Lee College, Liberty ISD announce free college for 2020 graduates

Baytown, TX – The Lee College Board of Regents and the Liberty ISD school board approved implementation of a tuition supplement agreement to cover the cost of Lee College fall tuition and fees for the 2019-2020 graduates of Liberty ISD.

The agreement is an extension of the Supporting College Readiness Program developed earlier this summer between Baytown’s Goose Creek CISD School District and Lee College. As part of the agreement with Liberty ISD, Lee College will cover the cost of in-district tuition and fees for each participating student, and Liberty ISD will cover the remaining cost of out-of-district fees for each participating student. Those eligible for free tuition include December 2019 or June 2020 graduates who register full-time, or at least 12 credit hours at Lee College in the Fall 2020 semester.

To be eligible, students must:

  • Be a 2019-2020 graduate of Liberty ISD
  • Enroll in and maintain at least 12 credits at Lee College for the Fall 2020 semester
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). 

This is a last-dollar scholarship program covering the cost of tuition and fees for Fall 2020 at Lee College, meaning the scholarship kicks in after all other grant and scholarship funding has been applied. In the event the student is awarded federal or Texas Public Education Grant money, that financial aid will be applied to the student account first. Lee College will then discount 56 percent of the balance, and Liberty ISD will be responsible for 44 percent of the remaining balance.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with Liberty ISD to help these new graduates succeed in higher education with no out of pocket costs to them,” said Lee College President, Dr. Lynda Villanueva. “It’s hard for families to justify the cost of attending four-year institutions this fall with all the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic. Especially now, the smart choice is for students to begin their quality education closer to home. With this free tuition program, students and their families have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

The program will also benefit Liberty ISD students who choose to take advantage of it by providing encouragement and motivation for academic achievement as well as College, Career and Military Readiness (CCMR), furthering the goal of college readiness. In addition, it will support the goal of creating a local college-going culture.

“This is such an exciting new opportunity for Liberty High School graduates,” said Liberty ISD Superintendent, Dr. Cody Abshier. “The Liberty ISD Board of Trustees and district administrators are thankful to Lee College for their continuous efforts to provide practical educational opportunities to our students.  We are fortunate to be a partner with Lee College in so many meaningful endeavors, and we fully support them as they are now reaching out to our 2020 graduates with this fabulous offer.”

The Supporting College Readiness Program is a shared initiative by Lee College and local school districts to help overcome barriers faced by first-generation college going students to allow greater achievement among these groups of individuals. This program is intended, in part, to specifically target the barrier of affordability faced by these groups, and its implementation will be reflective of this shared goal.

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 education 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 to recognize more than 500 graduates at commencement

Dr. Cody Abshier of the Liberty Independent School District will deliver keynote remarks

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College will recognize more than 500 graduates who have earned associate degrees and certificates of completion at the Fall 2017 Commencement Ceremony. Dr. Cody Abshier, superintendent of the Liberty Independent School District, will deliver keynote remarks.

Fall Commencement will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 16, in the sports arena on campus. The ceremonies will also be streamed live online via the Lee College website at www.lee.edu.

Selected by the Liberty ISD Board of Trustees to serve as superintendent of the district in 2012, Abshier holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Lamar University, where he also earned a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration and Bachelor of Science degree in Education with an elementary endorsement and reading specialization. His doctoral dissertation, “Superintendent Perspectives of Financial Survival Strategies in Small Schools,” was published in “The Rural Educator,” the official peer-reviewed academic journal of the National Rural Education Association.

Prior to taking the reins at Liberty ISD, Abshier served as superintendent, assistant superintendent and principal for Devers Independent School District over the course of a four-year tenure. He was the principal of Anahuac Middle School from 2002-2008, and started his educational career as a teacher at Liberty Elementary School from 1990-1999 and Devers Junior High School from 1999-2002.

A member of numerous civic organizations — including the First Baptist Church, Lions Club, Rotary Club and Fine Arts Society in Liberty and the Liberty Independent Education Foundation — Abshier was chosen to receive the Community Builder’s Award in Liberty in 2015. He was also recognized as Educator of the Year for Chambers County in 2007 and Administrator of the Year for the Anahuac Independent School District in 2005, and earned honors from the Liberty ISD school board in 1995 for going “Above the Call of Duty.”

Abshier and his wife, Kristi, are the parents of two grown children, Wil and Whitney.

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 education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Fall Commencement Dec. 11

BAYTOWN, TX – More than 150 graduates will receive associate degrees and certificates Friday, Dec. 11, at the 2015 Lee College Fall Commencement Ceremony. Todd Monette, site manager for the LyondellBasell Industries chemical complex in Channelview, will be the special guest speaker.

Todd Monette
Todd Monette

Commencement will begin at 7 p.m., inside the Sports Arena on campus. It is the second time that Lee College has hosted a graduation ceremony in the fall semester. Watch it live online.

As site manager for one of the world’s largest olefins, polyolefins, chemicals and refining companies, Monette is responsible for the safe, environmentally sound and reliable operation of the Channelview complex. He has 30 years of experience in the refining and chemical industry – including previous leadership positions with Shell and Motiva – and is known for driving culture change and personal development while providing senior-level oversight of engineering, operations, maintenance, turnarounds, reliability, cost reduction, process safety, work process and refinery management.

Monette is also actively involved with industry trade and advocacy organizations and several community initiatives. A past member of the board of directors of the Houston East End Chamber of Commerce and former executive sponsor for the Minority and Women’s Business Council in Port Arthur, he currently sits on the boards for the Galena Park Education Foundation and the San Jacinto Community College Education Foundation. He has also served as a board member for the Texas Chemical Council and as past board chairman for the East Harris County Manufacturers Association, which raised more than $275,000 this year at its second annual golf tournament to provide scholarships to Lee College and San Jacinto College students.

Monette holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Rice University and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Mississippi State University. He and his wife, Terri, are the parents of three daughters.

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 Liberty, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 13 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Final summer session begins; fall registration open

Lee College is preparing to begin its final class session of the summer Monday, July 7, and students are reminded that registration for the fall 2014 semester is already under way.

A highlight of the summer term this year was the first-ever Summer Bash, hosted by the Campus Activities Board and held in the Student Center. The festive, beach-themed event included nearly 20 attractions and booths from local businesses, civic and community organizations and other exhibitors.

Students listened to music from Hot 95.7 FM radio; posed for silly photos; enjoyed refreshments; collected gifts and giveaway items; and took a spin in a drunken driving simulator from “U in the Driver Seat,” a statewide peer-to-peer education program that teaches college students about the risks of impaired driving.

“The Summer Bash was a really great opportunity for students to get good information and learn a lot of new things,” said Student Government Association Vice Pres. Fantasia Starlyn Verma.

The summer II session begins July 7, while the fall 2014 semester begins Monday, Aug. 25. Students must meet all general admission requirements to sign up for fall classes, and those who have been enrolled within the past 12 months can complete registration online.

For more information about fall registration and payment deadlines, course offerings and financial aid options, contact the Office of Admissions at 281.425.6393.