How this community college helps students succeed

Posted at 4:12 PM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 16:12:16-04

After young people graduate high school, attending college is typically the next big life step. However, the traditional four-year college experience isn’t the right choice for everyone immediately after high school. For some, community college is the best option.

Community colleges are a great way for students to make the transition from high school to college more easily. Because the increased load of college coursework can be difficult for young students, some community colleges, such as Lansing Community College, are making it a top priority to help students succeed. Lansing Community College is a national thought leader, and its three new initiatives are helping to pave the way for students' success.

Enroll students in college courses immediately

Most community colleges in the U.S. use a developmental education model. This framework requires underprepared students to take a series of subject-based courses before registering for college-level classes. This approach is often expensive and ineffective. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students enrolled at two-year public institutions nationwide paid more than $920 million out-of-pocket for developmental education in 2013-2014, and 2 of 5 students enrolled at two-year colleges accrued debt.

LCC is taking a new approach to education in an effort to improve student success, reduce debt and get students into college courses immediately.

“Our objective is to have students enroll in a college-level course with academic support in their first semester at LCC, rather than have to pass a series of developmental education courses before being allowed to enroll in college courses,” Provost Elaine Pogoncheff says.

By enrolling students in college courses and moving away from a developmental education model, this community college is ensuring students are being set up for success from Day One.

Provide individual academic support to each student

To ensure students can handle the college coursework, LCC provides students with an academic success coach. This coach spends one-on-one time with his or her assigned student and engages in career conversations early. Before each semester, the academic coach will review class registration, define a long-term academic plan and ensure the student has all the resources he or she needs to succeed each semester.

Traditional universities have large class sizes, and students often do not get one-on-one time with the professor or their academic advisor. Individual academic support ensures that students have the tools they need to succeed. The academic success coaches at LCC benefit the students, their coursework and college experience.

Take career assessments early

Often, students do not know what careers they are interested in when starting school. Community colleges offer a variety of general education classes that give students a taste of many options. LCC helps students with their future career plans by offering a unique career assessment opportunity before enrollment. This allows students to assess their skills and interests so they can immediately enroll in relevant classes. This can save students time and money because they can immediately start classes that apply to them and fit their strengths.

Lansing Community College is moving away from traditional developmental education models and creating unique opportunities for its students to succeed and graduate college, saving time and money in the process.