I.A. Legal Status of District
I.A.1.01 - Status Derived from Texas Constitution and Education Code
The District derives its legal status from the Constitution of the State of Texas and from the Texas Education Code that authorizes a public junior college and/or district any one of the following classifications:
- a. Independent school district junior college
- City junior college
- Union junior college
- County junior college
- Joint-county junior college; and
- Public junior college as part or division of a regional college district.
I.A.1.02 - Definition
A public junior college shall be defined as an institution of higher education.
I.A.2. LSCS Legal Status
The District was established pursuant to an election held according to state law on October 7, 1972, for the purpose of creating a Union Junior College District.
The corporate name of this college as provided by law is ”Lone Star College System District (LSCS)”, herein referred to as “the System”.
I.A.2.03 - Change of Name
The Board of the System by resolution may change the name of the System or a college within the System by eliminating the words “community” or “junior” from the name of the System or college, unless the change would cause the System or college to have the same or substantially the same name as an existing district, college, or other public or private institution of higher education in this state.
The Board shall file with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) a copy of the resolution that is certified by the secretary of the Board. The name change is effective on the date the resolution is filed with the Coordinating Board.
After a name change is filed, the college or System shall use the new name in all official actions, communications, or records.
Services provided by junior community college districts are defined as the courses and programs described in Texas Education Code Sec. 130.011 and 130.003(e).
The service area of a junior college district means:
- The territory within the boundaries of the taxing district of a junior college district; and
- The territory outside the boundaries of the taxing district of a junior college district in which the junior college district provides services.
The service area of the Lone Star College System District includes the territory within:
Aldine, Conroe, Cypress-Fairbanks, Humble, New Caney, Spring, Tomball, Magnolia, Willis, Montgomery, Splendora, Cleveland, Tarkington, and Klein independent school districts - each of these territories are within Harris, Montgomery and/or San Jacinto Counties; and
The Huntsville and New Waverly independent school districts in Walker County.
The territory within the taxing boundaries of the System includes Aldine, Conroe, Cypress-Fairbanks, Humble, Klein, Magnolia, New Caney, Splendora, Spring, Tomball and Willis independent school districts.
The territory outside the taxing boundaries of the System includes Cleveland, Huntsville, Montgomery, Tarkington and New Waverly independent school districts.
The establishment of any new public junior college campus within an existing junior college district, or the establishment of any new junior college district shall be approved by the Legislative Budget Board, if the establishment occurs during a time when the legislature is not in session.
The Legislature shall approve the establishment of any new public junior college campus within an existing junior college district, or the establishment of any new junior college district if proposed during, or within three months prior to, a legislative session.
- Territory may be annexed to the junior college district for junior college purposes only by either contract or election, if the territory:
- is located wholly within a single school district, county, or municipality; and
- is contiguous to the junior college district or located in the service area of the district established under Texas Education Code, Sec. 130, Subchapter J.
- A junior college district may not annex territory if:
- The territory is included in the boundaries of another junior college district
- A campus of the Texas State Technical College System is located within the county in which the territory is located and outside the junior college district.
- Annexation elections or other annexation procedures may be conducted for more than one territory at the same time.
I.A.3. System Foundations
As authorized by Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.003(e), the System provides:
- Technical programs, leading to associate degrees of certificates, designed to develop marketable skills and support economic development.
- Academic courses in the arts and sciences to transfer to senior institutions.
- Continuing adult programs for academic, professional, occupational, and cultural enhancement.
- Developmental education programs designed to improve the basic skills of students.
- A program of counseling and guidance designed to assist students in achieving their individual educational and occupational goals.
- Workforce development programs designed to meet local and statewide needs.
- Adult literacy and other basic skills programs for adults.
- Other purposes as may be prescribed by the Coordinating Board, or the System’s Board, including economic development.
Lone Star College System provides comprehensive educational opportunities and programs to enrich lives.
- Affordable Access - We believe that the Lone Star College System provides an affordable and accessible educational experience which meets the needs of its diverse communities.
- Building Communities and Partnerships - We believe that LSCS Colleges are catalysts for promoting a seamless educational journey and for nurturing the intellectual and cultural life of the community.
- Commitment to International Education - We believe that the Lone Star College System demonstrates its commitment to international education by embracing multiple perspectives, promoting understanding and educating students to become contribution members in a culturally and ethnically diverse world.
- Communication - We believe that the achievement of the Vision and Mision of the Lone Star College System required an effective system of communication among both internal and external constituencies.
- Diversity - We believe the Lone Star College System provides an inclusive learning and working environment for our diverse students, faculty, administrators and staff and that our System programs, services and personnel reflect the communities we serve.
- Economic and Workforce Development - We believe that the Lone Star College System serves as the critical link for economic and workforce development to provide prosperity through partnerships with business, government and community organizations.
- Ethics/Integrity - We believe that it is essential that all Lone Star College System employees adhere to the highest standards of ethics and integrity.
- Evaluation/Accountability - We believe that it is essential that the Lone Star College System employ data-supported decision making and regularly assess the impact and outcomes of our efforts for continuous improvement.
- Human Resources - We believe that the most important resources of the Lone Star College System are the individual faculty and staff members, who are entitled to a supportive collegial work environment which rewards excellence and innovation, creates opportunities for professional development, fosters meaningful involvement in shared goverance and provides excellent compensation.
