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2017 March - First Friday Letter

Dear friends,

To say it’s been a harsh winter for Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College is an understatement. As with much of the State, Lewiston, usually known for mild temperatures and scarce snow fall, has been pummeled by precipitation this year. I cannot remember a time in my 15 years at LCSC that our beautiful campus looked so white for so long. I could say the same for our Coeur d’Alene Center too.  But today, as I look out of my office window at sunshine and a blue sky, I’m more than willing to let bygones be bygones with Mother Nature as we turn our calendars to March and the official start of spring.

LCSC continues to move forward with its plans to construct a $20 million Career & Technical Education (CTE) facility in the Lewiston Orchards, and having it serve as a regional CTE center for the area remains integral to the plan. Lewiston High School students, of course, will be major beneficiaries of the expansion, and I daresay their ability to take advantage of a 100,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will only be enhanced with a new high school located within earshot. The educational benefits of having a high school adjacent to the college CTE building are innumerable and critical to what LCSC and the Lewiston School District want to accomplish – and what our CTE students and our local industries need.

As for dates to keep in mind this month, please be sure to add LCSC’s Native American Awareness Week, March 13-17, to your calendars. This will be the 30th time we’ve hosted this event, which includes activities like a Mini Powwow and Friendship Banquet, and it always proves to be a great time of learning, sharing, and fun for all involved. All events are free and open to the public. For a full schedule visit our website: Native American Awareness Week.

And March is also Women’s History Month at LCSC. The ninth annual event will feature 11 films, productions, and presentations scheduled on campus to recognize the accomplishments and actions of women throughout history. The complete schedule of events, all of which are open to the public, can be accessed here: Women’s History Month.

Last week it was LCSC’s pleasure to host officials from Baicheng Normal University (Baicheng, China) as our two schools signed collaboration and credit transfer agreements. The agreements will allow students who study for two years at Baicheng Normal to transfer to LCSC for their final two years and earn either a Bachelor of Science degree in biology or chemistry from LCSC. This is the first 2+2 international agreement at LCSC and we are very excited about it. Baicheng Normal is the only provincial undergraduate university in the western part of the Jilin province of China. The university, which has an enrollment of around 12,000 full-time students, has 22 college and 44 undergraduate programs. I thank Baicheng’s visiting delegation of Li Yuejun, Director of the International and Exchange Division; Wei Liying, Vice-Director of International and Exchange Division; and Wang Qiuyan, Dean of the Foreign Language Department; and I congratulate our International Programs Office on this great success.

With agreements like this and the early reports I’m receiving from our Admissions Office, the outlook for fall enrollment at LCSC looks very promising. I’m told that applications for next fall are up by nearly 14 percent compared to the then record numbers we saw at this time last year. This is very encouraging as we continue to do our best to put students – whether from Burley, Idaho; Fairbanks, Alaska; or Baicheng, China – first in everything we do.

Thank you for your continued support of Lewis-Clark State College.

Sincerely,

J. Anthony Fernandez
President, Lewis-Clark State College