In these times of monumental change, our community turns to Lorain County Community College to light a path to the future.
As LCCC and University Partnership classes begin today, the campus is alive with the hope and purpose of all students – those starting their first college classes, those returning after some time away, those retraining for new careers, and so many more.
One thing they all have in common is that they turned to LCCC to help them reach their career goals. With customized academic support and our culture of care, LCCC is committed to helping each student find success, whether they are pursuing a certificate, associate degree or applied bachelor’s from LCCC, or a bachelor’s or master’s degree through LCCC’s University Partnership.
Here is a video I shared with students to welcome them on the first day of a new academic year.
For nearly 60 years, LCCC continues to be the trusted place our community members and employers turn to as they prepare for the future. In fact, one in four Lorain County residents have taken classes at LCCC. And after graduation, they find career success right here in our region, as 90% of LCCC graduates live and work in Northeast Ohio. Our graduates find local careers by design, as LCCC partners with more than 700 local employers to ensure students graduate ready to get to work on day one.
One example of this employer and program connection is the new Bachelor of Applied Science in Smart Industrial Automated Systems Engineering Technology. This new applied bachelor’s degree was developed in direct response to employer needs. As the first students in this program begin classes today, they know they will graduate ready for the workforce due to Earn and Learn paid internship opportunities built into the curriculum. Many other programs utilize this successful Earn and Learn model, including the applied bachelor’s degree program in microelectronic manufacturing, also called MEMS.
These innovative applied bachelor’s degrees in MEMS and Smart Manufacturing build upon the success of LCCC’s University Partnership. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the University Partnership delivers more than 100 bachelor’s and master’s degrees from 15 Ohio colleges, as well as the two applied bachelor’s degrees from LCCC. The programs are all offered on the LCCC campus and save students an average of 70% on the cost of their education. It is no wonder that the LCCC University Partnership has become a popular higher education choice for Lorain County residents. Since 2000, Lorain County has experienced a 77% increase in bachelor’s degree holders – with 89% of those earning credits from LCCC.
The impact of LCCC’s Earn and Learn programs is so well known that when University Hospitals noticed an unmet need for licensed practical nurses (LPN), they turned to LCCC to develop a solution. The result is a new Earn and Learn program that allows current UH employees working as patient care nursing assistants (PCNA) to earn their LPN credential from LCCC. Students remain full-time employees at the hospital – earning full pay and benefits – while they complete the one-year LPN program, tuition-free. Upon graduation, they will be hired as LPNs at the hospital. Talk about a win-win for students and the community! And once they earn their LPN, the education and career opportunities continue with the LPN to RN bridge program and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from LCCC’s University Partnership.
The ability to seamlessly advance from one credential to the next is a vital component of all LCCC and University Partnership programs, including our Aspire GED and adult diploma programs. Luis Hernandez is a first-generation college student from Lorain who turned to LCCC to help him earn his GED in 2019. He continued his education, first at the LCCC Lorain Learning Center near him home, and now on our main campus. In this academic year, Luis will earn an associate degree and two certificates, with plans to continue his education for a bachelor’s degree through LCCC’s University Partnership. Of all these achievements, what I find most inspiring about Luis is his passion for advocating for students in his role as president of Student Senate.
Another student committed to serving is Brittany Kramer. After more than a decade working for the same company, Brittany found herself laid off and in need of additional training and education. She turned to LCCC for the affordability and flexible schedule she needs as a mom. At LCCC, she has exceled in her classes and found a home where she can grow her leadership skills. She’s earned three associate degrees and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree through LCCC’s University Partnership. What’s more, she holds leadership roles with Student Senate and Phi Theta Kappa honor society and was named one of the top community college students in Ohio for 2022!
As this new academic year begins, the possibilities are endless but LCCC remains steadfast: always here, always ready. So, when individuals like Luis and Brittany turn to LCCC they can do so confidently, knowing their community college will help them build a fulfilling future, for themselves and our region.