Lone Star College has announced plans to create a seventh campus that will cover the areas of the current LSC-Fairbanks Center, LSC-Greenspoint Center, LSC-Victory Center, as well as the planned LSC-East Aldine Center.
“Our primary focus is on student access, equity and ultimately student success,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “If we don’t specifically focus on that area then we’re not going to make the kind of progress that our students and community deserve.”
LSC has seen student success percentages increase approximately 1 percent annually for the past four years, but uneven levels of success exist due to varying socio-economic backgrounds, family income and ethnicity. Barriers such as access to transportation, the cost of education and child care also play a determining factor when gauging student success.
“While these challenges are found at every campus and center, we’ve been specifically reviewing our efforts inside Beltway 8, including the LSC-Fairbanks Center, LSC-Greenspoint Center, LSC-Victory Center, as well as the soon-to-be LSC-East Aldine Center,” said Head.
He explained that the communities in those areas are characterized by: the lowest household income and lowest educational attainment levels in the LSC service area; highest levels of poverty; and highest levels of food stamp recipients.
Even after undertaking numerous intervention programs over many years, the success rates for students attending the centers in that area are below the LSC average.
“We envision a new campus that will focus on the kinds of educational and student support innovation that have been proven to be successful at other colleges,” said Head. “This would include smaller, more condensed classes and faculty members serving as mentors and advisers as part of their regular duties, along with more advisers and tutors.”
“We’re planning to include counseling, child care, a food bank, a furniture bank and where necessary, legal services,” said Head.
The total enrollment of the centers is currently more than 5,800 students with another 1,400 expected to enroll at LSC-East Aldine Center when it opens. The projected enrollment for the new campus will be nearly 8,200 students by 2021.
Currently, LSC has six main campuses consisting of LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park. LSC welcomed more than 89,000 credit students in fall 2017, making it one of the largest community colleges in the nation.
The proposed seventh campus will require approval and accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Head said that while working on possible organizational structures, the intent is to use the talent of LSC employees to make this plan a reality. A series of employee and community forums are underway for more information.
“I believe Lone Star College has the resources and commitment to make a difference that in the long run will benefit our region and our country,” said Head.
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 99,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of $3.1 billion. LSC consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.