LCCC President Dr. Roy Church outlined three promises during the President’s Forum, hosted by Student Senate on Oct. 9. The goal is to drive students to completion and academic success by “fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, having students create their own future,” Church said.
Church, now in his twenty-seventh year as LCCC’s president, noted that there are 1,250 community colleges nationwide that enroll 8 million students. He said community service, being aware of the community it serves, is what sets community colleges apart from traditional universities.
“You don’t learn just in a formal classroom,” Church said.
Among student concerns that were addressed, financial aid disbursement was one of the more pressing issues. Students were informed that the change in the disbursement of financial aid was to encourage student completion of the semester and ensure the cost of college is covered.
The rising cost of textbooks, too, was an important topic. Commodore Books & More has been working with publishers and distributors to negotiate the cost of books. The campus bookstore has doubled the books available to rent, raising the number from 500 to 1,000 textbooks, as well as using competitive pricing to compete with the likes of Amazon and Ebay, and is constantly looking for textbook alternatives.
On-campus housing was also a topic of interest voiced by students. The college is exploring options, according to Vice President of Administrative Services and Treasurer, Thomas Hayes. Several logistical problems have to be considered, like location and the impact student housing would have on tuition. However, according to Mr. Hayes, this option is still in the works.
Church’s first promise was the Tuition Lock Guarantee.
“[This] layout enables students to go full-time. Students who attend college full-time have a higher completion rate than part-time students,” Church said.
The guarantee gives students the ability to finish degree programs at a much faster rate.
“The issue of debt is a huge challenge to pursuing a degree,” Church said.
The tuition lock makes it possible for students to plan ahead, as LCCC has one of the lowest tuition rates in the state.
The second strategy outlined by the president was MyUniversity, a program designed for high school students that allows them to earn their high school diploma and an associate’s degree simultaneously at no cost. Last year, high school students in Lorain County earned 20,000 college credits at up to 80 percent cost savings.
Life after college was also discussed as Church brought up the third strategy, My Employer Guarantee. The strategy promises that LCCC graduates will be equipped with the skills to succeed in their chosen career. LCCC will even provide 15 credit hours to enhance those skills.
Students also have several tools at their disposal to assist in the job search. They include MyPlan, an online career planning service that offers career assessments and suggestions. Also available is Ohio Means Jobs, a database for employers as well as potential employees, that allows users to map out a career plan and post resumes. Career Coach, which will be launching within the month, will serve as yet another tool at students’ fingertips.