CEE Goals

Educate:  Be recognized as an important source of information on education issues.

Engage:  Raise awareness of education issues and obtain support for action. 

Coordinate:  Work with other organizations to promote improvement of education in the community. 

Evaluate:  Assess the impact of the stated goals and strategies.

Our History

Formed in 2003 by the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Citizens for Educational Excellence (CEE) is a non-profit local education fund that serves as a catalyst for change by bringing people, information, and resources together to improve educational attainment in our community. CEE has been successful at bringing our community together to improve local public education by sponsoring community forums that address issues ranging from dropout prevention and improving postsecondary readiness to career awareness. CEE's high school reform dialogue led to a grant awarded to the Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD) from the Texas High School Project and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create CCISD's Collegiate High School on the campus of Del Mar College. 

In 2009, CEE agreed to lead the regional P-16 council, Education to Employment (E2E) Partners.  P-16 councils are mandated by the Texas Legislature and are under the direction of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. E2E is dedicated to ensuring college and career readiness by promoting a seamless educational continuum for all learners in the Coastal Bend from pre-kindergarten (P) through postsecondary education (16).  E2E serves Education Service Center Region II, including the counties of Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, and San Patricio.  Together, CEE and E2E serve 42 school districts, five postsecondary institutions, and communities in the Coastal Bend.

In May 2013 CEE, along with partnering organizations, opened Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center at La Palmera Mall.  Coastal Compass is a comprehensive, one-stop resource center that offers individuals information on all types of education programs, including adult literacy, English as a Second Language, GED, certification, college, and financial aid.  The Center also assists with job placement, career exploration, programs for veterans, and summer programs for youths.  Current partners include City of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi ISD, Corpus Christi Literacy Council, Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend, Del Mar College, Education Service Center Region 2, Education to Employment Partners, Saint Leo University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, University of the Incarnate Word, and Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend.

Thanks to a grant from the Charity League of Corpus Christi, CEE purchased a mobile trailer to provide services in the community and surrounding area. With additional support from Del Mar College, the Coastal Compass Mobile Center provides the same services as the La Palmera Mall location.

Accomplishments

Working in partnership, CEE and E2E have accomplished the following:

2016 Accomplishments

  • Presented “Education Advocate Awards” at a Mustangs’ fundraising event raising over $30,000
  • Received a grant from TG Philanthropy in the amount of $126,000 to develop Coastal Bend education and career pathways
  • Invited to participate in National League of Cities Leadership Academy (one of 12 cities nationally)
  • Assisted over 2,500 clients at Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center at La Palmera Mall
  • Held “FAFSA Frenzy” each Saturday in February and October
  • Welcomed two new partners to Coastal Compass – Education Service Center Region 2 and Saint Leo University
  • Worked with Mayor Martinez and the Education Stakeholders to develop a draft education strategic plan for Corpus Christi
  • Co-hosted the Emerging Leaders Initiative Educator Externship Program, a one-week program for 39 educators
  • Provided professional development to educators through the uAspire Financial Aid webinars and at the Education to Employment Conference, which included an industry tour
  • Hosted the Discover Your Direction: Exploring Endorsements Conference for 150 students in Grades 8, 9, and 10
  • Hosted iDiscovery Safari Career and Education Fair for over 1,400 participants
  • Hosted Generation Texas Day in La Palmera Mall to celebrate the decision of over 200 graduating seniors to pursue postsecondary education
  • Hosted the Ready for College and Career Conference for 180 high school juniors and seniors and their counselors
  • Brought together over 50 community leaders to establish a nonprofit network
  • Served as coordinating organization for Academic Vertical Alignment Training and Renewal (AVATAR) state-wide project and led the regional College Preparatory Course Advisory Council
  • Participated in national Postsecondary Success City Action Network and other professional development as the Mayor’s designee
  • Received numerous grants/support – AT&T, Coastal Bend Community Foundation, HEB, Kenedy Memorial Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Blanche Moore Foundation, National College Access Network, National League of Cities, Ed Rachal Foundation, TG Philanthropy, uAspire, University of North Texas/Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend

2015 Accomplishments

  • Received a Charity League grant in the amount of $251,000 for Coastal Compass Mobile Center
  • Assisted over 2,500 clients at Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center at La Palmera Mall
  • Hosted Generation Texas Day in La Palmera Mall to celebrate the decision of over 200 graduating seniors to pursue postsecondary education
  • Hosted Bridging the Gaps Math Symposium for area high school and college teachers
  • Hosted iDiscovery Safari Career and Education Fair for children and their families
  • Hosted the Ready for College and Career Conference for over 200 high school juniors and seniors and their counselors
  • Hosted the Discover Your Direction: Exploring Endorsements Conference for 160 students in Grade 8, 9, and 10
  • Co-hosted the Emerging Leaders Initiative Externship Program, a two-week program for 16 educators
  • Served as coordinating organization for Academic Vertical Alignment Training and Renewal (AVATAR) state-wide project
  • Coordinated and led the regional College Preparatory Course Advisory Council
  • Joined with Mayor Martinez to launch the initial meeting of Corpus Christi Education Stakeholders
  • Participated in national Postsecondary Success City Action Network as the mayor’s designee
  • Received numerous grants – Charity League, Ed Rachal Foundation, Coastal Bend Community Foundation, CITGO-Hands for Hillcrest, American Bank, Dougherty Foundation, HEB, Kenedy Memorial Foundation, Prichard Family Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Yvonne Simard Foundation, Susser Family Foundation, Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend, University of North Texas/Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and America’s Promise Alliance

