October 30, 2014

Elyria
Mostly cloudy
47°F
test

LCCC moves into Wellington


Local students praise location, high-tech facilities at campus

WELLINGTON — First-year college student Caleb Thomas knows exactly what makes the recently opened LCCC Wellington Center ideal for students.

LCCC Wellington Center

Registration for winter classes starts Oct. 22 and can be done at the Wellington Center. Classes start Jan. 14.

For information, call (440) 366-1776 or visit www.lorainccc.edu/wellington.

It has a less hectic environment, better parking and quieter study areas — all pluses in his book, the 18-year-old student said.

Thomas, of Oberlin, is one of 250 students taking advantage of Lorain County Community College’s newest satellite campus. The leased 10,000-square-foot facility, on state Route 58 just north of state Route 18, opened Aug. 1 as a part of the college’s effort to broaden its reach, said interim coordinator Catherine Worden. The formal dedication was Tuesday.

The center is the college’s second off-site location — the first opened in 2001 at the St. Joseph Community Center in Lorain.

“It’s a mini campus, in all respects, that offers the traditional, as well as the nontraditional, student in the greater Wellington area a place where they can learn and succeed,” Worden said.

The close proximity to Wellington High School is ideal for Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program student Elizabeth Dickerson.

Elizabeth attends school at the high school and takes a micro-computer applications course at the Wellington Center. This is her first college class. If she continues with the program, she will be on track earn her high school diploma and an associate’s degree at the same time.

“Having the campus so close to home has really opened up a whole new opportunity for me that wouldn’t have existed,” the 14-year-old said. “I doubt my parents would have allowed to me to go to Elyria two days a week.”

Right now, about 40 entry-level business management, marketing, sales, finance, investment and entrepreneurial courses are offered at the center. But Worden said that in three to five years the number could increase as more students enroll.The center is likely to appeal to small-business owners and agricultural workers in the area, college officials have said.

“We draw from southern Lorain, Medina and Ashland counties, and as distance learning continues to evolve, we feel we can reach upwards of 500 students in just a few years,” Worden said. “That’s because not only are we bringing a higher education opportunity to the area, but we are also bringing high-speed connectivity to an area that doesn’t have that technology.”

Many of the center’s computers and meeting rooms are available to the public, Worden said.

The facility has several group conference labs, a 25-unit computer lab and five video distance learning classrooms that allow students to communicate live with classes at the main campus on North Abbe Road. Student advising is also done from the main campus via a connection to Wellington.

“I’m taking one class here, and I’m glad it’s my computer course, because the technology here is so much better than in Elyria,” Thomas said. “This is one of the college’s better computer labs.”

The goal of the southern campus is to make it easier, and less costly, for residents from that area to attend college, and in doing so the center uses distance-learning and video conferencing.

“It gives students a chance to have face-to-face interaction without heading to the main campus,” Worden said. “We are completely self-contained but are also a major part of the college.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 653-6268 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.