Lee College, Goose Creek ISD announce free college tuition for 2020 graduates

Baytown, TX – The Lee College Board of Regents and Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) Thursday approved implementation of a new program to cover the cost of Lee College fall tuition and fees for the 2019-2020 graduates of GCCISD.

Under the new Supporting College Readiness Program, GCCISD and Lee College will split equally the cost of tuition and fees for eligible students. Those eligible for free tuition include December 2019 or June 2020 graduates of GCCISD who register to take at least 12 credit hours at Lee College in the Fall 2020 semester.

To be eligible, students must:

  • Be a GCCISD 2019-2020 graduate
  • 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.

“Lee College is proud to join forces with GCCISD to help students take that first step in reaching their goals of achieving a higher education,” said Lee College President, Dr. Lynda Villanueva. “We know many people are struggling with finances right now as a result of COVID-19 and they might think they can’t afford to go to college. Together with GCCISD, we are effectively removing those financial barriers so new GCCISD high school graduates can begin the journey towards an associate degree or certificate—with no out-of-pocket costs to them. The time to begin this journey is now. We want these students to know they belong in college, and they belong at Lee College.”

The program also will benefit Goose Creek CISD 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 District’s goal of post-secondary readiness. In addition, it will support the goal of creating a local college going culture.

“This partnership between Lee College and Goose Creek CISD provides an amazing opportunity for our Goose Creek CISD graduates to experience a semester of college at no cost as some students are deferred by financial restraints and others by fear of the unknown,” said Goose Creek CISD superintendent Dr. Randal O’Brien. “We are so grateful for the support our friends at Lee College provide for our District, and we look forward to continuing to work together to help our students overcome the obstacles and achieve their goals.”

The Supporting College Readiness Program is a shared initiative by Lee College and GCCISD 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.

There are seven high schools within GCCISD including Peter E. Hyland Center, IMPACT Early College High School, Robert E. Lee High School, Goose Creek Memorial High School, POINT Alternative Center, Ross S. Sterling High School and Stuart Career Tech High School. GCCISD had approximately 1,600 graduates in June 2020.

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.

Summer enrollment soars to record numbers

Baytown, TX – Lee College enrollment this summer has reached nearly 5,000 students making it the largest summer enrollment in the College’s 86-year history. Up nearly 50 percent from this time last year, student summer enrollment is climbing as well as the number of credit hours students are taking.

“While other colleges and universities are struggling with enrollment right now, the news of our record enrollment gives us hope and excitement for the future,” said Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Lee College President. “However, numbers represent more than statistics or a line on a graph. Lee College cares about the community and we are continuously innovating around the pandemic to meet each individual where they are and help them succeed. Now is the time for people to go to college and not delay their dreams for higher education.”

All Lee College classes were transitioned online in March 2020 with the exception of hands-on classes, which were resumed in May. Since then the College has provided technology assistance as well as emergency financial support for students in need. Last April, the Lee College Board of Regents approved a plan to utilize more than $2 million in funding from the federal stimulus to pay for qualifying students’ tuition, e-books and fees for the Summer 2020 semester.

“While free tuition has been a driver for the College’s high enrollment, the certainty that higher education and training can provide is empowering, which has greatly supported our enrollment,” said Dr. Donnetta Suchon, Vice President of Student Affairs at Lee College. “I think more people are seeing that higher education is an effective pathway into gaining new skills and preparing for new careers in an ever-changing environment.”

Most students enrolled at Lee College this summer are first-time college students under the age of 20, but the College continues to see growth across all areas and student backgrounds. According to the registrar’s office, 60 to 70 percent of students enrolled in the summer typically choose to continue their education at Lee College in the fall.

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.

Trustees vote to waive summer e-books, tuition, fees

Baytown, TX — The Lee College Board of Regents approved a plan Thursday (April 23) to utilize more than $2 million in funding from the federal stimulus to pay for students’ tuition. Lee College is waiving tuition, e-books, and fees for the Summer 2020 semester for all in-district residents, out-of-district residents who attended Lee College in Spring 2020, any person in the Lee College service area who has been displaced or suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19, and students who graduated from our service area high schools in the 2019-2020 academic year.

“You may not be able to go off to university and live in a dormitory, and you may not have as much income as you did before the pandemic, but you can afford to go to Lee College, and you can’t afford to postpone your college dreams,” President Lynda Villanueva said.

