Spotlight on Innovation: How Lee College is Responding to Industry and Student Needs with Weekend College

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The US Department of Education has awarded multi-million dollar "First in the World" grants to 24 colleges and universities that are innovating to solve critical challenges with access, recruitment, retention, and student success. At AI, we have interviewed each of the recipients to learn more about the projects these institutions are pursuing, how their approaches are unique, and what other colleges and universities can learn from these new efforts.

by Lisa Cook, Academic Impressions

The Challenge

Nearly 75 percent of Lee College’s students attend part-time because they need to schedule classes around their work schedules, and only 23 percent of Lee’s students complete an associates degree within four years.  With a demand for skilled workers in the area, especially among the region’s petrochemical industries, Lee’s STEM Grant and Puente Project Coordinator Victoria Marron found herself asking the community college’s students, "Why are you part time? What obstacles are you facing? Let’s find a way to make you more successful."

Lee will use the $2.7 million grant to respond to industry demand for skilled workers while addressing working students' needs for flexible scheduling by providing four accelerated associate programs for full-time students in a Weekend College initiative.

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