The year 2019 is nearing an end, and it has been an eventful one for Lamar State College Orange. The college celebrated its fiftieth year of educating local students and continues to expand its courses being offered.
Dr. Tom Johnson, president of Lamar State College Orange (LSCO), recently returned from Austin where he met with Harrison Keller the new Commissioner for Higher Education in Texas. Johnson was excited to hear about Keller’s approach to higher education which includes workforce, marketable skills, and vocational education. All things Johnson has been promoting at LSCO since becoming its president.
On KOGT’s People in the Know Johnson has been playing up the fact that the goal of LSCO is to get its students good high paying jobs when they graduate. “College is so much more than just on the academics side, it puts people to work,” Johnson emphasized.
The current semester at LSCO will conclude in December. On the heels of that will be what is called the Winter-mester. Johnson explained that is where students can go online and take courses in a truncated way to pick up a few hours credits.
The Fall Semester graduation ceremonies for over 180 students will be held at the Lutcher Theater in downtown Orange on December 13. Dr. Johnson pointed out on People in the Know that 78 percent of the graduates this semester at LSCO will be first generation college graduates. Johnson added, “That means we’re doing the right thing we’re educating folks so they can have a better life.”
The average age of graduates at Lamar State College Orange is 27 years old. Which speaks to the college offering options to people of all ages.
Further evidence of this was shared by Johnson on KOGT. The Maritime Program has been started at LSCO to help get people training to serve onboard ships, and Johnson announced a new Commercial Truck Driving program will start in the upcoming Spring Semester. Jobs for truck drivers are much in demand across the country.
Another vocational program being offered at LSCO is the Yamaha Motor Training program. The first group to complete that program finished their courses in November. Of the five students in the course four were still in high school and all of them have received job offers as Yamaha service technicians.
Johnson praised the great partnership between LSCO and the Yamaha company. “We’re supplying a need in our community that’s for good paying jobs,” Johnson said. Another series of Yamaha training classes starts in January.
Lamar State College Orange is experiencing its highest enrollment in six years in this its fiftieth year. Dr. Johnson credits State Representative Dade Phelan for the 25 percent reduction in tuition fees which has boosted the enrollment at the college and has the students excited about taking more courses there.
Scholarships to attend LSCO are also available through the school’s administration office. Johnson encourages students and prospective students to check with Lynn Scales. Dr. Johnson can be heard every other Wednesday morning at 7:00 AM on KOGT’s People in the Know.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-