Lone Star College lifePATH® student overcomes adversity to reach goals

By: Bill Van Rysdam
| Published 05/20/2020

Luke Nutter becomes the first Lone Star College student using the lifePATH® Academic Path to transfer to a 4-year university. Nutter plans to attend Texas Tech this fall.
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HOUSTON, TX - Success in the classroom did not always come easy for Luke Nutter until he discovered the Lone Star College lifePATH® program. Nutter is the second lifePATH® LSC student to transfer to a 4-year university and the first using the lifePATH® Academic Path.

“I found out I was autistic rather late in life,” said Nutter. “It was something of a turning point and I responded by just spinning my wheels.” Nutter was diagnosed with autism while taking classes at LSC. He learned about the lifePATH® program while looking for a support system to help him with his studies.

“The staff really seemed to be open to the experiences of those who were applying,” said Nutter. The people at lifePATH® want to help all students reach their fullest potential. Their primary interest is the students.”

lifePATH® provides a unique opportunity for adult students with cognitive disabilities that affect executive functioning to learn the social and skill expectations needed in business, academics and personal relationships. Nutter was admitted into the lifePATH® program in fall 2017. In 2019 Nutter moved to the Academic Path, taking traditional LSC credit classes while meeting weekly with an advisor and attending a lifePATH® class on Fridays.

Nutter is planning to transfer to Texas Tech University this fall to study computer science with an emphasis on cybersecurity. “I found out about my acceptance close to the start of when the Coronavirus lockdown started,” said Nutter. “It was a massive weight lifted off my shoulders.”

Jace Whitaker, who was the first lifePATH® student to transfer to a 4 year institution, stepped out of the lifePATH® program to pursue traditional LSC courses. Whitaker enrolled in the University of North Texas in spring 2019 and graduated this spring summa cum laude. Whitaker credits much of his success to the confidence built and skills learned while taking part in lifePATH®.

lifePATH® students are selected as part of a cohort. Each cohort remains together for all classes during the first two years. During years three and four, students can continue to take lifePATH® core classes as a cohort or enroll in general education credit courses.

“The lifePATH® program is a robust, customized educational pathway approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to provide students more alternatives and earn an Occupational Life Skills associate degree,” said Lee Ann Nutt, Ed.D., LSC-Tomball president. Nutt was instrumental in the program’s creation.

“Since I’ve started learning more about myself, I gained inspiration for what I wanted to do with my life,” said Nutter. “lifePATH® has played a large part in helping me gain what progress I have and I’m looking forward to continue striving toward my goals on this next leg of my journey.”

The lifePATH® program has been expanded and is now available at LSC-Montgomery as well as LSC-Tomball. Visit LoneStar.edu/lifePATH to learn more.

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