The free tuition proposal is part of a comprehensive plan, Lee Cares, designed to meet the needs of Lee College students who have suffered financial hardship due to the impacts of COVID-19. An additional $2 million of CARES Act stimulus funding is being used to pay for expenses related to the coronavirus outbreak, including materials and technology, food, housing, and childcare.

“When many members of our community are struggling with the COVID-19 fallout, Lee College is committed to ensuring that education will always be the foundation upon wihc the success of our community is built,” Villanueva said. “I am determined to make it easier for our students to get the education they need to improve the quality of their lives, and that means removing financial and technological barriers for students in our community.”

Lee College continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by implementing measures to help students navigate these extraordinary circumstances. Here are some steps the College has taken in recent days:

• Lee Cares Emergency Fund—Assists students by providing emergency financial assistance to students who are unable to meet immediate essential expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Credit/No Credit – Because of the disruption caused by the transition to distance learning education, students will have the option to convert any or all of the letter grades they earn in their Spring 2020 classes to Credit/No Credit grading.
• Laptop/Chromebooks/Hotspots — The college has purchased new laptops and tablets for students who need them to participate in distance learning. If you are a student in need of a device, go to www.lee.edu/leecaresemergencyfund.
• Donations — Lee College Nursing Department donated several medical supplies to the Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital to help with the nationwide shortage of medical supplies.
• SBDC—Offering virtual SBA loan application consultations for local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Risk Management Institute offers free course on ‘Surviving Violent Encounters’

BAYTOWN, TX — With Americans still reeling from tragic shooting incidents in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas and around the country, the Risk Management Institute at Lee College is offering a free course this month to help community members recognize the signs that lead to a violent encounter and learn what to do to survive.

“Surviving Violent Encounters” will be held from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 30, in the Phyllis Davis Room at the Lee College Center for Workforce and Community Development, located at 909 Decker Drive in Baytown. The class is free to attend and open to the public – particularly employers and employees in the health care, human resources, social services, hotel, retail, education and public safety industries who are at higher risk of being attacked, as well as anyone interested in enhancing their own personal safety. Participants can register online at www.lee.edu/rmi or contact the workforce center for more information at 281.425.6311.

In the “Surviving Violent Encounters” course, students will develop a better understanding of five basic indicators that a violent situation may occur to give them a tactical advantage if necessary. The instructor will use real-life scenario practice drills, team activities, role playing, video vignettes and guided discovery to help students assess their own preparedness and identify and utilize strategies for surviving violent encounters. Students will be able to take the skills they learn and immediately apply them in the workplace, community and home.

Funded through a donation from Texas Mutual Insurance Co., the Risk Management Institute was created to offer free seminars, workshops and training classes on health and safety for employers, employees, seniors and the general public. The institute’s tagline, “You are priceless. Safety knowledge is free,” reflects its goal of providing free safety education for the Baytown area and surrounding communities.

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.

Risk Management Institute hosts free Distracted Driving Course, open to public

BAYTOWN AND LIBERTY, TX — Distracted drivers are responsible for approximately nine deaths and more than 1,000 injuries each day, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. In efforts to educate the community and provide greater insight into the consequences of driving while distracted, the Risk Management Institute at Lee College will provide a free Distracted Driving Course. The National Safety Council Distracted Driving Course, provided by the National Safety Council, will change drivers’ behavior and attitudes about distracted driving. The course intends to decrease the number of vehicle collisions in the community. The course is free to attend and open to the public, including employers, employees, students, adults, and young drivers.

The Risk Management Institute will hold the class at both the Baytown and Liberty locations.

Baytown, Texas:
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017
Time: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Location: Phyllis Davis Room, 909 Decker Drive, Baytown, TX 77520

Liberty, Texas:
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Time: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Location: Lee College Education Center – South Liberty County, Room 122, 1715 TX-146, Liberty, TX 77575

Seating is limited, and registration is required. To register for the class, call 281.425.6311 or register online at www.lee.edu/rmi/.

This course is informative and engaging, and has an interactive format to educate participants about the science of distracted driving, myths about multitasking, impact of distracted driving, financial and legal ramifications, state and federal laws, and much more. Companies with employees who operate vehicles, as well as parents with driving-aged children, are encouraged to attend.