Accomplishments 2013-2014

  • Established Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center – May 2013
  • Received Gold Award for Coastal Compass – Texas Association of Partners in Education
  • Received Education Award for Coastal Compass from Robstown Regional Economic Development Corporation
  • Awarded Charity League grant ($230,000)
  • Awarded Best College Application Drive Grand Prize for Gen TX Day; hosted Gen TX Signing Day
  • One of 35 cities (Cohort 2) selected to participate in Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnership for Attainment program ($170,000)
  • Hosted GradNation Summit with the support of America’s Promise Alliance ($15,000)
  • Created new name/logo for P-16 Council: Education to Employment Partners
  • Developed iDiscovery Safari, a grassroots career and education fair
  • Developed “Bridging the Gaps” Math Symposium
  • Held leadership luncheon with Dr. Victor Saenz
  • Held Legislative Update leadership luncheon
  • Hosted Ready for College and Career Conference for high school seniors, Junior League of Corpus Christi, and counselors
  • Provided industry tour for counselors
  • Served on Education/Workforce Taskforce for Mayor Nelda Martinez and Rep. Todd Hunter
  • Participated in area Jobs Town Hall Meetings
  • Served as Mayor’s designee for national Postsecondary Success City Action Network
  • Served on state AVATAR committee
  • Received numerous grants - Ed Rachal Foundation Coastal Bend Community Foundation, Hands for Hillcrest (Citgo), American Bank, Kenedy Foundation, Scripps-Howard, Dougherty Foundation, HEB, Wells Fargo, Kenedy Foundation, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • Invited to Promise Conference in Indianapolis by Lumina Foundation
  • Articles printed for Shale Oil and Gas Magazine
  • Presented information about Coastal Compass at local, state, and national conferences.

 

September 2013 - Sponsored Leadership Seminar Panel Discussion, The Impact of the 83rd Legislative Session on Schools, Community, and the Workforce

June 2013 - Selected to participate in Year 2 of the statewide Academic Vertical Alignment Training and Renewal project

May 2013 - Established Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center located in Corpus Christi's La Palmera Mall

May 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 - Celebrated Generation Texas Day

April 2014, 2013 - Awarded $5000 in scholarships to local students through the Generation Texas Scholarship Program

April 2014 -- Awarded Community STAR Awards honoring community businesses involved in educational issues in our area

April 2013, August 2012, February 2012, September 2011, February 2011, August 2010, September 2008 - Hosted Leadership Seminars for business and community members focused on education topics. 

October 2014, February 2014, March 2013 - Hosted Preparing High School Students for Postsecondary Success Mathematics Symposium, an effort to improve vertical alignment between secondary and postsecondary. 

March 2014, February 2013 - Held iDiscovery Safari, an education and career event for children. 

June 2012 – Selected to participate in a statewide Academic Vertical Alignment Training and Renewal Project (AVATAR). 

May 2012, May 2011, June 2010 - Recognized local educators for outstanding programs or practices with monetary awards. 

February 2012 to present - Implemented the Generation Texas Campaign through a grant awarded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  Generation Texas campus kits were delivered to 30 high schools and included materials to encourage students to pursue postsecondary education.  

February 2012, February 2011, August 2010 – Hosted the Feria Para Aprender (The Learning Fair), an opportunity for students and parents to learn about the educational programs and services in the Coastal Bend. 

November 2011 – Recognized outstanding educators at the Celebrating Excellence Luncheon. 

September 2011 – Provided professional development from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to local social studies teachers.

August 2011 – Completed a School Readiness Brochure for parents in partnership with ESC Region II and Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend.  August 2010 – Sponsored Teaching with Passion and Style professional development with Murray Banks for educators. 

August 2009 – Hosted Dropout Prevent Leadership Summit for educators. 

September 2008 – Provided professional development with Dr. Ruby Payne, A Framework for Understanding Poverty. 

Fall 2007-Spring 2008 – Held a series of public forums titled “Closing the Achievement Gap”. 

August 8-9, 2007 – Provided professional development for educators on Professional Learning Communities. 

Fall 2006-Spring 2008 - Implemented Full-Service Community School Pilot Project

CEE Board Officers

2017-2018

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Mr. Ken Trevino, Board Chair

President and CEO
Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend
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Dr. Arturo Almendarez, Board Vice Chair

Calallen ISD, Superintendent
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Mr. Shannon Wilde, Board Treasurer

Branscomb, P.C., Attorney at Law

Board Members

Dr. Rick Alvarado
Executive Director
Education Service Center, Region 2

Dr. Mary Jane Garza
School Liaison Officer
Naval Air Station

Dr. Roland Hernandez
Superintendent
Corpus Christi ISD

Mrs. Gloria Hicks
Owner
Ed Hicks Family Dealerships

Mrs. Merritt Kennedy
Community Advocate

Mr. Richard Pittman
President
Bath Engineering Corporation

Dr. Leonard Rivera
Dean of Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs
Del Mar College

Dr. Michael Sandroussi
President
Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend

Dr. Gloria Scott
President
G. Randle Services

Ms. Cheryl Segrest
President and Lending Officer
Prosperity Bank-Carmel Banking Center

Mr. Scott Sherman
Attorney at Law
Branscomb, P.C.

Dr. Mary Sherwood
Chief of Staff
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Executive Director
Dr. Janet M. Cunningham