LSCO makes credit hours easier to transfer

Published 7:11 pm Saturday, June 1, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Transferring class credits from Lamar State College-Orange (LSCO) to Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) just got easier thanks to a Student Transfer Agreement between the two higher education institutes.

LSCO and SFASU Presidents Dr. Thomas A. Johnson and Dr. Steve Westbrook along with their Provosts, Dr. Al Barringer, and Dr. Steve Bullard, signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines that the credits students earn at LSCO will seamlessly transfer to SFA, saving students time and money when it comes to completing their bachelor’s degrees.

In addressing the audience of both LSCO and SFA faculty and staff, Dr. Johnson expressed the need for these types of agreements to help students finish their degrees more efficiently.

“This fits into Texas Governor Abbott’s 60×30 plan,” Johnson said before the signing.

Dr. Westbrook agreed and cited projected growth for the state that will require more jobs and, thus, more employees. This student transfer agreement ensures that LSCO and SFA are producing the type of Texans who can and will be put to work.

In 2015, Abbott launched the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) 60×30 plan with aims to ensure 60 percent of Texas’ 25- to 34-year-old workforce achieves a postsecondary education credential by 2030.

The 60×30 plan, which serves as the state’s long-range strategic plan for higher education, aims to accomplish four goals by the year 2030:

  • 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 will have a certificate or degree.
  • 550,000 students in that year will complete a certificate, associate, bachelor’s, or masters from a Texas higher education institution.
  • All graduates from Texas public institutions of higher education will have completed programs with identified marketable skills.
  • Undergraduate student loan debt will not exceed the current rate of 60 percent of first-year wages for graduates of Texas public institutions.

“It is important to Texas to do what we are doing,” Dr. Steve Westbrook said. “Texas population is expected to reach 41 million in 2036 and that means 7-8 million new jobs to facilitate the new population. Most of those jobs will require secondary education.”

Westbrook added the graduating class of 2030 are students who finished first grade this week.

“The second most expensive degree is one that takes too long,” Westbrook said. “The first is the one never gotten.”

LSCO Provost Dr. Al Barringer added the two colleges are in the process of getting every program with SFASU with Student Transfer Agreement.

“We will not tarry from that,” Barringer said. “There are more projects in the works as we are working on new programs to add such as Pre-Engineering.”