For more than five decades, Lorain County Community College has been supporting the community by playing a vital role in preparing residents and local employers for the future. As an institution that was chartered in 1963 after an initiative led by the League of Women Voters, LCCC became the first community college in Ohio to establish a permanent campus. Remaining committed to the fact that “community” is literally our middle name, LCCC has fostered robust community partnerships in an effort to design academic programs and training options that align with employer needs – while simultaneously providing support services designed to meet students where they are and prepare them for success.
The LCCC District Board of Trustees has governed the college since its inception. In 1963, the Lorain County Commissioners appointed seven trustees to the board. Today, nine members serve on the board, with six appointed by the commissioners and three by the governor of Ohio.
LCCC’s first president was Max J. Lerner, who served from 1963 to 1970. Thomas Bowen served as acting president from 1970-1971. Omar L. Olson (1971-1986) followed Bowen and Richard R. Mellott, served in an interim capacity from 1986 to 1987. Roy A. Church served as the college’s fifth president from 1987-2016. The current president, Marcia J. Ballinger, has been president since 2016.
LCCC’s main campus on North Abbe Road in Elyria, Ohio, opened as a permanent facility in 1966 with three buildings – Engineering Technologies, Mechanical Services, and Physical and Social Sciences. By the end of the fall semester, three more buildings opened – Business, College Center and Physical Education. In 1971, LCCC received full accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the highest-ranking accrediting association of higher education institutions.
Meeting the Community’s Needs
The College’s growth continued through the 1970s and 80s with the number of campus buildings expanding to meet the growing need for accessible and affordable education in the community. LCCC opened the C. Paul Stocker Humanities and Fine Arts Center in 1980 and the John A. Spitzer Conference Center in 1995 as a way to enhance the vibrancy of life in Lorain County for all residents.
Looking Toward the Future
The College prioritizes its role of meeting students where they are and has added strategically placed learning centers in Lorain (city center and within the Lorain High School), Wellington and North Ridgeville. Its newest facilities are designed with the future in mind. Innovative, flexible classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories capable of fostering award-winning scientific research, an expanded fab-lab and maker space, and a commercialization center for microsystems complete with clean rooms are all accessible for LCCC students and the community.
As the campus has evolved throughout the years, the College has worked hard to align educational programs and pathways with changing employer demands. The goal is to pave a road to success for every student – a road that leads to a high-paying job in a sustainable career with flexible options to earn additional, higher-level degrees when the time is right.