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Lone Star College System at top of "Largest Colleges and Universities" list

HOUSTON (March 30, 2012) –  Lone Star College System was ranked as Number 1 in the list of Largest Houston-Area Colleges and Universities published annually by the Houston Business Journal.

The ranking, which was published in the March 23-29 edition of HBJ, was based on credit student enrollment for fall 2011 when LSCS had 75,680 attend its six colleges. This fall 2011 enrollment number does not include additional students who attended LSCS for non-credit, continuing education courses, making the total headcount for LSCS more than 90,000.

LSCS has experienced a 28 percent growth in students from 2009 to 2011 by adding 16,000 students. To help accommodate this growth, LSCS completed the addition of 1.2 million sq. ft. in new buildings across all of its colleges in 2011 funded by a May 2008 bond referendum approved by voters.

“This Houston Business Journal recognition is always an important distinction for Lone Star College System, but our mission is to be the best, not the biggest,” said Dr. Richard Carpenter, LSCS chancellor. “Students choose Lone Star College because they know they can receive a quality education, with an affordable tuition, close to home.”

LSCS administrators cite the increase in student growth not only to the downturn in the economy, but also because of the value of the education received at community colleges, like Lone Star College.  LSCS offers smaller classes, an average of 23 students per class. Another advantage of Lone Star College is the cost to attend. On average, LSCS is one-fifth the cost of flagship universities in Texas.

Lone Star College has been able to offer more courses in high-demand fields like engineering and technology because of a grant received last year.  In the fall, the Office of Workforce Development received $500,000 through the Wagner-Peyser grant program to provide workforce pre-apprentice training programs in engineering technology, welding inspection and machining design, and rapid prototyping.

Lone Star College System is also the managing partner of the Texas Completion by Design college-completion grant project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Over a five-year period, the grant will provide nearly $40 million to colleges in four states to help increase community college completion rates.

LSCS boasts 100 percent pass rates for students taking their national and state exams in areas such as in nursing, radiologic technology, occupational therapy, pharmacy technology, veterinary technology, firefighting, criminal justice (police officers) and dental hygiene. LSCS was also named as a “Great Place to Work” in 2011 for the third consecutive year in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual report.

“Lone Star College is committed to student success and credential completion which fuels Houston’s economic growth,” said Carpenter. “We are proud to be educating the workforce of tomorrow and working toward building a better community.”

Second on the HBJ list was Houston Community College with a fall student enrollment of 58,810 followed by the University of Houston, 39,820 students; San Jacinto College District, 29,392 students; and the University of Houston-Downtown, 12,918 students.

With 75,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.