Thanks to dedicated faculty and staff, enthused students, and wonderfully supportive friends and alumni, the wheels of innovation and progress never seem to stop turning at Lewis-Clark State College. The news of September was great and the many events of October are sure to be outstanding. I’ll use this First Friday letter to talk a little bit about both.
First, if you haven’t heard, U.S. News and World Report has once again ranked Lewis-Clark State College as one of the best in the West. LCSC moved up to No. 5 among the best public regional colleges in the fifteen western states. We were tied for sixth a year ago and have been consistently ranked in the Top 10 for years. Also, for the second straight year, LCSC was ranked No. 23 in the overall rankings, which include both public and private western regional colleges. All of us understand the value that Lewis-Clark State College brings to its students, the community, the region, and beyond, but it is always gratifying to receive this kind of national recognition.
One reason LCSC continues to standout in higher education is its emphasis on aligning many programs with the needs of industry. Evidence of this is seen in strong, positive placement rates of 94 percent for academic graduates and 97 percent for Career-Technical Education (CTE) graduates. A perfect example of this institutional emphasis for CTE is the new LCSC-backed manufacturing pilot program. This program’s abbreviated title is “Technical Career Pathways to Rural Manufacturing” and it will support intermountain metal manufacturers by giving 90 north central Idaho 10th-grade students the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized credential. Lewis-Clark State played a central role in the development of the coursework and the program’s training will include online learning, hands-on engineering technology activities, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning, and emphasize lifelong learning. After successful completion, students will have the opportunity to enter the workforce directly or pursue further education at the post-secondary level. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and will begin March 5, 2018. I thank all of the LCSC faculty and staff involved in this project as well as the program partners: the University of Idaho, Northwest Intermountain Manufacturers Association, Clearwater Economic Development Association, Idaho Digital Learning, Idaho PTech, and the Idaho Department of Labor.
Along the same line, we remain very grateful to the Idaho Legislature for its decision to approve and help fund the $20 million regional CTE center in the Lewiston Orchards, which will neighbor Lewiston’s new high school. Plans for this state-of-the-art facility are coming along nicely and we hope to break ground next year. If you’d like more information or are interested in donating toward this ambitious and important project, I encourage you to visit www.lcsc.edu/giving.
There’s a lot to look forward to in October, not the least of which is the 5th annual Dr. Bob Frederick Sport Leadership Lecture Series, which spans the whole month, as well as Homecoming on Oct. 19-22. Homecoming will feature its usual fun-filled mix of athletic events and programs for alumni, friends, and students – I hope you’ll join us. For more information and to register visit www.lcsc.edu/homecoming. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support of Lewis-Clark State College.
See you at Homecoming!
J. Anthony Fernandez
President, Lewis-Clark State College