Cy-Fair Edition - May 2020

PANDEMIC EFFECTS Stephen Head, the chancellor of the Lone Star College System, said the college system has moved classes online, adjusted dates and canceled graduations as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Lone Star College to up online presence following pandemic

in summer enrollment with most classes held online. LSCS anticipates about aa 30% DROP The drop date—the day for students to drop out of classes with a refund if they have been aected by the coronavirus—was moved to MAY 1 $1 MILLION in stimulus funding budgeted for refunds. with around

LSCS facilities are closed from mid-March toa

have been moved online, up from 1,624 classes. Since mid-March 6,825 CLASSES in relief funding as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, with $14 million designated for student nancial aid. LSCS received nearly $28 MILLION

because of the outbreak. JUNE 1

BY ANNA LOTZ

enrollment, with classes beginning June 1 and most classes online. LSCS facilities were closed from mid-March to June 1 as of press time. Despite closed facilities, Head said he believes LSCS is positioned well nancially to weather the pandemic. He said the college system antici- pates losing at most $20 million. In comparison, after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, LSCS saw a loss of about $52 million, he said. LSCS was named to receive more than $28 million in relief funding as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, according to an April 14 release from the oce of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. According to the release, at least half of the funding has to go toward providing nancial aid to students. This fall, Head said LSCS could see an uptick in enrollment. “Back in 2008, we had double-digit

Lone Star College System increased its online classes from 1,624 classes to 6,825 classes since mid-March as facilities closed during the coronavi- rus pandemic, according to an April 27 news release. LSCS Chancellor Stephen Head said in early April he foresees LSCS continuing to enhance its online options even after stay-at- home orders are lifted. “What happens when you have a situation like this, it exacerbates your weaknesses,” Head said. “We have the largest online enrollment in the country for community colleges. ... You’ll be seeing us really focused on online going forward. ... The other thing is we’re really going to be focused on these workforce programs where we know that there’s a need, like health care for example.” Head said in April he anticipates about a 30% drop in summer

The end of the spring semester was pushed

because of the outbreak. from May 8 toa MAY 22

May graduation ceremonies were CANCELED.

SOURCE: LONE STAR COLLEGE SYSTEMCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

increases after that [recession],” he said. “What happens when the economy is good—and it’s been really good—people were not coming to school. ... As soon as you have a prob- lem, if you don’t have a combination of education and experience, then you could get laid o.”

Although the fall semester is slated to resume with on-site courses, Head said LSCS hopes to expand its online oerings long term. “We already had plans to expand. ... We actually have people from all over the country taking classes, and we wanted to expand on that,” Head said.

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CYFAIR EDITION • MAY 2020

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