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LSCO sees record number in summer enrollment

By Dawn Burleigh

Lamar State College Orange President Dr. Thomas Johnson is excited about the results of the LSCO CARES Program and the newest addition to the Gator’s family, Dean of Health Science, Technology and Workforce Kristin Walker.

Walker started on June 1 and brings with her 18 years of experience at a two year college such as LSCO and is already looking for opportunities to expand programs to help train up.

“The focus is preparing for an increase need in our area,” Walker said.

Johnson agreed, “We want a trainable workforce when it happens.”

Walker is working on setting up an Industrial Maintenance program.

“It would be an Electromechanical Engineer Program,” Walker said. “We would be using some of the curriculum we have now and include some welding, and hydraulics.”

It would allow students to receive a certificate and be trainable on plant process.

“A certificate in a year can grow into an Associates and they can go to work,” Johnson added.

For the programs to become available may take up to 18 months and the school moves forward in examining the possibilities and bringing programs more in line.

“We are meeting the needs of the community and look forward to being even better in coming years,” Johnson added. “With these two ladies [Walker and Elmore], they get it. They understand where we need to be.”

Elmore and Walker both worked together at Trinity Valley College.

“We are not just meeting the needs of SE Texas, but we are meeting the needs of the region,” Johnson said.

Students attending the Pharmacy Tech one year program at LSCO are now able to sit for the Texas and the Louisiana State Exam.

With summer enrollment at 1,119 as of Thursday morning, that brought the school’s summer enrollment up 57% with part of it being contributed to the LSCO CARES Program.

The program allows for two free summer classes this year.

“The idea was Dr. Wendy Elmore and Mary Wickland,” Johnson said. “They brought the idea to me and asked, ‘Why don’t we reinvest in our students to improve lives?’ The thought was to help some out.”

Wickland is Vice president of Finance.

Johnson said it is the highest enrollment for summer and the ladies get all the credit for it.

“We are changing lives here,” Johnson said.

In May, Lamar State College Orange and Port Arthur announced they would offer all students tuition and fees for two 3-credit hour courses in the Summer 2020 semester.