LTCC exceeds standards set by California community colleges
Lake Tahoe Community College is ahead of the curve when it comes to helping students succeed at the university level.
The governing board for California’s community colleges agreed last week to raise the requirements for a two-year associate’s degree, starting in the fall 2009 semester, but LTCC president Guy Lease said his campus has been well on its way with a number of programs.
LTCC has had high standards in place for years, including offering free tutoring services in virtually every class the college offers.
“This is a component of our commitment to student success,” Lease said by e-mail.
In addition, LTCC offers “early alert” notices for students who appear to be having problems early in the quarter. Also, there are classes called Student Success, which help students understand the rigor of college- level courses and provide them with the skills in studying, note taking, and time management they will need to be successful.
In the summer before their first quarter at the college, LTCC offered Summer Bridge classes that helped students move more quickly into college level course work.
Students can get help in many different areas. The college, for instance, requires matriculating students to be assessed in English and math. This is the first step in helping them be successful, by placing them at the level where they can be successful, Lease said.
This includes a face-to-face meeting with a counselor to discuss their educational goals and plans. Students who are experiencing difficulty are encouraged to discuss their problems with the instructor. This may lead to some sessions directly with the faculty member in an office hour environment or referral to counseling or the college’s tutoring center.
The college even offers help with those with learning disabilities.
According to Lease, the college has identified a large number of community college students who have varying levels of learning disabilities. To help, the college offers assessment services followed by a session with a learning disabilities specialist or counselor to create a plan or strategy to assist the student so that they may overcome their learning disability and succeed at the college level.
“In many cases we find students who have struggled with a learning disability for years and did not realize they had a problem with learning that can be addressed to make it easier to be successful,” he said.
LTCC began offering classes in 1975. A primary mission of the college has been to prepare its students to transfer to a four-year university and succeed at that level. In addition, many of its classes and programs are aimed at direct work skills or vocational education.
LTCC has transfer agreements with UC Davis and UC Berkeley among others, as well as articulation agreements with public and private universities throughout California, Nevada and the rest of the United States.
“While these standards have evolved slightly over the 30 year history of the college, the fundamental principles behind LTCC’s standards have not changed,” Lease said.
– Sierra Sun reporter Christine Stanley contributed to this story.
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