CEE Board Officers
Dr. Rick Alvarado
Education Service Center, Region 2
Ms. Christine Bryant
Director of Business Retention
Corpus Christi Reg. Economic Dev. Corp.
Ms. Margaret Dechant
Associate Vice President
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Dr. Roland Hernandez
Corpus Christi ISD
Mrs. Gloria Hicks
Ed Hicks Family Dealerships
Mrs. Merritt Kennedy
Mr. Allen Law
Craft Training Center
Mr. Richard Pittman
Bath Engineering Corporation
Dr. Gilda Ramirez
Vice President, Small Business & Education
United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Leonard Rivera
Dean of Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs
Del Mar College
Mr. Cleo Rodriguez
National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association
Dr. Gloria Scott
G. Randle Services
Ms. Cheryl Segrest
President and Lending Officer
Prosperity Bank-Carmel Banking Center
Dr. Janet M. Cunningham
Summary of Accomplishments 2018-2019
- Established the Emerging Professionals Internship Program with a cohort of 30 students.
- Received a $91,108 grant from Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend to implement the Texas Internship Initiative.
- Implemented the Recapture Your Dream program for adults with some college and no degree through a $275,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation.
- In partnership with Corpus Christi ISD, increased FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completion rates by 6% through using a $40,000 grant from the National College Access Network, and received a $10,000 check and the Outstanding Leadership for a Community-Based Organization award at the national convening.
- Provided a week-long STEM-ulate Your Summer Camp for 35 students through funding from ConocoPhillips.
- In partnership with community organizations, led efforts to survey community employers and employees through The Graduate Network’s Bridging the Talent Gap survey.
- Co-hosted, with United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, the Impact of the 86th Legislative Session on Education and the Workforce for over 200 guests.
- Updated and distributed eleven education career pathways for certificates to bachelor’s degrees leading to in-demand jobs.
- Served over 16,000 clients at Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center since we opened in May 2013.
- Hosted the Counselors/Education to Employment Conference & Industry Tour for 60 participants.
- Hosted Youth Summer Job Fairs and Destination: Education Fair at La Palmera Mall.
- Welcomed Goodwill of South Texas and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as new Coastal Compass partners.
- Represented the City of Corpus Christi at national education convening.
- In partnership with Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend, provided the Educator Externship Program for 97 educators.
- Hosted the Ready for College and Career Conference for over 350 high school juniors and seniors as part of Texas Industry Week and in conjunction with the YOU Choose Career Expo, provided by Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend.
- Hosted the Discover Your Direction: Exploring Endorsements Conference for 165 students in Grades 7-10.
- Continued bringing together community leaders as part of the educational nonprofit network and published the Nonprofit Resource Guide.
- Served as coordinating organization for the regional College Preparatory Course.
Summary of Accomplishments 2017-18
- Awarded $275,000 by the Lumina Foundation and designated Corpus Christi as one of 24 cities in the nation as a “Talent Hub.”
- Received $40,000 in grant funding from the National College Access Network to increase FAFSA rates in Corpus Christi.
- Selected by National League of Cities (NLC) as one of 6 cities nationally to participate with a cohort to solve equity issues around postsecondary and workforce access. The Corpus Christi team led an NLC site visit, attended the NLC Mayors’ Institute with Mayor Joe McComb and participated on a panel at the NLC National Briefing.
- Hosted the Building Bridges: Education Excellence Awards and recognized four outstanding organizations in our community.
- Completed ten education career pathways for certificates to bachelor’s degrees through generous funding from the Trellis Foundation.
- Served over 14,000 clients at Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center since we opened in May 2013, and increased visits to the Center by 25% over the previous year.
- Hosted College Expo, Youth Summer Job Fair, and Destination: Education Fair at La Palmera Mall.
- Welcomed United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce as a new Coastal Compass partner.
- In partnership with the Mayor’s Education/Workforce Policy Board, finalized and adopted the first Corpus Christi Education/Workforce Strategic Plan.
- In partnership with Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend, provided the Educator Externship Program, a one-week program for 77 educators.
- Held “FAFSA Frenzy” at Coastal Compass each Saturday in October through partnerships with higher education institutions.
- Hosted the Ready for College and Career Conference for over 300 high school juniors and seniors as part of Texas Industry Week.
- Hosted the Discover Your Direction: Exploring Endorsements Conference for 175 students in Grades 7, 8, 9, and 10.
- Assisted schools and communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey through grant funds provided by the Prichard Family Foundation.
- Continued bringing together community leaders as part of the educational nonprofit network.
- Served as coordinating organization for the regional College Preparatory Course.
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
Since 2003, Citizens for Educational Excellence (CEE), a local nonprofit (501c3) education organization led by a 17-member board, has served as a catalyst for bringing together people, information, and resources to improve education in Corpus Christi and the surrounding area. CEE provides youth programs, conducts professional development for educators, leads education forums, and establishes programs designed to increase educational and job attainment. Major initiatives include Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center, Education to Employment Partners Regional P-16 Council, Recapture Your Dream for adult college completion, and the Mayor’s Education Workforce Policy Board. CEE also works with national, state, and local organizations, including the Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnership for Attainment, National College Access Network FAFSA Completion Program, National League of Cities STEM Initiative, Trellis Foundation’s Clarifying Pathways Through Collaboration, and the City of Corpus Christi’s Education/Workforce Policy Board.
CEE established Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center at La Palmera Mall in 2013, as a free source of information and personalized assistance. Through partnerships with the City of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi ISD, Corpus Christi Literacy Council, Craft Training Center, Del Mar College, Education Service Center Region II, Education to Employment Partners, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Goodwill of South Texas, Saint Leo University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, University of the Incarnate Word, and Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend, direct assistance is provided to the public. In 2015, CEE was the recipient of a Charity League of Corpus Christi grant in the amount of $250,000, which provided for the purchase of the Coastal Compass Mobile Center. The Mobile Center provides the same services as the mall location at various locations in the community and rural areas of the Coastal Bend region.
CEE also leads Education to Employment Partners Regional P-16 Council, which encourages postsecondary and career readiness through student conferences and events; offers professional development for educators, including a teacher externship program; hosts community leadership seminars; leads the college preparatory course advisory council; and has developed 11 guided pathways to high demand Coastal Bend careers. The newest E2E program is the Emerging Professionals Internship Program to encourage high school students to prepare for in-demand Coastal Bend jobs with both the technical and essentials skills for the workplace.
In 2018, the Lumina Foundation named Corpus Christi a Talent Hub and provided CEE with a grant in the amount of $275,000 to support local efforts to educate more people by better meeting the specific needs of residents. The Recapture Your Dream program assists adults with some college and no degree to continue and complete their education.
In efforts to strengthen collaboration and educational alignment, CEE leads the Mayor’s Education/Workforce Policy Board and through the work of the stakeholders, an Education/Workforce Strategic Plan has been adopted with the overarching goal being 60 percent of the Corpus Christi population with a skill-based certificate or postsecondary degree by 2030.