Lamar Community College was named a recipient of a U.S. Department of Education Title III - Strengthening Institutions Grant. The grant, a five-year, $2.25 million award, is being implemented immediately to support LCC's efforts to increase student success while strengthening the college and its surrounding communities.
"As a rural college, it is important to serve all types of students, including those from underserved and economically disadvantaged populations," said LCC President Dr. Linda Lujan. "This highly-competitive grant will enable us to extend our reach and provide even more opportunities for residents of Southeastern Colorado. We are thrilled about the ways we will be able to more effectively serve our communities through the goals we laid out in our grant proposal."
LCC is pleased to have named Kelli Gaines as the Title III Project Director. Dr. Lujan notes, "Kelli has demonstrated experience with federal grants and has already met many year-one goals as she collaborates with LCC faculty and staff to implement what the Department of Education is expecting."
In addition to increasing enrollment and outcomes for underserved student populations, the grant will be used to improve LCC's ability to effectively improve student outcomes through proven strategies. A few of these strategies include establishing a MAP to Success Center, integrating proactive advising with career goal development and co-curricular activities, strengthening cultural responsiveness to better serve Colorado's growing Latinx population, and increasing distance learning opportunities for students in more remote areas of LCC's service area.
By the end of the first grant year, ending September 2019, LCC will have created a MAP to Success Center, hired a bilingual student success navigator, and conducted faculty and staff training on cultural responsiveness. In the coming years, LCC will expand access through synchronous distance learning and advance the college's agricultural program with a Precision Agricultural Technology program with a goal of becoming Colorado's premier community college for agricultural technology.
Through the grant, LCC also intends to increase its retention of Pell grant eligible students, increase the retention and enrollment of Hispanic students, improve transfer rates, and increase the matriculation of college-bound students in LCC's dual enrollment program, and grow enrollment of agricultural and distance learning students. These measurable outcomes will serve as a way to demonstrate the success of implementing the grant.