I trust you had a safe and happy Fourth of July celebration. The holiday marks the day our great nation claimed independence and it also means a brand new school year is officially upon us. After a wonderful spring semester, capped off by another record number of graduates and national baseball title, Lewis-Clark State College turns the page to academic year 2017-18 with a clear sense of purpose, a well-prepared plan, an unprecedented amount of confidence, and an undying passion to see more and more students reach their goals.
With over 90 degrees and certificates, including both two and four-year options, LCSC prides itself in offering excellent instruction in degree areas that students want and employers need. Our most popular programs continue to grow and excel (for example, see our latest Nursing & Health Sciences Division promotional video), and we’re excited to be offering a number of new, high-demand programs this fall including majors in Bioinformatics and Maintenance/Millwright Technology. This latter program has been developed at the request of industry to address specific workforce shortages. I once again thank Clearwater Paper for teaming up with us on this project and I am confident the collaboration will truly be a win-win for industry, LCSC, and our students who land in these excellent careers.
Lewis-Clark State saw an 8 percent increase in enrollment last fall and this year early signs suggest we may top 4,000 students for the first time in our history. Most assuredly, LCSC’s exceptional faculty and programs are the main reason for the 23 percent growth we’ve seen in headcount over the past 10 years, but our concerted effort to keep the costs of a college education as low as possible has helped as well. To see a few of the ways LCSC puts students first to maintain affordability, I encourage you to watch this short video our Communications & Marketing Office recently put together: A Better Way. For Less.
Last month, Provost Lori Stinson announced a number of exciting new changes in Academic Programs. We will have two new division chairs and another chair heading a newly created division starting this summer. The college’s Education & Kinesiology Division has split into two divisions, which was approved by the Idaho State Board of Education in May. Newly hired Mark Haynal will oversee the Teacher Education Division while former Education & Kinesiology Division chair, Heather Van Mullem, will now chair the new Movement & Sport Sciences Division. Additionally, associate professor Krista Harwick is now the chair of the Division of Nursing & Health Sciences as Mary Lou Robinson has decided to step down as chair but remain as a nursing professor at LCSC. I thank Mary Lou for her excellent service as chair and I welcome Mark, Heather, and Krista to their new roles.
The big news in Career-Technical Education is, of course, the school’s continued progress toward building its state-approved 100,000-square-foot center in the Lewiston Orchards. Planning for the $20 million facility is going well as architectural bids are being developed and submitted as we speak. The state has graciously designated $10 million for the project and fundraising efforts are underway to secure the remaining funds. For information on how you can join us in this effort, contact our Advancement office at 208-792-2457 or visit www.lcsc.edu/giving.
Speaking of building and planning for the future, I have commissioned a committee and it is already busy planning how LCSC will celebrate its 125th anniversary next year (the event logo is shown here). The festivities and fun will begin on the college’s official anniversary date of Jan. 27, 2018, and will continue throughout the year, culminating with a grand celebration during Homecoming in October of 2018. I sincerely encourage all alumni and friends, especially if you haven’t been back to campus in a while, to begin planning right now to join us for what will be a wonderful and meaningful celebration of Lewis-Clark State College’s rich history. For more information about the quasquicentennial keep your eyes on our website as details will be posted there as soon as they become available.
J. Anthony Fernandez
President, Lewis-Clark State College