Spring has sprung and many great things are happening at DSLCC. With new programs, new partnerships, and many more opportunities for residents to access the wonderful offerings, DSLCC is on the move. I hope you enjoy the next edition of News & Notes.
April is National Community College Month
DSLCC is proud to celebrate April as National Community College Month! Community College Month commemorates the contributions community colleges have made across the country in educating and training students for the future. In honor of Community College Month, here are my Top 10 Things to Know about DSLCC and Our Students.
- We are close to home. Our classes are offered at convenient times for our students. Day, evening, weekends, and online classes provide many options for a student to attend on a full-time or a part-time basis.
- We are saving money on higher education. DSLCC and the other VA Community Colleges are the most affordable higher education institution in Virginia, offering the lowest tuition.
- We have top-rate faculty. Our classes are taught by faculty who care about student learning. They are fully committed to teaching, are accessible, and have the highest educational and professional experience credentials.
- We are fully accredited. DSLCC and all community colleges are accredited by the same agencies that accredit major universities. In addition, many of our programs are recognized by an industry accreditation.
- We have small classes. Class sizes at DSLCC are much smaller than those found at public universities. Our average class size is less than 15 students which allows more opportunities for students to interact with teachers and other students.
- We prepare students to enter the workforce. DSLCC offers many career-related programs including high demand fields like forestry, criminal justice, nursing, welding, culinary arts, and more. A college credential will always give you an edge.
- We prepare students to transfer. DSLCC also offers courses that transfer into universities toward a bachelor’s degree, saving time and money. We have 51 guaranteed admission agreements with four-year institutions for students to transfer, some by program only and others by institution.
- We offer great support services. DSLCC offers a variety of services to help students succeed in their coursework. Services such as advising, tutoring (including services online) as well as a writing center, financial aid, student activities, a Veterans center, and library services, to name a few.
- We are in the top 10 percent of community colleges in the U.S. In a 2014 ranking by the Aspen Institute, DSLCC was among the nation’s top 150 best community colleges.
- We have great alumni. Former DSLCC students are now doctors, professors, bankers, nurses, teachers, chefs, small business owners, community leaders, politicians, health care leaders, and college administrators, to name a few. Nationally known individuals such as actor Tom Hanks, baseball great Nolan Ryan, pioneer Walt Disney, and astronaut Fred Haise all started at a community college.
Highest Enrollment Increase in VCCS for Spring Semester
I am pleased to share that as of April 14, DSLCC has the largest increase in overall headcount enrollment from last spring of all 23 community colleges and the second highest increase in student FTE count. The overall headcount growth is 4.64 percent while the 3.81 percent increase in FTE places DSLCC just behind Southwest Virginia Community College. In addition, DSLCC has the largest growth in both FTE and Headcount in Dual Enrollment. The overall FTE growth is up 62.96 percent while the headcount growth is up 48.33 percent.
Delegate Austin to Serve as Commencement Speaker
Delegate Terry Austin, Virginia’s 19th District representative in the General Assembly, will deliver the address at the forty-eighth annual commencement exercises for Dabney S. Lancaster Community College on Friday, May 15. I am honored to have Delegate Austin as our commencement speaker. Over the past two years, I have worked with Delegate Austin on a couple of projects and he is a representative who works diligently toward the improvement of programs, services and infrastructure of this region. Delegate Austin has been an outstanding friend of the College and supporter of our efforts to move the institution forward.
Delegate Austin attended a community college and established a successful local business, two things I think our graduates will be most interested in hearing about during his address.
Great Culinary Day at The Omni Homestead
DSLCC was once again happy to co-host Culinary Day at the Omni Homestead on March 19. Over 175 students from seven high schools participated and learned about the culinary arts and hospitality fields as well as participated in demonstrations and received a tour of the Omni Homestead kitchens. Chef Phil McManus, Program Head of Culinary Arts, participated in the event. Thanks to Chef Phil, Lynn McAllister, and Gail Johnson for your coordination efforts.
New Programs Approved
I am pleased to announce at the recent Local Board meeting in March, two new academic programs were approved. The first is a Career Studies Certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. This is a workforce certificate and will be offered in the Rockbridge area at Rockbridge County High School. The second program is an Associate of Applied Science Technical Studies degree in Electrical and Instrumentation Technology. This program has been forwarded to the State Board for Community Colleges for consideration at their May meeting. Once again, these programs address the changing employer needs in our region. Thanks to Gary Keener for his role in moving these programs forward.
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