Thanks to the Internet, students at Coastal Bend College-Kingsville can receive mentoring from The University of Houston-Victoria.

The program includes the four CBC campuses of Kingsville, Beeville, Alice and Plesanton.

Through online chats and e-mail, UHV e-mentors answer questions and concerns from CBC students looking to continue their education by earning bachelor's degrees, E-Mentoring Program Coordinator Ersilia Garcia said.

"It helps CBC students make the transition from junior college to upper-level studies," she said.

The program, which will start its third year this fall, is part of a larger state-funded effort to increase educational attainment levels among minorities in Texas.

Mentors talk to the students about registration challenges, financial aid options and other topics, Garcia said. Mentors follow a syllabus of topics to cover with their "mentees" as they make contact at least once a week.

They also answer any questions the community college students may have at other times.

"It's very satisfying to help someone make the jump to the university environment," said Juan Diego Martinez, a mentor and UHV master's student. "I know that when I was going to junior college, I didn't have that kind of influence, that kind of help to give me direction at UHV."

During the last two years, the program has proven itself an asset to students at the Costal Bend College's campuses in Beeville, Alice, Kingsville and Pleasanton, CBC program liaison Karen Garza said. The program previously recruited "mentees" in Beeville and rotated recruitment among the other campuses, she said.

Organizers hope to have the program active on all campuses simultaneously by fall 2009.

CBC students can sign up to be mentored by contacting Karen Garza at 866-722-2838, ext. 2732 or 361-354-2732.