With Homecoming, a visit from the Idaho State Board of Education, and a host of other activities and announcements, October was jam-packed as usual at Lewis-Clark State College. Please allow me to touch on some of the highlights and also preview a few upcoming events.
It was a pleasure to welcome friends and alumni back to campus for LCSC Homecoming 2017. This year’s activities, which ran from Oct. 16-22, included the Alumni Awards Celebration, a campus picnic and photo, a students vs. faculty/staff kickball game, an international students reunion brunch, a volleyball match, and the men’s basketball season-opener. The fun-filled week served as a good warmup for the celebrations to come in 2018 when LCSC commemorates its 125th anniversary. The yearlong celebration of the college’s past, present, and future will officially kick off with the “Raise the Flag” celebration on Jan. 27 at the LCSC Silverthorne Theatre. The event will include a social with music provided by the LCSC Jazz Band, a presentation of LCSC’s history, and a ceremonial unveiling of a flag on top of Reid Centennial Hall as a tribute to the school’s founding vision and spirit of perseverance. The flag is also depicted in the commemorative anniversary logo, seen here. For more information about the many events planned and to learn how you can participate, a special anniversary website has been built and I encourage you to check it out: 125.lcsc.edu. Be sure to share a memory on the memories page and also consider making a donation to support the next 125 years of serving students at LCSC.
During Homecoming week we were also busy hosting the State Board of Education (SBOE) on Oct. 18-19. The board meetings went well and I thank all those on campus who helped coordinate and facilitate the sessions. I’m especially appreciative of the many students who volunteered to meet directly with the board members to provide candid responses to questions about LCSC and higher education in Idaho. The State Board expressed gratitude and noted its meeting with the students as one of the highlights of the week.
The SBOE also released details about the LCSC presidential search process. The search will begin this month and wrap up in April of 2018. Details about the schedule, process, and search committee are available on our website: LCSC Presidential Search. Lewis-Clark State College is a wonderful institution and I’m confident that many very qualified candidates will apply for this truly desirable position.
We were happy to report to the SBOE the continued success of LCSC’s Work Scholars program. Launched in 2015, the program is the only one of its kind in Idaho and it has grown to 45 students. It pairs high achieving students who have financial need with meaningful jobs on campus or in the Lewiston area. Each student receives a full tuition scholarship for the academic year in turn for working 10 hours a week. The Work Scholars program is a perfect fit for the role and mission of LCSC and it is squarely in line with recent recommendations brought forward by the Governor’s Higher Education Task Force by increasing college scholarships and collaborating with local industry.
We also used the SBOE visit as an opportunity to tout some of the encouraging enrollment trends shown in the college’s official Oct. 15 census day report. With improving economic conditions, it looks like more of our would-be transfers and four-year-degree seeking students decided to enter the workforce and this brought our overall headcount down, nevertheless, we’re very we’re excited to see a 4.7 percent increase in students coming directly from high school. This comes on the heels of a 13 percent increase in this number in 2016 and a 5 percent uptick the year before that. We also saw a 17 percent increase in Hispanic enrollment, and a 7 percent bump in dual credit students. LCSC’s enrollment is up 20 percent over the past 10 years and we know that our growing reputation in high schools is a major reason why.
Students are coming to Lewis-Clark State College because of our affordability, our excellent programs, and our 125-year history of meeting students where they are and taking them where they want to go. Join us in 2018 as we celebrate LCSC’s rich history and bright future!
J. Anthony Fernandez
President, Lewis-Clark State College