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50 Years of Innovation Lorain County Community College was launched in 1963 as a place to receive an affordable education close to home. Since then, it’s become a powerhouse that is pushing the boundaries on what a community college can — and should — do both for its students and the community it serves. By Colleen Smitek I Photography by Ken Blaze t’s hard to say what has changed the most in the last 50 years — the campus, the student or the community. But it is clear how far Lorain County Community College has come since its early days when it was informally referred to as “Abbe Road Tech.” The college now attracts 25 percent of all high school graduates in Lorain County and has established partnerships with 11 colleges in Ohio, allowing students to earn bachelors degrees at an average savings of about $60,000. The college has become, in other words, a college of first choice for graduating high school students. “We have a much larger percentage of younger students coming,” says LCCC president Dr. Roy Church. “As the cost of higher education and the debt burden that kids have to accrue continues to rise, we’re seeing more kids coming directly out of high school as the first stop toward the baccalaureate degree.” And that’s only half the picture: The college has also become a game-changer in Lorain County. A new building is under construction that could put the college — and Lorain County — on the cutting edge of an emerging technology with the potential to revolutionize manufacturing. “Our two major goals are to continue to help grow the talent and, at the same time, helping to grow the jobs so that graduates can live work and enjoy the quality of life in our community,” Church says. “We have a lot of work to do on a lot of fronts.” | WINTER 2012 21

50 Years of Innovation

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