LSC-O: Propelling the prosperity

Published 3:20 pm Monday, May 1, 2017

From staff reports


Lamar State College – Orange (LSC-O) has transformed the downtown area of Orange. Their most recent venture is a new multi-purpose building, which should be substantially completed by the latter part of July. According to Dr. J. Michael Shahan, president of Lamar State College-Orange, the new facility will be available for a variety of situations.

“The Multi-Purpose building will provide a large flexible meeting space that will seat 700 for a lecture or 400 for a meal setting,” Shahan said.

The meeting space will take up about half of the area provided. The meeting area can be subdivided into three smaller meeting rooms adding flexibility and diversity in the options for using it. The other half will be used for academics. It will be set up for general classroom space and office space for instruction.

Shahan expects the new facility to be ready for classes at the end of August.

LSC-O continues to keep abreast of market needs with the addition of a Maritime program.

“We offer several career-oriented programs which are designed to get people into the workforce quickly and employed immediately,” Shahan said. “There are very good salaries to be made in this industry and a lot of upward mobility.”

The new program began to be offered to students in the during the Spring 2017 semester.

“We’ll start modestly with entry level courses and add more modules as we progress,” he continued. “The addition of the Maritime program is a great match for our campus based on our location by the river and with all of the Maritime industry in our area.”

Mike King, superintendent of Bridge City Independent School District, is happy with this new program that students from Bridge City and other area school districts could participate in.

“In 2013, House Bill 5 allowed us to offer more CTE (Career and Technical Education) courses in Bridge City,” King said. “We are excited about having another opportunity for our students to be introduced into these Maritime programs. We have no doubt we will be able to supply some of these workers that are much needed in this industry.”

Rep. Dade Phelan, helped secure funding from the state for this and other programs.

“This area has a limitless future,” Phelan said. “With the Maritime program, Lamar State College-Orange will have a great opportunity to train personnel for years to come. This is something that all of Southeast Texas can be proud of.”

LSC-O is a dynamic institution that serves more than 2,400 students, emphasizing quality instruction and personal attention. The faculty and staff are committed to developing individuals who can contribute to society economically, culturally and socially. To that end, the college’s mission is to provide academic transfer and associate degree programs to prepare students for senior colleges and universities; to provide technical certificate and associate degree programs to prepare students for employment; to provide developmental programs for students not ready for college-level work; to provide continuing education and customized training programs for those pursuing areas of personal interest or upgrading employment skills; and to administer community service and outreach activities that promote economic development and cultural awareness.

Students interested in pursuing a baccalaureate degree at a four-year institution can begin their studies at LSC-O. The academic transfer curriculum encompasses two associate of arts degrees and nine associate of science degrees. These programs normally take two years to complete and feature courses that are fully transferable to other state institutions of higher education.

Associate of Applied Science degrees prepare students for the workforce. LSC-O currently offers six AAS programs. These include business management, industrial technology, information technology support specialist, process operating technology, and upward mobility nursing. These programs typically take two years to complete. The exception is upward mobility nursing which only accepts students who have certification as licensed vocational nurses. That program is completed in twelve months.

LSC-O is an integral part of the Orange County community. Many college events are open to the public and provide opportunities for citizens to participate. The Distinguished Lecture Series has brought a number of notable speakers to Orange: Peter Bergen, Robert Baer, Ben Stein, Liz Murray, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Cokie Roberts, Ken Burns, Leigh Anne Tuohy, J.C. Watts, Ed Begley Jr., Lieutenant General Russel Honoré, Eugene Robinson, Merril Hoge, Stuart Varney, and Mary Matalin and James Courville. Throughout the year community members can get involved in events such as Black History month, Cajun Heritage week, and Octoberfest.

Students, faculty, and staff volunteer their time and energy for a number of community events. Campus representatives participate in blood drives, the annual Lion’s Club Carnival, and fundraisers for both local and national charity causes. Whether it is taking blood pressure readings at a health fair or picking up trash at a community festival, LSC-O does its part.

Nursing students perform blood pressure screenings at several community events, and the dental assisting students visit daycares and elementary schools to promote good oral hygiene and also offer free x-ray imaging as part of their training for future careers.