Cougar Connections Program at AHS

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Coastal Bend College is ensuring all seniors take the first step of applying to the college or university of their choice through the CBC Cougar Connections Program.

The Title V supported program was on campus Wednesday and Thursday, working with seniors during their English classes with filling out the Common Application, which is the standard application accepted by all colleges and universities in the state of Texas.

CBC Outreach Coordinator Kelly Rea said that more than 300 Alice High School seniors took advantage of the application opportunity.

Students will be able to take those applications and use them to apply online to colleges and universities around the state through the high school's GO Center.

As part of the program, CBC representatives venture out to six area high schools including those in Alice, Beeville, Kingsville, Pleasanton, Karnes City and Falfurrias to walk through the application process step by step with seniors.

Admissions is just one of three areas Cougar Connections on which focuses. The program also helps with the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid and discussions on survival skills when the student gets to college.

"How do you come up with a degree plan, how do you come up with a GPA, what is the core curriculum, how do you transfer from a two year to a four-year college?" Rea said.

"It's just a lot of important information on college success skills that every student should know."

By focusing on admissions, financial aid and student services, and with the help CBC staff members provide, Rea said by the time they finish with the seniors, they're college ready.

Now in its second year, Rea said the program is where it is because of the support CBC receives on the AHS campus from administrators, counselors and support staff.

"If you go in there, you can see the English instructors staying in there. I think it's great because it tells us and the students, too, that the school is behind us, the school wants them to apply for admissions, they want them to go to college, they're going to help them. So it's kind of like a support network between the two," Rea said.

AHS principal Berta Longoria said the Cougar Connections program is a great opportunity for the kids to get insight about post-secondary opportunities. "They're from CBC, but they are there to help all students no matter what postsecondary needs they might have," Longoria said.