Page 10 - LWTech 2015-2016 Annual Report
P. 10

Supporting Students Through Campus Initiatives
LWTech is the only public institute of technology in Washington state that primarily grants two-year associate degrees and certificates. LWTech is accredited at both
the Associate and Baccalaureate Degree levels by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Students can choose from 3 baccalaureate degrees,
38 associate degrees, and 80 professional certificates in 39 areas of study.
LWTech is committed to supporting student achievement through centralized campus initiatives that include:
grant development; the Completion Initiative; the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan; and our Strategic Plan.
LWTech supports student success through the pursuit of grants and other outside partnerships. Grant work in the 2015-16 academic year focused on supporting campus initiatives and the Strategic Plan.
Achieving the Dream National Reform Network selected LWTech to be part of their Open Educational Resources Initiative. The initiative, which involves 38 community colleges in 13 states, is designed to help remove financial roadblocks that can derail students’ progress and spur improvements that will increase the likelihood of degree and certificate completion. LWTech received $100,000 to convert new transfer degrees using openly licensed content in Engineering and Biology. This work is funded by a consortium of investors that includes the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, the Shelter Hill Foundation, and the Speedwell Foundation.
LWTech received $150,000 from College Spark Washington to improve intake and placement services for all students who intend to enroll in college-level English and math coursework. This new process replaces
the traditional high-stakes COMPASS placement test
and allows students to self-select math and English placements using computer forms or advisor-administered questionnaires. Students review the results and choose their own placement rather than having it imposed on them. LWTech will also use this grant funding to consolidate all intake services into one location on the Kirkland campus, the Smart Start Student Welcome Center.
In addition to Foundation grants, LWTech receives funding from the Department of Education and National Science Foundation (NSF). In the 2015-16 academic year, the college launched its Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success (CEVSS) with $367,379 in funding from the Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) program. This award complements our long-standing TRiO Projects funded
by the Department of Education over a five-year period, including $1.1 million for student support services and $1,154,420 for support services for students with disabilities. The mission of TRiO at LWTech is to increase the retention, graduation and transfer rates of eligible students.
Since receiving its first-ever awards from the National Science Foundation in the 2014-15 academic year, LWTech has launched the Future Tech Stars NSF S-STEM Scholarship Program (Future Tech Stars). Last year, 24 low-income, academically talented students received
a scholarship to help students earn a degree that will lead to high-wage, high-demand jobs. The included fields are multimedia design and production, digital gaming, information technology and applications development, and computer security and network technology.
The college is also preparing to launch its first Photonics Technology certificate in Washington state, with $199,380 in funding from the NSF. Photonics is the practical application of light, including lasers. This project will produce technicians prepared to meet the needs of our region’s high-tech employers.

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