This is one of my favorite times of the year. Today marks the start of a new semester and a new academic year at Lorain County Community College.
The excitement on campus today is palpable. The hopeful energy of nearly 14,000 new and returning LCCC and University Partnership students is in the air, swirling with the excited anticipation of our faculty and staff who have been preparing all summer for this moment. When you put it all together, the atmosphere is downright exhilarating.
As we welcome students back this week, here is my message to LCCC students who are beginning their new semester:
A fresh start.
At a community college, a fresh start comes in many forms. For many of our students, this week marks their first-ever taste of college life. They may be coming to us straight from high school, with their futures wide-open. Others are taking their first college classes in their 40s or 50s after deciding to embark on a career change after years in the field. Still others are returning to college after an extended absence, and are now ready to complete what they started.
No matter what past brought them through our doors, one thing’s for certain: their future is theirs to write. Helping students reach their goals is a privilege we take seriously. Every student’s dream matters and our campus is ready to wrap our arms around each student and guide them to their finish line – whether that’s an associate degree, certificate or bachelor’s degree.
At LCCC, we pride ourselves on being student-ready; that means meeting students where they are and providing the tailored support they need to reach their goals. There is no one-size-fits-all method for supporting students. Over the past decades, LCCC has cultivated a culture of caring by adopting a holistic approach that helps our students achieve success and stability. In 2018 our efforts were recognized nationally by the American Association of Community Colleges, who named LCCC the first the nation for student success. This academic year, we are taking student support a step further with the creation of our new Student Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC), a one-stop connection for students to find assistance in overcoming obstacles like hunger, emergency car repairs, child care and so much more. Our campus recently hosted Donna Beegle, Ed.D., president of Communication Across Barriers, and a champion for ending poverty. As Dr. Beegle told us, it’s the community’s responsibility to “fight poverty, not the people who live in it.” I know the ARC will do that just – help students overcome barriers on their way to success.
Here’s more about the ARC:
Let’s get started.
No one knows exactly what the future will hold, but at LCCC we know that our students will be prepared for whatever comes their way. Our programs prepare students for the jobs of the future, while our support systems guide them through the realities of today. As I walk on campus, surrounded by our students and their boundless possibilities, I’m hopeful, excited and ready to see each one reach for their dreams.