President shares vision of the future

Lassen Community College president/ superintendent Dr. Marlon Hall outlined his dreams and ambitions for the college’s future.

At the Feb. 12 meeting of the college’s board of trustees, Hall outlined his ambitious goal of obtaining a campus with more than 1,800 full-time equivalent students, continuing (and expanding) the success of its inmate education program, bolstering the amount of students graduating within two years.

Hall was also recently named the chairman of the board for the Rural Community College Alliance among other developments.

Hall is looking to increase students with education plans by 10 percent. At present, the number of students with education plans at LCC has increased 2 percent since 2017, at nearly 65 percent of students.

“Why 15 units?” asked Hall when introducing his 15 to Finish Initiative. “If they carry 15 units for four semesters, and they complete those units, they have the option of graduating in two years. Graduating in two years will help us with the funding formula, student success and so on. But the main thing: They have the options of finishing in two years.”

Currently, 490 students at LCC carry that many units per semester. That is nearly 40 students shy of the average number of students carrying that many units within the past three years. Hall is looking to increase the number of students taking 15 units by five percent, which are still less than the previously mentioned average.

In regards to students with a full-time equivalency, known in the higher education system as FTES, Hall is looking to increase that by 1 percent. The total FTES for this academic year is a little more than 1,500, with a five-year average just less than 1,500.

Hall shared his ambitious goals to get enrollment more than 1,800 FTES by building off the years previous, “Last year we increased (the FTES) by 5 to 8 percent and I think my goal was 1 percent.”

“Once we’re over 1,800 I think all of us can have a sigh of relief,” said Hall, “and then we’ll have a more robust campus with a lot of other programs when people come to Lassen Community College.”

“In May, board president Wages and I will be attending the Trustees conference in Lake Tahoe and I will be presenting inmate education,” Hall declared to the board, detailing that out of all the college programs in the state, saying, “I think we have the best program in the state for inmate education.”

There’s been a plethora of construction projects on campus for the past few years, and Hall recounted status of several of them. The library has been completed, in addition to the new nursing classrooms and the college’s BASE camp. The fire science classes were moved from Credence and the dormitory kitchen is completed with the dormitory recreation room 95 percent completed.

The college also secured an agreement with the Susanville Indian Rancheria for fire science courses.

Under Hall’s budget prioritization $175,000 was allocated to playground equipment, with 80 percent ordered and received and the rest will come this spring.

The college is continually searching for alternative funding to build programs on campus, to remodel current facilities and build new facilities on campus.

The late co-chair of the RCCA recently stepped down, leaving Hall as the singular chairman of the board. He will be spending time traveling with the board president speaking out for rural American colleges, putting Lassen on at the table rather than on the menu.

Hall detailed that this opportunity would put the college in a position to seek alternative funding (such as grants from the USDA) to the campus.

Hall wants the college to continue to work with service area schools in closing the achievement gap. As of this year, the number of dual and concurrently enrolled students (students attending both high school classes and college courses at the same time) reached more than 500 students, a significant jump from 2012 when LCC had only 50.

Hall shared pride of the college’s successes throughout the past few years in raising the numbers of those attaining a higher education in Lassen County as well as their adult education programs, “Our region is becoming more educated … which I’ve said that with a better educated region will equal less crime on the streets.”