A certificate of completion is provided after successfully completing the course. This training is not admissible for ticket dismissals.

“Reading or sending one text is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field at 55 mph, with your eyes off the road” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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.

Lee library giving away free copies of college photos taken 1970-2005

Community invited to browse collection May 15-19 and take as many photos as they like

Kristi Roberts Havard reviews the photos
Kristi Roberts Havard, daughter of former Lee College instructor and Texas State Rep. Ron Roberts, combs through the photo archive at the Lee College Library in search of images of her father. The library is giving away extra copies of college photos taken from 1970-2005 for free to the community.

BAYTOWN, TX — After opening up its archive of photos documenting interesting people, organizations and events from Lee College history, the Lee College Library invites members of the community to campus next week to browse the collection and take copies of any photos they like for free.

Extra copies of photos from 1970-2005 will be available for viewing and collecting May 15-19 near the reference desk during regular library hours. The library is open from 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Friday. Participants are welcome to take as many photos as they can carry.

Photos included in the free archive are arranged by department and include shots from athletics, the campus, events, faculty, fine arts, nursing, students and technical studies through the years. For more information about the giveaway event, contact the library at 281.425.6379.

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.

Kosins to be special guest at free ‘Jazz Night @ Lee College’

Kathy Kosins
Kathy Kosins

BAYTOWN, TX — Award-winning jazz singer and songwriter Kathy Kosins will bring her internationally acclaimed vocals and eclectic musical palette to Lee College as the special guest star at the free “Jazz Night @ Lee College” concert set for Friday, Nov. 11, at the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Jazz Night @ Lee College will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC Main Performance Hall. The show is open the public, and tickets are not required.

Born and bred during the Motown era of Detroit, Kosins was a sought-after session singer throughout the 1980s, known for singing and arranging background vocals for producer Don Was. After finding and falling in love with the freedom and artistry of jazz music, she completed stints with the JC Heard and Nelson Riddle orchestras and released “All In A Dream’s Work” in 1996. The debut album featured original songs and a cover of “Four” by Miles Davis, earning Kosins play on 250 jazz stations across the country.

Kosins recorded multiple albums throughout the 2000s, including “Mood Swings” in 2002 and “To The Ladies Of Cool” in 2012. For “The Space Between,” released in 2013, she worked in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles to bring new life to little-known records by Shirley Horn and Nat King Cole, among others. Her newest album — the sultry and intimate “Uncovered Soul” — will also feature rarely heard records by legendary and contemporary soul performers like Curtis Mayfield, Eugene McDaniels, Aaron Neville, and Amos Lee.

Described by critics as “one of the most alluring voices in jazz” and “a joy to listen to,” Kosins has toured and performed at events and venues throughout the U.S. and Europe — from jazz festivals in France and Switzerland to clubs and concert halls in New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Chicago.

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.

University reps to talk transfers at College Day

BAYTOWN, TX – Representatives from the University of Texas System, Texas A&M University System and more than a dozen other universities across the state and beyond will be at Lee College next week for College Day, an annual event where students and their families can learn more about how best to prepare to transfer to a four-year institution for a bachelor’s degree.

College Day 2016 will be held from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4, in Rundell Hall. The event is free and open to the public, and all school districts in the Lee College service area are especially invited to attend.

Institutions that have confirmed participation in College Day include: The Art Institutes; Dallas Baptist University; East Texas Baptist University; Grantham University; Howard Payne University; Sam Houston State University; Tarleton State University; Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Texas Southern University; Universidad de la Americas Puebla; University of Houston Clear Lake; University of Texas at Austin; and the University of Texas at Dallas.

The Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers presents College Day each year. Refreshments will be served, and there will be prize drawings and goodie bag giveaways. For more information, contact Sharon Sampson at 281.425.6384 or ssampson@lee.edu.

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 office 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.

Free vaccines offered for eligible children

The Rotary Club of Baytown’s “Shots for Tots” event will be held 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Ross Sterling High School in Baytown.

The event provides free vaccines for eligible children from 2 months to 18 years of age.

To be eligible for “Shots for Tots,” you must have one the following:

  • Medicaid
  • CHIP
  • No health insurance (uninsured)

You must also provide a vaccination record.

A parent/guardian must be present if the child is under 18 years old.

Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.