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Lone Star College uses grant to mentor at risk students

Lone Star College uses grant to mentor at risk students

Lone Star College System received a grant from AmeriCorps to mentor students who are at risk of not completing college.

Lone Star College Center for Civic Engagement will use the $350,000 grant to create and support the College Knowledge Corps program. The money will pay for living expenses for 50 LSC-Kingwood students to mentor Summer Creek, New Caney, Porter and Splendora high school students; those who are economically disadvantaged; or first generation college students.

This grant is five-years in the making. The opportunity to receive mentoring will be the first time for LSC-Kingwood students. This work will help meet both career and educational needs in the community.

“We are excited with the program that we are developing. We feel this will really move the needle on student attendance and completion of college,” said Dr. John Theis, director of the Center for Civic Engagement.

Selected college students will mentor high school and college students in large groups, small groups, and one-on-one sessions. Topics and activities will address academic skills, college process strategies, and efficacy (power) skills. Mentors received training on how to support students struggling with a variety of issues which might impact college completion.

“I attended LSC-Kingwood as a non-traditional student and I am grateful for the help and mentoring I received that put me on my career path,” said Keelie Barrow,” program manager for AmeriCorps Grant, Civic Engagement. “I want to give back to the community and help others reach their educational goals in a timely manner.”

Supported by LSC-Kingwood Civic Engagement Center’s College Knowledge Corps, mentors will work about 23 hours per week, earn a $4,000 living allowance and become eligible for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $2,887.50 upon successful completion of the program.

“First year college students and high school students receiving mentoring will benefit by receiving help with academic skills such as note-taking and time management,” Barrow said. “They will also learn college process skills such as completing college applications, FAFSA and essay writing, along with utilizing college resources.”

Referencing the Texas Education Agency, 56 percent of Texas high school graduates immediately enter college following graduation. Of those who go to college, 27 percent do not return for the second year. According to Lone Star College, the retention rate is slowly slipping with only 49 percent of students who enrolled in LSC-Kingwood in the fall 2013, re-enrolled in fall 2014.

“This mentoring program will help high school and first generation college students to navigate the complicated college enrollment and success process,” said Kim Klepcyk, dean of academic support and educational partnership at LSC-Kingwood. “These students often have no one in their families to turn to who have experienced college. The AmeriCorps College Knowledge Corps mentors will give them someone to rely on when they need support.”

For more information on the Lone Star College Knowledge Corps, visit lonestar.edu/americorps or email Keelie Barrow at Keelie.A.Barrow@LoneStar.edu. For more information on LSC’s Center for Civic Engagement, visit lonestar.edu/CivicEngagement.

Register now for credit classes online through myLoneStar. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. For more information on how to register online, visit www.lonestar.edu/registration.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit http://lonestar.edu/kingwood.htm

Known for its leadership, innovation and steadfast commitment to student success, Lone Star College provides high-quality academic transfer and workforce education/career training programs to more than 83,000 credit students each semester, and a total enrollment of 95,000 students. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to promote student success and economic prosperity. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, which consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.