Lone Star College-University Park goes to Washington: Award-winning innovation highlighted by Obama Administration

When President Obama talked during his State of the Union address on Jan. 28 about the White House’s commitment to help high-school and college students succeed, members of the Lone Star College-University Park innovation team were not surprised. For them, it was a case of “been there, doing that.”

The president was referring to the College Opportunity Summit held on Jan. 16 where 150 universities, businesses, and non-profit organizations committed time and resources to improve access to higher education and help hardworking kids get the college education that will move them closer to achieving their dreams.

That education summit came one day after the White House and U.S. Department of Education put on their Education Datapalooza, an event described by organizers as a “celebration of innovation in higher education.”

The Department of Education invited LSC-University Park to showcase the college’s patent-pending Education and Career Positioning System (ECPS), the National 2013 Campus Technology Innovation of the Year for Student Systems and Success.

LSC-University Park Innovation Fellow Mike Mathews says the invitation was “a great honor and a tremendous opportunity to show how the college has taken a national leadership role among providers of innovative products, applications, websites, and other tools to help students decide the right colleges and course work that will help them in their careers after they graduate.”

ECPS can be thought of as a student’s personal GPS for education and career planning. “It lets students together with their parents, advisors, and teachers, set educational and career goals. Then they can use the available data to map out their possible routes and choose what’s right for them,” Mathews explains.

ECPS is a suite of three applications that integrate with the Department of Education’s MyData Button. The ECPS system not only utilizes information that includes financial aid data, but it also gives students access to their transcripts and other academic information, similar to the electronic patient record that is revolutionizing the healthcare industry.

ECPS also won the 2012 U.S. Department of Education Business Start-Up Challenge for all U.S colleges and universities.

The invitation to the Education Datapalooza was the second time the Obama Administration invited LSC-University Park to Washington because of the college’s leadership in innovation. “We are extremely pleased to be recognized as a leader for student success at the national level as the only Texas college or university invited to both White House events,” said Shah Ardalan, President of LSC-University Park.

LSC-University Park is the sixth LSCS campus located in the former Compaq Computer’s world headquarters complex. The 71-acre campus houses four university partners, a charter high school, several business partners, Lone Star Corporate College and the LSC Energy and Manufacturing Institute. Under the first President, Shah Ardalan, LSC-University Park’s vision is to be nationally recognized as the model for the innovative college of the 21st century. In just two years, LSC-University Park’s Invitation-2-Innovate (i2i) has resulted in many local, national and global recognitions, including one patent for the Education and Career Positioning System. The campus is located at the corner of State Highway 249 and Louetta Road across from Vintage Park. For more information about LSC-University Park, call 281.290.2600 or visit LoneStar.edu/UP.

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. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.

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