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Lone Star College System, Texas Student Success Council lauded in report

Lone Star College System and the Texas Student Success Council were commended for their work in improving college completion rates in a recent brief published by Jobs for the Future (JFF).

The JFF report outlined how Texas education leaders successfully teamed with businesses, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations to improve Texas community college completion rates by offering key recommendations to the 83rd Texas Legislature.  

These recommendations included: 
  • Reverse transfer credit threshold for an associate degree should be reduced from 90 semester credit hours to 66.
  • The use of the Texas Common Course Numbering System be made mandatory for all public Texas institutions of higher education.
  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board implement field-of-study legislation.
  • 10 percent of community college state funding should be allocated based on outcomes
  • An outcomes-based funding metric be recommended for universities that would allocate a point for admitting students transferring in with an associate degree. 
The JFF findings specifically recognized three organizations that played key roles in the Texas Completion by Design initiative, which evolved into the current Texas Completes project statewide. The three -- Lone Star College System, Educate Texas, and the Texas Association of Community Colleges – were essential to the formation of the Texas Student Success Council, the report noted, which began in 2012. 

The brief also cited “embracing a big tent philosophy” as a key factor in the success of the council.

“We were not going to win them over by leaving them outside of the tent,” Dr. Richard Carpenter, LSCS chancellor, said as part of the report. “Our relationship transformed over the course [of deliberations]. By the time we were in session, we had the Texas Student Success Council, the Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Association of Community Colleges, and the Texas Association of Business, all unified, delivering the same message, supporting each other, and it absolutely stunned the Legislature.”

The report concluded that, while acknowledging political and cultural climates in each state may differ dramatically from that of Texas, other states can still find success with a similar approach. 

The Texas Student Success Council is comprised of state and field stakeholders representing education (K-16), business and labor, as well as nonprofits and philanthropic groups from across the state.

Click here to view the entire JFF report entitled “Texas Student Success Council: Finding Common Ground to Increase Community College Completion.” Click here to view a video from the 2013 Texas Completion Summit, held as part of the statewide completion initiative.

Founded in 1983, Jobs for the Future began as a regional nonprofit working to assess workforce needs, helping employers find skilled workers, and help workers move into higher-wage jobs. They also work to expand the college, career, and life prospects of low-income youth and adults across 25 states. Jobs for the Future works to fix all “leaks” along the education-to-career pipeline to ensure that employers have the skilled workers needed to succeed in today's economy.

Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 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 the nation. 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.