LCCC improves academic offerings to better help students’ long-term goals

LCCC 11-23-19

Following several months of extensive research, discussion and consideration, Laramie County Community College will restructure significant aspects of its academic offerings to better serve its students.

“LCCC is focused on providing clear, coherent pathways for students, ones that lead them to meaningful opportunities when they graduate from LCCC, hopefully right here in Wyoming,” LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer said. “We’ve discovered that by offering too many options with too many forks in the road, we actually hinder students’ ability to complete a credential and succeed.” 

One example is natural sciences. Currently, LCCC offers ten separate concentrations related to natural sciences, but with minimal distinctions among them. With the new format, students can now choose from three distinct natural science degrees: biology, physical sciences, or pre-professional. This change will result in minimal impact to LCCC students and the courses being offered, while still providing the high quality educational experience that previous students received.

“We’ve developed clearly outlined programs that align with educational opportunities and careers. This allows us to provide individualized plans for those students with a defined interest and gives other students the chance to explore options within a program,” said Kari Brown-Herbst, the interim vice president of academic affairs at LCCC.

Changes to these academic offerings mean that some programs and concentrations will be suspended and some will be closed, also referred to as “hiatus” and “deactivation.” Even in programs affected by this change of status, LCCC will continue to offer the necessary courses — such as English and mathematics —that will allow students to transfer to a four-year school in their field.

“We will still provide a path for students’ educational goals, whether that’s to complete a bachelor’s degree at UW or to enter the workforce. But with constrained resources and constrained state funding, LCCC has to decide how many unique programs we can sustain to best serve our students and the community,” Schaffer said.

 Students impacted by these programmatic changes will be notified this week about steps that LCCC is taking to assist them in continuing their education. All will have the opportunity to complete their programs.

No employees will lose their job due to these changes.

These structural changes are part of a larger institutional transformation at LCCC, called Guided Pathways. Guided Pathways is a model for redesigning the entire college to improve the student experience and to help students succeed at higher rates. Complete details will be shared in the coming months.

For additional information about these changes, including the list of affected programs and the programs LCCC will offer in 2020-2021, visit