June serves as a time of reflection for me – the academic year has ended and I am quickly approaching the completion of my first year as president of this great institution. We have made great strides within the past year regarding student completion and access to education, and our work is supported by a changing national perspective that people are viewing community colleges as their first-choice option.
A recent survey by New America asked 1,600 adult Americans about their views on higher education and it demonstrated the following results:
- 83 percent believe community colleges contribute to a strong U.S. workforce
- 82 percent believe community colleges are worth the cost
- 80 percent believe community colleges prepare people to be successful
These survey responses truly represent a changing mindset regarding community colleges. Throughout the country, individuals are recognizing the important role community colleges play in the success of our communities and our nation.
At LCCC, student completion is the number one priority of our Vision 2020 Strategic Plan. Recent data shows that LCCC leads the state’s 23 community colleges with a rate of 61 percent of first-time students earning degrees by the end of their third year, persisting at the same institution or successfully transferring to a four-year institution. The state average for community colleges is 47 percent.
We’re proud that 1,532 more students earned their associate degrees last month and another 321 students earned their bachelor’s or master’s degree through LCCC’s University Partnership. While these numbers certainly demonstrate the impact our student completion focus is having on our community, it is the individual stories that really speak to the power of this community college to change lives.
The students we serve are the reason I am passionate every day about LCCC, and I hold strong to my philosophy that every student’s dream matters. Our students are remarkable – and I am so proud of each and every one who has committed to advancing their future through hard work and education. In case you haven’t heard, more than 1,500 LCCC students made the Dean’s List this spring!
I invite you to spend a few minutes watching this short video featuring five of our 2017 LCCC grads. I’m sure you’ll be as inspired as I am by their stories.