As the temperatures outside warmed up to a long overdue 60 degrees, it marked that time of the year for the spring semester’s President’s Forum at Lorain County Community College. LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church gave an insightful presentation on April 2. during the Student Senate-hosted event that took place in the campus’ College Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“In today’s world of career, value of a higher education is not realized unless you can obtain a credential,” Church said. “Our goal here is to educate our students in areas people will pay for and work with the community at large. In a period of rapid change we need to deliberately reflect on those changes and learn to adjust.”
Church presented the topic of the forum “Student Engagement” after announcing the raffle of prizes such as Skull Candy headphones and apparel from the campus bookstore, Commodore Books & More.
Opening the forum with the question ‘What can the Student Senate do to get engaged in life on campus?,’ Church described his vision for LCCC of focusing on impacting lives with quality education.
The audience participated in a group activity, where each of the ten tables had to answer the question ‘Why is it important LCCC exists?’ via laptops provided by Student Senate.
“LCCC just offers more affordability,” Student Senator Phillip McHolland said. “Other colleges charge [have] more than triple the cost of [LCCC’s] tuition for undergraduate students, plus it provides parents or those in the workforce a chance to come back and pick up where they left off.”
Other responses included LCCC being a stepping stone to create jobs and students should take full advantage of the various University Partnerships offered through the college.
“It’s a ray of hope, so to speak,” said full-time LCCC student Justin Wascack, on describing the college. “Basically people want to stay [at LCCC] simply because they are proud of where they come from.”
One member of the audience however took on the question from a different perspective.
“This place used to be so much more vibrant,” said Shamballa Warner, a graduate student of LCCC. “When I was an undergraduate, I joined as many programs as possible [and] there was life here. Now everybody’s too scared to speak up.”
After the activity, Church’s presentation moved on to the Q & A portion of the forum. Previously submitted questions by current students covered topics regarding scholarships, the UP and opportunities to foster student engagement.
The scholarship questions were answered by Stephanie Sutton, dean of Enrollment, Financial and Career Services at LCCC.
“We offer many scholarships for students who study abroad,” Sutton said. “Although there is limited funding for international students, every year we still see an increase for scholarships than the year before.”
Questions regarding the UP were directed toward John Crooks, associate provost to the UP.
“Beginning this fall, executive Masters Business Administration’s will be offered,” Crooks said. “ [This will] sav[e] students more than 70 percent of the cost for a bachelor’s degree at any university.”
Many students wanted a chance to give their opinions as to what could make LCCC a better institution.
“The teaching here should be more interactive instead of powerpoint presentations,” said Biology major Christelle Incza. There are no study groups or time to get together outside of class.”
All students were encouraged to form their own clubs or participate in other activities on campus as volunteers during this presentation and were encouraged to speak with Provost / Vice President for Academic and Learner Services Dr. Marcia Ballinger to express any concerns regarding LCCC’s student life.
Antonio Lateulade, a current LCCC student, said, “Dr. Church really covered a lot. I enjoyed how much he reinforces students on their feedback and encourages them to always come to the board with questions or opinions.”
The forum concluded with a surprise appearance from the Easter Bunny.The winner of a free iPad was Early College High School junior and Student Senator Carson Moen.
“Although we are blocked by the Ohio Board Regions for certain classes and certificates, we still care about our students,” said Church, in his closing statements. “We connect information from workforce data to find in-demand jobs. The last thing we want to do is send our students into diminishing workforce jobs.”
Reagan Sender (JRNM 151) contributed to this story.