Lone Star College-Houston North focuses on equity
HOUSTON, TX -- Lone Star College-Houston North is focusing on equity as it enters its third year.
“There are significant differences between equality and equity,” said Quentin Wright, Ed.D., LSC-Houston North president. “Equality is making sure all students have access to the same resources, services and processes. Equity is about identifying the circumstances that students come to the college with and helping them find ways to overcome any related barriers.”
This is exactly what the college is doing by extending several existing wraparound services and adding a few new ones for this upcoming fall semester.
Recently, LSC-Houston North extended its partnership with Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. This initiative allows students in certain ZIP codes to have internet service at their homes for six months at the college’s expense. In addition, due to a donation from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston, several students will have the ability to get free laptops if they demonstrate a need for the technology.
Food insecurity has continued to be an issue both with students and the college’s service area communities. However, according to Professor Brandi Ford, President of the LSC-Houston North Faculty Senate, the college is utilizing a new key partnership to address this issue.
“In the fall, we will have a new partnership with the Houston Food Bank that will expand food options for our students, many who have families of their own,” said Ford. “Twice a month, students will receive approximately 60 pounds of fresh meat, fruits and vegetables. This will be a great complement to our current food pantries.”
Homelessness is a growing issue with community college students across the country. While this is a hard issue for any institution to address, LSC-Houston North is taking steps to be able to assist students experiencing housing insecurity. Recently over 40 LSC-Houston North faculty and staff attended the United Way’s 211 training where they learned about resources available for students.
“We are now in a better position to connect students to needed resources when they find themselves without stable housing” said Ford who coordinated the training.
LSC-Houston North consists of LSC-Houston North Fairbanks, LSC-Houston North Greenspoint, LSC-Houston North Victory and LSC-Houston North Fallbrook which opened its doors this spring through a partnership with Fallbrook Church. The college is the most diverse within the system and over 40% of its students qualify for financial aid.
The college is also taking several steps to prepare students for the workforce. Through its Panther Prep program, students are provided with interview attire and resume assistance. In addition, the college has established a new partnership with Workforce Solutions that provides students in workforce programs mock interviews, resume work, and the opportunity to enroll in a database that will connect students to employers.
“While I am pleased with the services we offer, there is more that we need to do” said Wright. “Over the next year, we will focus upon identifying ways to help students with child care assistance as well as look for partnerships that will help connect them to low-cost health care providers. It is our belief that if we provide students with the right structure, and right support, they can and will be successful.”
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 93,000+ students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. Lone Star College consists of seven colleges, eight centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.