Pictured: New Coastal Bend College President Dr. Thomas Baynum addressed the students Friday afternoon, showing off some CBC Cougar pride with his spirited T-shirt. Photo by MAURICIO JULIAN CUELLAR JR.

Incoming students receive tips on how to be successful

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Incoming Coastal Bend College-Alice students had the opportunity to met new CBC President Dr. Thomas Baynum during the annual Cougar Day celebration Friday morning.

The event is an opportunity for freshmen to receive information on advising, registration and financial aid. They also receive survival tips necessary to make it through the first year of college.

Campus administrators held sessions on Campus Connect, using the college's Web site for class information and scheduling. They also had a chance to take a session on being a college student, hot jobs, dressing for success and taking a personality inventory.

Baynum spoke of his own experiences going through college, and how the further he took his education, the easier he found the material to be.

"Once you go through the basics, and get to an area you really like, the work becomes much easier," Baynum said. "You have people here who want to help you through that transition…You'd be foolish not to take advantage of it."

Baynum said he worked full time while going to college, much like other students who attend CBC. He said education can change your life. The opportunities available at CBC should be taken advantage of, he said.

With classes of 20 to 25 instead of classrooms with 400 students like other institutions, the students at CBC get much more one-on-one attention, Baynum said, and at a cheaper price. He was firm in his commitment that every student enrolled at CBC should feel like an equal member of the college.

"Not an Alice student, but a Coastal Bend College student. Students will receive the same kind of experience and commitment at every campus," Baynum said.

He also spoke about several programs coming to CBC this year for Alice students, including a focus on machinist and oil and gas programs, a Certified Nurses Aide/Bridge Program for registered nurses, drafting courses, commercial truck driving courses and radiology technology.

"The idea is to bring educational opportunities to the community and then tailor these programs for the Alice community," Baynum said.

Freshman Alex Gonzalez of Alice said he learned a lot during the Campus Connect session on Friday.

"We learned about financial aid information and also looking up classes online. I know where to go now to find everything," Gonzalez said. He isn't sure yet what area of study he's interested in, but he did say he was considering getting his basics completed at CBC because of the affordability, and then transferring to a larger school.