Lone Star College-Tomball, Montgomery first in state to offer new associate degree

The associate degree program will be available to students enrolling this fall in LSCS’ lifePATH program, which is offered at the Tomball and Montgomery campuses within the Lone Star College System. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
The associate degree program will be available to students enrolling this fall in LSCS’ lifePATH program, which is offered at the Tomball and Montgomery campuses within the Lone Star College System. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

The associate degree program will be available to students enrolling this fall in LSCS’ lifePATH program, which is offered at the Tomball and Montgomery campuses within the Lone Star College System. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

House Bill 3165, approved by the Texas Legislature in June 2019, allows Lone Star College System to establish an occupational and life skills associate degree program.

Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Houston, who co-authored the bill, said LSCS is one of two colleges nationwide to offer the program.

The associate degree program will be available to students enrolling this fall in LSCS’ lifePATH program, which serves as a four-year program for students with cognitive disabilities and is offered at the Tomball and Montgomery campuses, LSC-Tomball President Lee Ann Nutt said.

“Colleges have an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Arts in teaching. ... This legislation created a brand new type of associate degree,” Nutt said. “Nobody else in the state has it, and Lone Star [College] has it; Tomball started it.”

The lifePATH program launched in 2015 in Tomball and expanded to Montgomery in fall 2019, Nutt said.


“This gives these young folks a chance to function as independent adults, as working adults, to have fairly normal adult lives,” Oliverson said.

Previously, lifePATH students completed certificates but did not earn a degree, Nutt said.

“Our new cohort that starts in the fall will be able to start on that path to get the associate degree,” Nutt said. “We may be able to go back and do something to help the students that are in the program now also get that degree, but I’m not sure how that’s going to work yet.”

The law only allows LSCS campuses to offer the new associate program. The Legislature would need to give its approval for more community colleges to offer the program, Nutt said.

“We’ve taken that first big step; we’ve gotten approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board,” she said. “Hopefully going forward, this is going to change the game for the entire state.”
By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball | Magnolia

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.



MOST RECENT

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

The county's active case count rose July 10 after three straight days of declines. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County adds 40 active COVID-19 cases, reaches 3,000 cumulative cases July 10

Five new hospitalizations and 87 new recoveries were also reported July 10.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

Texas Medical Center reports only 4% uptick in ICU bed use despite continued COVID-19 case increases

Compared to 1,350 total intensive care units in use June 30, Texas Medical Center has seen only a slight uptick in occupancies since then, with 1,394 reported July 9.

Tomball ISD's plans include continuing to provide bus transportation to all families who desire it—although district officials encourage families to provide their own transportation if possible—lunch procedures varying by campus, and limiting large group activities, including recess. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here’s what bus transportation, lunch and recess will look like this fall for Tomball ISD students

Families who can provide transportation for their student to and from school are encouraged to do so, Chief Operating Officer Steven Gutierrez said during the meeting.

Lone Star College had almost 3,000 foreign students attend in the spring semester this year. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement rules could affect thousands of Lone Star College students

Lone Star College is currently unsure how a recent ICE rule will be affected its foreign student population.

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Harris County. (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 907 cases, 12 deaths confirmed July 9

The 12 deaths—the largest single day total in Harris County since the pandemic began—brings the total COVID-19 death count in the county to 423.

Tomball ISD outlined its health guidelines, transportation logistics and virtual instruction models for the fall semester during the five-hour July 9 meeting that had up to 1,000 participants tuned in via Zoom. (Screenshot via Zoom)
NEW: Tomball ISD families must select face-to-face or virtual option by July 24

The district outlined its health guidelines, transportation logistics and virtual instruction models for the fall semester during the five-hour July 9 meeting that had up to 1,000 participants tuned in via Zoom.

Montgomery County's active COVD-19 cases total 2,876. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Montgomery County reports decrease in active coronavirus cases for third day in a row

An additional 122 people have recovered, and the seven-day new case average is currently decreasing.

Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.

DM Clinical Research, a Tomball research center, has begun testing a coronavirus vaccine. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Tomball research center starting coronavirus vaccine trials

DM Clinical Research has begun testing a coronavirus vaccine on patients at its Tomball location.