By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, M.Ed.
Lone Star College (LSC)-Houston North is one of Lone Star College System’s latest conglomerate of colleges and includes the LSC-Fairbanks satellite location, which was formally part of LSC-CyFair, Greenspoint and Victory locations. Lone Star College-Victory was formally part of LSC-North Harris. The Chancellor, Dr. Stephen C. Head, who is the Chief Executive of Lone Star College System stated, “LSC-Houston North will focus upon innovative education and student support services that have been proven to be successful. We know, from experience, what works. Lone Star College-Houston North (LSC-North) will have smaller classes, shorter semester, mentoring, and a range of non-academic services.”
The motivation for LSC-Houston North is to address educational attainment and socioeconomic disparities that exist in the southern sector of the college’s service area. With three existing centers that include LSC-Houston North Fairbanks serving the Jersey Village and Fairbanks communities, LSC-Houston North Greenspoint serving Northern Aldine and Greenspoint communities, and LSC-Houston North Victory serving the Acres Homes and Inwood Forest communities. A fourth location, LSC-Houston North Fallbrook is scheduled to be completed in fall of 2020 and will serve communities north of Beltway 8.
The overall vision is to restructure and realign these locations to provide innovative educational practices and specialized support to students. LSC-Houston North has been founded on four principles which includes students’ firsts, community matters, collective accountability, and strategic innovation. LSC-Houston North has a unique concept in that many of the classes are offered in eight-week terms. With the eight-week terms, students are able to earn college credit faster. This will help students not only complete their courses but remain in college for future semesters as well.
In addition, all First Time in College (FTIC) students will be assigned a faculty or staff mentor. To ensure this, all faculty will have a reduced workload in order to be effective mentors. Further, there are many barriers that students face inside the classroom, but outside the classroom as well. To help tackle some of these outside issues that students may face, LSC-Houston North will include wraparound services such as food pantries at each location, a partnership with a Federal Qualified Health Center, and services to address students’ socioemotional needs. In the future, they are looking to assist their students with barriers caused by transportation and childcare.
LSC-North is also dedicated to enhancing community partnerships. The college is focused upon several community-based initiatives including a Faith-Based Literacy Program designed to encourage summer reading for local elementary school students, a school supply drive to support the YMCA Operation Backpack, and a summer STEM camp for middle school students in the Acres Homes community. The college has also started the LSC-Houston North Academy, a college preparation program for seniors at Aldine and Eisenhower High Schools, and Cypress Ridge High School. College faculty and staff meet with these students every two weeks to provide them with career and college readiness activities. Furthermore, due to the various schedules that students may have, LSC-Houston North is offering a variety of classes. They have morning, afternoon, evening, and even weekend classes. They are offering cohort options as well for FTIC students to help reduce their confusion on how the scheduling process works. In addition to a variety of class schedules, there are many different programs that the college will offer such as mechanical design, human services, criminal justice, mobile app design, business, mechanical engineering, certified nursing assistant, welding, heating ventilation and air conditioning, teacher education and logistics management.
There are three goals that the college plans to achieve. The first goal is that LSC-Houston North will have a three-year graduation rate of 25% by 2025.The second goal is that LSC-Houston North will increase the college attainment rates in the southern sector of the system’s service area to achieve statewide 60×30 higher education goals. The State of Texas has set a goal that 60% of all Texans will have a postsecondary credential by 2030. The last goal is that LSC-North will increase the persistence of first year students. LSC-Houston North is prepared to reach these goals and has a solid plan in place to ensure success for their students. Dr. Quentin Wright, President of LSC-North stated, “Lone Star College-Houston North is being developed to show that with the right structure and right support, all students can be successful.” For students who are interested in attending LS-North or any Lone Star College location, fall 2019 registration has begun.