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Lone Star College-Montgomery Initiative Named as Star Award Finalist

Students in THE initative 
An original Lone Star College-Montgomery initiative–THE (Teaching Highlighting Engagement) – earned finalist recognition at the Star Awards, sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Winners will be announced at the 2015 Texas Higher Education Leadership Conference in November.

An original Lone Star College-Montgomery initiative–THE (Teaching Highlighting Engagement)– earned finalist recognition at the Star Awards, sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

“This is a wonderful recognition for our college,” said LSC-Montgomery president, Dr. Rebecca Riley. “This nomination is the result of a collaborative effort from some very caring and innovative faculty members who just want the best for their students.” 

The award, established by the THECB in 2001, recognizes exceptional contributions toward meeting one or more of the goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015, the Texas higher education plan adopted by THECB in October 2000. In addition to a custom-designed award, recipients receive public recognition for their efforts. Up to 12 awards are presented annually.

THE Initiatives were bred as a cluster of activities intended to increase participation, success and retention in courses, all geared toward effective student engagement. Effective student engagement is accomplished through innovation and collaboration in technology, instructional space, furnishings and a shift in teaching philosophy. Student engagement via THE also includes blood drives, canned food drives, scholarship drives and other campus events.

"Being a finalist means a great deal to the LSC-Montgomery community,” said Jared Cootz, a professor of sociology at LSC-Montgomery and one of the leaders of THE. “Faculty, staff and administration have worked together over the course of several years to ensure the success of these initiatives. No doubt the thousands of students that have been impacted by these initiatives over the last four years agree they have benefitted from the experience.”  

According to statistics taken from LSC-Montgomery studies during the spring of 2015, it is proven that the completion rate of students in THE Initiatives is 3% higher and the success rate of students in THE Initiatives is 10.5% higher than that of students in non-THE Initiatives.

Each year, nominations and subsequent applications for the Star Award are accepted by the Coordinating Board from eligible institutions across Texas. After an initial review by a Coordinating Board Internal Staff Review Panel, a select group of applicants are named finalists. An External Review Panel, consisting of three Coordinating Board members, three Texas business and community leaders, and three out-of-state higher education experts, review the applications of all finalists and determine which of these finalists will be honored with the Star Award on the basis of criteria established for the 2015 Star Award. Winners will be announced at the 2015 Texas Higher Education Leadership Conference in November.

Administrative and faculty support from others such as Becky Duncan-Ramirez, Deborah Ellington, Deirdre Hayes-Cootz, Brandy Harvey, Anitha Iyer, Rob Kreps, Molly Lasco, Dana Morales, Amy Curry, Fiona Ross, Michele Richey, Simone Andrade, and David Zimmermann also made this project possible.

Two LSC-Montgomery initiatives earned Star Award Finalist recognition in 2007 – the Math Learning Outcomes Assessment Lab and the Biotechnology Institute. All programs that have earned Star Award Finalist recognition are models of excellence among community colleges throughout the U.S.

LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery.


Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for more than 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with almost 83,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 95,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation.  Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven 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.