- Leadership - We believe that the Lone Star College System, building on a solid foundation of growth and service, is a recognized leader in the community college movement, making important contributions to the profession through partnerships, innovation, scholarship, creative services and integrated technologies.
- Environment - We believe that the Lone Star College System, building on a solid foundation of growth and service, is a recognized leader in the community college movement, making important contributions to the profession through partnerships, innovation, scholarship, creative services and integrated technologies.
- Stewardship - We believe that the Lone Star College System is committed to rigorous stewardship of the resources entrusted to its care to ensure maximum benefit for the community.
- Technology - We believe that technology is a critical resource in supporting and achieving instructional, operational and strategic goals of the Lone Star College System.
The Board shall review and, if necessary, revise the Statement of Mission and Value Statements on a biennial basis to ensure that they represent accurately the role and scope of a comprehensive public community college district and are responsive to the changing needs of the System's constituencies.
The System acknowledges and recognizes the increasingly diverse, multi-cultural nature of society consisting of age, racial, gender, ethnic, and religious groups whose cultures, values, beliefs, and lifestyles are viable elements of a democratic society. To encourage full implementation of the System's value statements, which support dynamic and diverse learning communities and access with quality, the Board declares the following guiding principles of the System:
- The System fully recognizes the rights of individual persons in all the Colleges to learn within the framework of multi-cultural experiences which maximize the development of their human potential.
- The System will promote and support the Colleges in their efforts to design and implement instructional experiences and support services that will lead to a more humane and democratic, multi-cultural society.
- The System will foster an instructional and student life environment to provide community college students a basis for understanding and appreciating the contribution of all individuals in our society.
- The System and its member colleges will seek to serve the best interests of students.
- The System Office is established to assist the colleges in providing services and programs to students and the community.
- Matters of curriculum, financial planning, capital investments and binding financial agreements including contractual appointments shall be coordinated System-wide.
- The Colleges shall operate independently within parameters established by Board policy and System procedures, approved by the Chancellor, in order to meet the mission and goals of the System.
- College Presidents shall be full participants in the establishment of System-wide priorities.
- College Presidents shall be line officers responsible to the Chancellor for the performance of their duties.
- For accreditation and all legal purposes, the System shall be considered the sole entity.
- Decisions shall be made as close as possible to the point where they will be carried out.
- Employees of the System shall have the responsibility and authority necessary to fulfill their duties as contained in their position descriptions.
- The Colleges and System Office shall establish goals and objectives consistent with, and supportive of, System-wide values and goals, as well as action plans to accomplish the goals and objectives.
- Colleges shall be responsible for establishing and cultivating positive community relations within their service area.
- Resources shall be allocated, in such a manner to guarantee optimal levels of quality for all programs at all of the colleges.
I.A.4.01 - Plan
Lone Star College System District stands for quality education throughout all programs and phases of the institution. In order to measure the attainment of the goals outlined by the long-range plans, the Board has identified the following components of institutional effectiveness. These components are considered to be an integral part of the total administration of the System and must be given the support and consideration they demand.
- Ongoing short and long range planning processes must be maintained that provide environmental scanning and input for effective decision making and planning.
- The planning process assists in the development of the necessary goals and directions for each function to identify criteria for measurement and success.
- Throughout the institution, each program and administrative area must continuously monitor and evaluate functions and achievements. This evaluation process is utilized in the improvement of the function as well as the planning process.
- The System is committed to, and complies with, the Criteria of the College Delegate Assembly, either current or as hereafter modified, consistent with the policies and procedures of the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
- The System understands and agrees that the Commission on Colleges may, at its discretion, make known to any agency or member of the public (that may request such information) the nature of any action, positive or negative, regarding status with the Commission.
- The System agrees to disclose to the Commission on Colleges any and all such information as the Commission may require to carry out its evaluating and accrediting function.
The Board, through its adoption of policy, provides direction for the System to accomplish its mission. The ultimate authority in the structure is the Board, and final decisions on matters of governance will always rest with the Board.
The Chancelloris the Chief Executive Officer of the System, interpreter of policy adopted by the Board, and the only employee reporting directly to the Board. Operating under a line and staff form of organization, appropriate reporting lines are defined by the Chancellor.
The System shall create and maintain a council and committee structure to create opportunities for employees, students and others to have input into the decision making process of the System.
The executive officers have direct access to the Chancellor and have line authority in their respective areas of responsibility.
I.A.5.02 - Participatory Governance
Participatory Governanceis the process whereby faculty and staff have the opportunity and the responsibility to provide input, ask questions, and pose possible outcomes during the information-gathering phase of decision-making. In this context, "participatory" refers to the responsibility for adequate consideration of an issue from all points of view. "Governance" refers to the process whereby policy issues are considered, formulated, presented and finally supported. Central to the decision-making process is the development of an environment characterized by openness and mutual trust and respect.
I.A.6. Equal Educational and Employment Opportunities - Policy
- No officer or employee of the System, when acting or purporting to act in official capacity shall refuse to permit any student to participate in any school program because of the student's race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.
- The System shall not fail or refuse to hire, promote or retain any individual, shall not dischargeany individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the individual's race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability age, or veteran’s status.
Nor shall the System limit, segregate, or classify its employees or applicants for employment in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive an individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect the status as an employee because of the individual's race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.
LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008