students in classroom
Big Bend Community College welding students get a review of class subjects from instructor Shawn McDaniel (standing) on the first day of fall quarter.

The parking lots were full, so full that drivers were circling around looking for a space. The library was bustling with students already researching via computers, highlighting textbooks and reviewing class notes, getting a start on some of those early assignments.

Monday was the first day of classes for fall quarter at Big Bend Community College.

College officials were offering tutorials on the college’s computer system. The message board announcing the tutorial had a handy arrow directing students who might be having trouble finding their way around.

Instructors were using the inaugural class to lay out their expectations for the quarter. Over in the welding shop, the class objectives included techniques to avoid setting one’s clothes on fire, which is an occupational hazard in a profession that involves materials at high temperatures and flying sparks. (It’s not that hard, just a little inattention and a few loose threads, cautioned a second-year student.)

Like many community colleges, BBCC draws from traditional and non-traditional student populations. Ashley Aldridge is taking advantage of the state’s Running Start program to, well, get a running start on an AA degree.

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