LSC-University Park named finalist for two national awards
MARCH 29, 2021
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LSC-University Park named finalist for two national awards
Student success, corporate partnership recognized by AACC
HOUSTON (March 29, 2021) – Pursuing innovation and setting bold goals has been a hallmark for Lone Star College-University Park since its founding in 2012. So, it is not surprising that the college has been named as a finalist for two prestigious national awards that recognize exceptional work among the nation’s two-year colleges.
LSC-University Park will vie with two other colleges for an American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) 2021 Award of Excellence in the “Student Success” category, and four other colleges in the “Outstanding Corporate/College Partnership” category. LSC-University Park is the only Texas community college selected as a finalist for either award. More than 1,100 community colleges across the country are members of the AACC and eligible for this competition.
"This recognition is further evidence of the dedication and compassion of our competent faculty and staff on behalf of our students and the community we serve,” said LSC-University Park President Dr. Shah Ardalan. “The Student Success Award represents the comprehensive work we have put into raising our graduation rates. Our student success initiative, known as GradUP, focuses on increasing our graduation rate for first-time-in-college (FTIC) students by 300% over a three-year period.”
Since its inception in 2018, GradUP has been a driving force in improving student persistence, and completion at LSC-University Park. During the initial GradUP implementation, the college crafted a six-word story that artfully summarizes the dedication to student success: You Commit. We Commit. You Graduate.
Initial program and tracking efforts focused on the FTIC students, but, according to Ardalan, the college has used GradUP to scale and impact the success of all incoming and current students.
“Scalability is possible because every current employee is committed, and all efforts are coordinated in collaborative ways. In 2020, we received two grants from the U.S. Department of Education to expand on the scope and hire more dedicated resources. Students attending LSC-University Park can be confident that their goals of finishing what they start will be supported throughout their time here.”
“Our innovative partnership with Noble Energy is also being recognized as an outstanding example of collaboration with our business community to give students a hands-on, experiential education that will help them to be successful once they graduate,” said Ardalan. “It is representative of our ability to forge strong, mutually beneficial relationships with a variety of corporate partners.”
LSC-University Park is located within a large corporate campus that has included the headquarters of Noble Energy, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company, which was recently acquired by Chevron. Over the past three years, the college and Noble worked closely together on multiple projects, with student learning at the heart of the partnership. This has included significant contributions toward LSC-University Park’s energy-related curriculum, of which geology is a critical component. In 2017, a collaborative, hands-on teaching and learning space – a geological rock wall paid for by Noble – was literally built into the college’s Center for Science & Innovation building. Noble has provided multiple student scholarship programs, including the establishment of an endowed scholarship in honor of Ardalan. The company also participated in LSC-University Park’s Community Advisory Council, and was a partner in providing child care for the college’s students, faculty and staff via the YMCA Children’s Academy.
“The college’s partnership with Noble has had an enormous impact not only on our students, but on the entire energy industry as we work together in educating the next generation of workers,” added Ardalan.
AACC will announce the winners on May 27 during AACC Digital, which AACC is hosting virtually this year instead of the in-person annual convention due to the pandemic. The AACC’s Awards of Excellence bring national visibility to outstanding practices among the organization’s member colleges. Winners are chosen by a select committee of the AACC Board of Directors.
Established in 2012, Lone Star College-University Park has been recognized as one of the fastest growing and most innovative institutions of higher education in the country. Under its founding president, Dr. Shah Ardalan, LSC-University Park is devoted to impacting the community's prosperity and upward mobility through student success. The college's competent and compassionate faculty and staff provide students with holistic and immersive education and training in disciplines and industries that meet current and future workforce needs. Standout college facilities include the Center for Science & Innovation, the Energy & Manufacturing Institute, the Learning Innovation Labs and the Geology Rock Wall. Registration for the upcoming summer semester has begun. For more information about LSC-University Park or to register for the upcoming summer semester, please visit LoneStar.edu/UP or call 281.290.2600.
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 93,000+ students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. Lone Star College consists of seven colleges, eight centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.
Lone Star College-University Park was named a finalist for two 2021 Awards of Excellence by the American Association of Community Colleges, including the Student Success category for its comprehensive graduation initiative known as GradUP.
Lone Star College-University Park was named a finalist for two 2021 Awards of Excellence by the American Association of Community Colleges, including the Corporate/College Partnership category for its innovative collaboration with Noble Energy, which paid for a three-story geological rock wall in the college’s Center for Science & Innovation building.