Temple College

Christina Ponce, who was one of three finalists for Temple College president, answers questions Oct. 8 at the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center in Temple.

In 2018, Temple College President Glenda Barron announced she would retire Dec. 31, 2018.

In October, the TC board of trustees named Christina Ponce, executive vice president at Lee College in Baytown, president. Ponce will join TC on Jan. 2, 2019.

During the year, Temple College increased partnerships, grew existing programs and received a number of recognitions.

In July, Temple College and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor signed an articulation agreement that will make it easier for students who complete an associate degree at TC to pursue a bachelor’s degree at UMHB.

The partnership TC has with Texas A&M University – Central Texas in Killeen has expanded to offer an additional music–related bachelor’s degree to the other joint music-related bachelor’s degrees.

The Temple College Respiratory Care program received national recognition in 2018 for the percentage of students who pass an advanced credentialing exam. TC’s average pass rate is 92.1 percent on the Registered Respiratory Therapist examinations, compared to the national average of 75.1 percent.

Nursing professor Claudia Turner received the Claudia and W.T. Barnhart Outstanding Teacher of the Year award and was among the first recipients of the Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty recognition by the American Association of Community Colleges.

Responding to an increased demand for registered nurses, Temple College began accepting applications in 2018 for two associate degree nursing classes, one that begins in August. The first January cohort will start in January 2019.

In November, Temple College launched an initiative to bring organizations from across the community together to help its students address issues that frequently prevent them from succeeding — such as homelessness, food insecurity, access to child care, lack of transportation, and lack of money for tuition and books.

More than 30 community groups have expressed an interest in being part of the new project that will benefit the whole community.

In May, Temple College won the NJCAA Division 1 softball championship, in a win against the 2017 national champions.

Several members of the team were named All Americans and head coach Kristen Zaleski was named coach of the tournament.