HIGHER EDUCATION: Tomball lifePATH program to graduate first class in May

The inaugural group of LSC-Tomball students enrolled in lifePATH will graduate in May.

The inaugural group of LSC-Tomball students enrolled in lifePATH will graduate in May.

Image description
lifePATH
Image description
The road to lifePATH
Launched in 2015 at the Lone Star College-Tomball campus, lifePATH provides student services to individuals with a variety of executive functioning disabilities, such as autism, traumatic brain injuries and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Director Anne Ginnett, who founded the program with former Lone Star College-North Harris President Stephen Head—now LSCS chancellor—and LSC-Tomball President Lee Ann Nutt, said students with these disabilities were not being taken care of by the college.

“There were students that were very capable but weren’t performing well in class because of all the other stuff getting in the way,” Ginnett said.

Ginnett said lifePATH, which serves as an alternative higher education program for LSC-Tomball students with disabilities, is the first program of its kind in the Greater Houston area and one of few programs in the nation. The first class of students in lifePATH’s history will graduate this May, she said.

LifePATH has grown from eight students to about 80 students, Program Manager Jim Engelke said. The need for the program outweighs the staff’s ability, he said, because this community of students are typically underserved before entering college.

“The curriculum that these types of students are held to [prior to college] hasn’t gotten up to speed with trends in knowing how well these students can actually perform,” Engelke said. “We had the ability to create this program from a more modern approach.”

Although students do not earn a degree via lifePATH curriculum, they can earn certificates in foundational occupational studies, business operations or any certifications or licenses for a chosen field of study, he said.

Local legislators have invested in lifePATH, Engelke said. State Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress, plans to introduce a bill this legislative session to provide more educational opportunities for students who have intellectual development disabilities, Oliverson’s Chief of Staff Eiman Siddiqui said.

Engelke also coordinates internships for all students, he said, which is an additional program requirement.

“Employers love to be part of the community and feel like they’re doing something good. It’s a win-win for them because they’re getting an employee who likes to do what they do,” he said.

LSC-Montgomery will begin offering lifePATH this fall, Ginnett said, and the deadline to apply for the Tomball and Montgomery programs is May 2.

“Knowing that I get to be a small part of making a difference in these kids’ lives and knowing the opportunities that we are creating for them, that means a lot to me,” Engelke said.

Lone Star College-Tomball
30555 Hwy. 249, Tomball
281-655-3630
www.lonestar.edu/lifepath
By Kara McIntyre
Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the reporter for north Houston's Tomball/Magnolia edition in September 2018, moving to Alpharetta in January 2020 after a promotion to be the editor of the Alpharetta/Milton edition, which is Community Impact's first market in Georgia.


MOST RECENT

Montgomery County's total COVID-19 cases increased by 77 from Aug. 7-10. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Montgomery County confirms 8 additional deaths related to COVID-19 Aug. 10; active cases continue decreasing

Seven of the individuals had comorbidities in addition to testing positive for COVID-19. The report on comorbidities was not available for the eighth individual.

As the number of patients with COVID-19 in Harris County intensive care units continues to fall, the percentage of those patients that make up the total numbers in the ICU fall below 30% on Aug. 10. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Percentage of COVID-19 positive ICU patients falls below 30%

The percentage has been slowly falling since reaching a high point above 50% in early July, according to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. Public health officials in Harris County have said they want to see that number below 15%.

In Tomball and Magnolia, occupancy was up slightly year over year for office and industrial properties as of late July. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
DATA: Take a look at commercial real estate occupancy locally in July

As of late July, occupancy was up slightly from the third quarter of 2019 for office and industrial properties, while retail properties saw occupancy dip.

The basic taco platter ($8.95-$16.95) includes six or 12 various tacos. (Dylan Sherman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grab N Go Tacos lives up to its name during pandemic

“When you try the different dishes, sometimes you’ll be eating an authentic street taco from Mexico, and the next instance you are eating a fusion fried chicken taco from California,” Co-owner Darren Ferguson said.

JD Sports will open a new store at The Woodlands Mall this August. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Businesses opening or coming soon in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Montgomery County will operate a new COVID-19 testing site in The Woodlands this week. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Free COVID-19 testing site to open at Sterling Ridge Park and Ride in The Woodlands this week

The Montgomery County-sponsored site will operate from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 11-14.

Attendees sample a wide variety of global wines and cuisine during Wine & Food Week. (Courtesy Food & Vine Time Productions)
Wine & Food Week returns to The Woodlands and more news from the Houston area

Read business and community news from the Houston area.

The number of deaths reported has been declining for the past three week, according to the Texas Medical Center. (Community Impact staff)
Texas Medical Center: COVID-19 hospitalizations down 10% since Aug. 3

The number of deaths reported has been declining for the past three week, according to the Texas Medical Center.

Harris County leaders discussed this week whether to raise or lower property taxes. (Courtesy Fotolia)
UPDATED: Harris Co. commissioners eyeing property tax rates

This article was updated Aug. 8 to clarify that an 8% tax rate increase is not considered to be on the table by commissioners.

The county's active case count fell to its lowest level in weeks, while resident deaths continue to rise. (Community Impact staff)
Five COVID-19 deaths reported in Montgomery County on Aug. 7; active case count continues to fall

The county's active case count fell to its lowest level in weeks, while resident deaths continue to rise.

A mother and daughter visit at Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care in Conroe earlier in the pandemic. (Courtesy Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care)
Texas allows limited visitations to nursing homes, long-term care facilities

Facilities that meet the requirements will allow limited visitations, but you still will not be able to hug or kiss your loved one.