the representative for fast-growing Texas House District 28, Zerwas is also in his first term as chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education. He noted the importance of community college education throughout the state, and cited Lee College as a shining example of the instrumental role that two-year colleges play in preparing students to enter the workforce or succeed at a four-year university.

“The state of Texas is going to expect great things from you,” Zerwas said. “Be prepared to build upon this gift of knowledge, such that the certain changes that will occur in your future don’t leave you behind in a cloak of self-righteousness. Graduates from Lee College will have a legacy of impacting humanity through their chosen professions, but also through a passion for benevolence and generosity. You are joining an exclusive group of individuals who will make this place much better for generations to come.”

Among the graduates who walked across the stage at commencement to receive their degrees and certificates were nearly 50 students from IMPACT Early College High School, where students have the opportunity to earn a high-school diploma and 60 hours of college credit simultaneously. The IMPACT Class of 2016 is the third to participate in Lee College commencement since the partnership between the college and Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District began.

“Graduation is never the end; it is only the beginning of the next steps you will take in your lives,” said Lee College Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown, reminding graduates that their achievement has made them role models for others to follow. “Your education is yours forever, and it will serve you well. Congratulations for having the fortitude and the desire to better yourselves, better your families and move out into the world to do what you do best.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

First graduates complete Lee College ‘Ready to Work’ industrial training program

Grant-funded initiative prepares students for careers in the growing petrochemical industry

Lee College H1-B Ready to Work Grant graduates
The first graduates of the Lee College ‘Ready to Work’ grant program received certificates of completion in late April at the McNair Center. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor and targets the long-term unemployed and underemployed for petrochemical training. Back row (l-r) – Kevin Dorsey, Kyle Eubanks and Daniel Polen. Front row (l-r) – Kyle Thompson, Frank Bunton, instructor Robert Bernardino, Carlos Gonzales, Christopher Geant and Davidson Timothy.

BAYTOWN, TX — Kevin Dorsey was out of work and looking for a way to better support his family when a local employment resource agency pointed him toward the Center for Workforce and Community Development at Lee College, which offers an innovative program to help train the long-term unemployed and underemployed for petrochemical careers.

Through funding from the H1-B Gulf Coast Ready to Work Grant awarded to the college by the U.S. Department of Labor, the workforce center is providing industrial crafts training in several high-demand and high-growth fields: welding, electrical, millwright, instrumentation, pipefitting, process technology refresher, first-line supervisor and project management. Students learn from instructors with years of industry experience, using the latest tools of the trade and cutting-edge technology found in the real working environment.

Tuition in the H1-B Ready to Work program is free to eligible participants, and those who successfully complete the training earn credentials from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) recognized by companies throughout the petrochemical and construction industries.

When the first graduates from the H1-B pipefitting class received their certificates in April in a ceremony at the recently opened Lee College McNair Center, Dorsey was among them — and more hopeful than ever about his chances to find stable and well-paying employment.

“Pipefitting wasn’t even my first choice, but I stuck with it and really enjoyed it,” Dorsey said. “It’s a different skill set that not a lot of people have or can do. This program gave us the training to put us above other people applying for the same jobs.”

Debi Jordan, executive director of the workforce center, told the graduates that Lee College’s industry partners are awaiting candidates with the strong work ethic, knowledge and credentials they gained through completion of the H1-B Ready to Work program.

“You have been given the tools to get a very well-paying job and make a great career out of it,” Jordan said. “There is going to be something good out there for you.”

For more information about enrolling in the U.S. Department of Labor H1-B Gulf Coast Ready to Work Grant program at Lee College, contact the Center for Workforce and Community Development at 281.425.6311 or visit www.lee.edu/workforce/ready2work.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.