While 2020 brought unique challenges, Temple College also celebrated many special moments and milestones during the year. Here are some of the college’s top stories from 2020.

  1. PANDEMIC FORCES CLASSES TO MOVE ONLINE

Like colleges and universities across the country, Temple College was forced to move most of its classes online in March 2020 due to the growing threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Classes remained online for summer 2020 and fall 2020. The college distributed $1,022,600 in CARES Act funds from the federal government to help students impacted by the coronavirus and partnered with the Central Texas Food Bank to help provide food to students and more than 1,000 families in the community.

  1. NEW STUDENT SUCCESS PROGRAM STARTS

In fall 2020, Temple College launched a new student success initiative called Focus2Finish. When possible, students are now taking 8-week classes instead of 16-week classes, and focusing on just two or three classes at a time. College leaders hope the new program will help decrease course withdrawal rates, increase retention rates, and increase graduation rates.

The new program was developed as part of the college’s reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). About half the classes offered in fall 2020 were in the 8-week format.

  1. LONGTIME TRUSTEE RECEIVES NATIONAL TRUSTEE LEADERSHIP AWARD

Lydia Santibañez displays the national award she received from the Association of Community Colle...Longtime Temple College Trustee Lydia Santibañez earned national recognition in October 2020 when she received the M. Dale Ensign Trustee Leadership Award from the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). Santibañez became a finalist for the award after receiving the Western Region Trustee Leadership Award from ACCT in July 2020.

Santibañez has been a member of the Temple College Board of Trustees since 1990 and served as chair of the Board from 2000-2002. She served on the ACCT Board of Directors from 1994-2000 and also served as board chair of the National Association of Latino Community College Trustees.

The ACCT represents more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern more than 1,100 community colleges. M. Dale Ensign was a longtime trustee at Northwest Community College in Powell, Wyoming, and was the first president of the ACCT. 

  1. COLLEGE RECEIVES GRANT TO EXPAND TBI PROGRAM

Temple College received a $620,107 grant from Greater Texas Foundation that will enable it to expand its award-winning Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College program to East Williamson County.

The two-year grant provides the start-up funds needed to offer the program in Taylor, where Temple College already has a teaching center.

The program will be open to all students, including homeschool, public, private and charter school students. Temple College will begin recruiting students for the new program in spring 2021, and the first students will start in fall 2021.

Temple College also received a $150,000 grant from the W.D. Kelley Foundation of Georgetown to furnish a new physics lab in Taylor and provide student scholarships. 

  1. HONOR SOCIETY EARNS STATEWIDE, NATIONAL RECOGNITION

The Temple College chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society reached a major milestone in 2020 when it was recognized as a Five-Star Chapter, the highest designation a chapter can earn. Only 36.5% of the 1,285 PTK chapters in the country have earned this honor.

The chapter also earned several statewide awards in 2020 – Most Improved Chapter and the College Project Merit Award. The chapter earned the merit award for the garden they started on campus in partnership with the Bell County Master Gardeners.

  1. COLLEGE RECEIVES GRANT TO HELP VETERANS TRANSITION INTO THE WORKFORCE

Temple College received a $188,548 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission in 2020 to support a program designed to maximize the award of college credit to veterans and active duty service members for their military experience. The College Credit for Heroes program could help veterans apply their experience to a variety of degrees and certificates offered by Temple College, including criminal justice, computer information systems, education and health professions. 

  1. NURSING PROGRAM RECEIVES GRANTS FOR SIMULATION EQUIPMENT

The Temple College Nursing program received two grants in 2020 to help purchase additional simulation equipment. The additional equipment was needed to accommodate social distancing requirements required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the program’s ongoing initiative to double the number of associate degree nursing graduates.

The program received a $115,726 Jobs and Education for Texans grant from the Texas Workforce Commission and a $119,171 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Together, these grants enabled the program to purchase eight additional patient simulators, four additional beds for patient simulators, as well as additional equipment to teach skills such as venipuncture, catheterization, IV infusions, and proper acquisition of medications. 

  1. GOLF TOURNAMENT RAISES MORE THAN $100,000 FOR STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS

Thirty-six teams braved a cold, rainy day in October to participate in the 2020 Johnson Brothers Ford Temple College Foundation Golf Tournament held at Wildflower Country Club. The event raised more than $100,000 for student scholarships and helped establish eight new endowed scholarships.

  1. NEW DEGREE, CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS ADDED

Several new degree programs were added in 2020, including an Associate of Arts in Studio Art and an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration – Marketing. New certificate programs added in 2020 include Business Interpersonal Skills, Construction Drafting/Design Engineering Technology, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Mechanical Engineering Technology and Medical Office Technology Support.

  1. STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF MEMBERS EARN RECOGNITION

Temple College students, faculty and staff members earned a variety of recognition in 2020:

  • Kim GeorgeKim GeorgeEnglish Professor Kim George received the 2020 Claudia and W.T. Barnhart Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. George also was one of six faculty and staff members selected to receive 2020 awards from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), an organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at community and technical colleges. 

  • Susan Guzman-Trevino, vice president for academic affairs and student services, was one of 40 community college leaders from across the country selected for the 2020-21 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, a highly selective program for top community college leaders.

  • Biology Professor Dr. Jason Locklin and former student Devin Corbitt had a paper published in the international journal Aquatic Invasions. The paper, which detailed zebra mussel population dynamics in Lake Belton, was the first to be published under the auspices of the new Temple College Biological Research Institute. 

  • Biology major Joey Moore received an award for the best poster presentation in the Freshwater Sciences Section at the 2020 Texas Academy of Science meeting in March. 

  • Temple College President Dr. Christy Ponce was selected to join the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s 1,200 community colleges.

  • One hundred fourteen students were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society – 78 in the spring and 36 in the fall.

  • Temple College students who have been selected to perform with 2020 All-State music ensembles inc...Six Temple College students were selected for All-State music ensembles that performed at the 2020 Texas Music Educators Association Convention.

  • Several athletes signed with Division 1 schools, including Carlton Linguard (Kansas State), Kedrian Johnson (West Virginia), Seth Stephenson (Tennessee), Aleu Aleu (UTSA), Andruw Gonzales (McNeese State) and Nathan Medrano (Univ. of Houston).

  • Basketball players Carlton Linguard and Kedrian Johnson made the 2020 NJCAA Region V Men’s Basketball Team.

  • Seventeen Temple College players received Academic Student-Athlete Awards from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for the 2019-2020 academic year. 

  • Criminal justice major Julia DeWitt was one of 13 students statewide selected to receive 2020 Dr. Mary Hood STAR Scholarships awarded by the Texas Region of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.