For Immediate Release
August 7, 2014

Lower Columbia College's innovative programs to help at risk students stay in college and complete a degree have been recognized at the national level!

The White House has invited LCC President Chris Bailey to participate in an August 12 Roundtable to share the college’s work with leading practitioners, researchers, and higher education leaders.

"I am so proud to share this innovative work by our faculty and staff that has earned well-deserved national recognition for LCC," said Bailey. "But more important, it has helped our students achieve their college and career goals."

A letter to Bailey from White House Policy Assistant for Education Zealan Hoover cited the following LCC programs that will be highlighted:

  • Creation of a $1.5 million Student Success Endowment Fund providing $50,000 annually to help an estimated 150 students facing financial hardship to stay in school by covering extra expenses including tuition, textbooks, testing fees, emergency childcare and transportation.
  • Mandatory New Student Orientation ensuring new students register for appropriate courses and have the necessary tools to be successful early in their college careers.
  • Development of tools beyond standard Math and English placement tests, including transcript evaluation, partnerships with K-12, and Math Boot Camp sessions allowing students to refresh Math skills.
  • Critical work by math faculty to shorten developmental and college-level math course sequences. Developmental math—previously a 20 credit sequence—now consists of 3 and 2-credit modules (15 credits total) designed to shorten the path to college level coursework.  Similar curriculum reform is occurring in developmental English.

Last January a number of community college presidents joined President Barack Obama and the First Lady to commit to dramatically improving success rates in remedial education.  The White House Roundtable will provide an opportunity for these leaders – and others with similar goals including President Bailey – to discuss their progress and the challenges they face, including reducing the need for remediation through curricular alignment; redesigning assessment and placement; and improving developmental education design and delivery.

Many students — recent high school graduates, adult learners, and career-changers who need to make a fresh start — come to two-year colleges unprepared for college-level work. Pre-college courses provide a critical entry-point into college for students who might not otherwise be able to pursue a certificate or degree. Forty percent of all bachelor’s degree graduates from Washington public universities start at a community or technical college, and 59 percent of them take at least one pre-college level class.

LCC has been recognized as an innovator and early adopter of programs that help students overcome obstacles to college completion. Other examples, in addition to those cited by the White House, include:

  • Collaborative work with high school math teachers resulting in a 20 percent improvement in the number of recent graduates moving directly into college-level math courses
  • The I-BEST program which combines pre-college studies with vocational training
  •  HS21+, a low-cost program for adults seeking to earn a high school diploma

Sixty percent of LCC I-BEST students complete college compared to less than ten percent of traditional basic education students. 48 of the 107 graduates of the new HS21+ program have enrolled in college classes this year.

As a participant in "Achieving the Dream", a national effort that promotes evidence-based college reforms to increase student success at community colleges, LCC has been highly commended by that program’s funding agency, College Spark, for its student success efforts.


For additional information contact:

Chris Bailey, President, Lower Columbia College, 360.442.2100,

News and Media Contact:

 Wendy Hall, Vice President, Effectiveness & College Relations, Lower Columbia College


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