Our future continues to look bright as we start 2020. Based on our five strategic priorities, I've outlined a few of our 2019 accomplishments below and noted some key issues that we face going forward.
It was an exciting year for the College, one that was made possible thanks to the commitment of our employees. Thank you for what you do. We could not accomplish our mission without each person's dedication, and I am confident that we can continue working together throughout 2020 to do even more.
Our student success rates, or the percentage of students who achieved an A, B or C in a class, have risen 3% on average since 2013.
We attribute this positive trend to important student support services such as creating clear Pathway Plans, implementing Strategic Enrollment Management and redesigning our advising structure. These channels, along with student supports like our New Student Orientation that highlights critical resources, the Student Success Institute that connects students to mentors, the Early Alert System that gets students back on track and the Student Success Course that is scaled to First Time in College students all continue to affirm our commitment to both current and future students.
LSC grew with the addition of our seventh college when LSC-Houston North officially opened its doors in fall 2019. The newest college combined three existing centers-the Fairbanks, Greenspoint and Victory locations-and was created to provide extensive support to our students and increase college attainment rates in the communities we serve. Most classes are offered in eight-week terms, and all First Time in College students are paired with a faculty mentor. LSC-Houston North faculty have reduced teaching loads to allow for their mentoring responsibilities. Wraparound services, including food pantries are offered at each location to address disparities outside the classroom.
In November 2019, we broke ground on LSC-Houston North Fallbrook in collaboration with Fallbrook Church. When it opens in spring 2021, LSC-Houston North Fallbrook will offer associate degrees through block schedules, weekend programs, eight-week terms and mentoring opportunities.
The Texas State Legislature also formally recognized the lifePATH ® program as an occupational and life skills associate degree, pointing to our model as an example for future state adoption. By doing so, LSC was also designated as the only college to offer this program specifically to students with cognitive learning disabilities. It was first started at LSC-Tomball and recently expa nded to LSC-Montgomery.
Awards & Recognitions
Throughout the year, the College was recognized for student excellence in several categories, including:
Ranked #1 in the U.S. among minority students for total number of associate degree graduates
Ranked #2 in the U.S. for total number of associate degree graduates
Ranked #2 in the U.S. among Hispanics for total number of associate degree graduates
Ranked #2 in the U.S. for total number of associate degree graduates in Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies, and Humanities
Ranked #3 in the U.S. for total number of associate degree graduates in Health Professions and related programs
Ranked #4 in the U.S. for total number of associate degree graduates in Education
Ranked #4 in the U.S. for total number of associate degree graduates in Nursing, Registered Nursing, Administration, Nursing Research, and Clinical Nursing
Ranked #6 in the U.S. among African-Americans for total number of associate degree graduates
Academic & Workforce Program Quality
I'm proud to say that after a 15-year effort, LSC received approval from both the Texas Higher Education Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer bachelor's degree programs starting in fall 2020. Through these programs, students will be able to save money while advancing their careers.
The programs include a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Cybersecurity, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Energy, Manufacturing and Trades Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, that is specifically designed to address workforce shortages.
LSC opened the doors of two new Workforce Centers of Excellence in 2019: the LSC-Westway Park Technology Center specialized for Information Technology and Visual Communication students and the LSC-East Aldine Center, part of LSC-North Harris, that offers both academic transfer courses and workforce training programs.
I am excited to continue this growth in 2020 with the anticipated openings of the LSC-Transportation and Global Logistics Center to expand our Professional Truck Driver program, as well as the launch of our LSC-Houston North Fairbanks Chemistry Lab.
Financial Responsibility & Accountability
For the 15 th consecutive year, LSC received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting-the highest award given in the governmental accounting and financial reporting area. The recognition, given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, highlighted LSC for our comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).
We were also fortunate to be the recipient of several large grants that will directly impact our students, such as those from the Texas Workforce Commission, Metallica's All Within My Hands Foundation, and the Tomball Regional Health Foundation.
Our partnership with the LSC Foundation is vital to so many students' ability to succeed. Over the year, $1.5 million in scholarships were awarded to 1,500 students. In total, $2.7 million was raised through various channels. Notably, over $400,000 was raised at the annual
StarGala; the annual golf tournament raised $130,000; and 38 percent of employees donated during the annual Employee Giving Campaign, raising $180,000 together. The Foundation's endowments sit at just over $16.5 million, which will support our students in perpetuity. In terms of assets, the Better Business Bureau ranked the LSC Foundation as #18 out of the top 25 charities in Houston.
LSC was named one of the 2019 "Great Colleges to Work For" by the Chronicle of Higher Education for the third year in a row. I'm thankful to our employees who provided the feedback that earned the College this impressive distinction.
We were placed on the Honor Roll and recognized in 10 categories: Collaborative Governance; Professional/Career Development Programs; Teaching Environment; Facilities, Workspace & Security; Job Satisfaction; Work/Life Balance; Confidence in Senior Leadership; Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship; Respect and Appreciation; and Diversity.
In addition, our more than 7,000 employees completed the annual compliance training that is essential for us to continue fulfilling the College's vision and mission.
LSC was also able to provide nearly 500 total employees with financial assistance to further their education this year. We disbursed 350 tuition waivers for associate degrees and gave 142 scholarships for bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees.
Safe Zone Program
As we continue to support and advocate for our students, the Safe Zone program is ready to move forward with further training for faculty and staff. Additionally, a training program for student advocates will be developed and implemented this semester. The student ally program will consist of training, based on student perspectives, that will provide advocacy and support for our LGBTQ++ students at Lone Star College.
A student focused advocacy is important, as research shows us that students who may be suicidal or feeling incredibly depressed respond best to their peers. A strong student support system is crucial to ensuring the safety and comfort of our students who may be experiencing these feelings, and we want to train students from out programs to be the best advocates. Student allies will be made aware of the programs on and off campus where students can find the help they need, and continue the long tradition of student support and a safe place to learn at Lone Star College.
by Jane Stueckemann
LSC Board of Trustees:Alton Smith, Ed.D., Chair, District 3; Myriam Saldívar, Vice Chair, District 6; Art Murillo, Secretary, District 4; Linda S. Good, J.D., Assistant Secretary, District 7; Ken E. Lloyd, District 9; Ernestine M. Pierce, District 2; Mike Stoma, District 1; Mike Sullivan, District 8; and David Vogt, District 5