Posted April 3, 2019
The Lorain County Commissioners joined in the celebration of April as National Community College Month by presenting LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D. with a formal proclamation declaring April as “Lorain County Community College Month” on April 3, 2019 at the county commissioners’ meeting.
“For more than five decades, Lorain County Community College (LCCC) has been empowering the community by playing a vital role in preparing residents and local employers for the future. The College is a major force in our region and we felt it was important to recognize the significant contributions LCCC has made to our community at the local level through this designation” said Matt Lundy, president of the Lorain County Commissioners.
Locally, Lorain County Community College’s impact is clear. As the county’s only public higher education institution, LCCC fulfills a vital community need for residents. Since 1963, one in four Lorain County residents have taken classes at LCCC and more than 36,000 have earned a degree. And a recent focus on expanding high school dual enrollment through College Credit Plus has led to 43 percent of Lorain County high school seniors graduating with LCCC college credits, saving families $5.5 million in tuition during 2018.
Remaining committed to the fact that “community” is literally its 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 to meet students where they are and prepare them for success.
“Lorain County Community College is truly a gem of our community and we are so fortunate to have this resource. In addition to their educational offerings, the College enhances life for everyone in the county through the vibrant programs and events offered at LCCC’s Stocker Arts Center, Spitzer Conference Center and the Norton Culinary Arts Center,” said Lorain County Commissioner Vice President Lori Kokoski.
“Lorain County Community College has been, and continues to be, a foundation of this community. We are aligned with the many important components that, together, make a community thrive. Just like we support our students and help them overcome barriers to their education, we are purposefully supporting the community in creating a vibrant place for all to grow and succeed,” said LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D.
Community colleges like LCCC are well positioned to address the unmet talent needs of business and industry because they can evolve quickly to meet their changing needs, evidenced by LCCC’s ability to now offer Ohio’s first Applied Bachelor of Science in Microelectronic Manufacturing, approved by the Higher Learning Commission just last year. LCCC was the first community colleges in the state to receive this designation. The College will also be unveiling new associate degree programs for the Industrial Internet of Things and Blockchain as well as certificates focused on Cloud Computing and Data Analytics this year. “Lorain County Community College is always on the forefront of what is happening not only in our community, but regionally and nationally – and they adapt their programs to best prepare our residents for the future and for good jobs,” said Sharon Sweda, Lorain County Commissioner.
“We are laser-focused on not only graduating our students, but ensuring they are embarking on educational pathways that will lead to a successful, high-paying job. We know that by 2025, 65 percent of jobs will require a post-secondary credential,” Ballinger said. “Our mission as the community’s college is to ensure students are prepared to compete and thrive in this ever-changing economy; we must invest in keeping our educational programs, support services and technology up-to-date and relevant to job market changes.”
Affordability, access, and adaptability remain the hallmarks of Lorain County Community College. “These virtues were the foundation of LCCC when we opened our doors the community in 1963. And as we look to the future, we are committed to providing Lorain County with a solid return on their investment in their community’s college,” Ballinger said.
The commissioners also announced an additional investment of $125,000 to the LCCC Foundation’s Health and Safety Scholarship and the “Be Green” Scholarship to support the more than 77 percent of LCCC students who require financial assistance in order to attend college.