Highlights & Announcements from the State of the College Address
September 17, 2021
Below are some of the major announcements and highlights from LTCC Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco’s State of the College Address, delivered on Thursday, September 16. These will have profound and positive outcomes for the Tahoe community and our students. You can also watch the entire State of the College address on YouTube.
More FREE Financial Support for Students Than Ever!
- One of the most impactful announcements for our Tahoe community: LTCC has forgiven up to $1,000 of college debt (tuition and fees) for each student enrolled with us during the pandemic who wishes to return and finish their education! COVID impacted our students in multiple ways, leaving many of them unable to pay their outstanding fees and tuition. More than 700 of our students owed a combined $300,000 for fees charged between Spring 2020 and Spring 2021. Historically, these students would be prohibited from re-enrolling. With this announcement, our former students can trust that debt of up to $1,000 has already been removed from their LTCC accounts, freeing them up to register and return. If you have any questions or you owe more than $1,000 and need help resolving it, please contact LTCC Vice President of Student Services Michelle Batista at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (530) 541-4660 x. 750 so we can work with you and help get you re-enrolled.
- The new Emergency Wildfire Relief Fund for registered students provides up to $250 emergency awards for those who live or work in the Caldor Fire evacuation zone and who experienced unexpected out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages during the mandatory evacuation. Thus far, this fund has awarded approximately $40,000 to 160 students. To donate to the fund, visit the LTCC Foundation’s homepage.
- LTCC CARES Grants are available to new and returning students! New students can apply for up to $750, and returning students who received CARES grants before can apply for up to $500. Along with the Wildfire Relief Fund, this is financial support that never needs repaying. As of June 2021, LTCC awarded 524 CARES grants worth $306,000 to students, and funds are still being awarded and will be available to students in the Winter and Spring 2022 quarters as well.
- LTCC’s Food Pantry is providing more free food and personal products to students in need than ever before. Visit the Food Pantry webpage to apply.
New & Expanded Programs for Fire Prevention and Job Opportunities
- A new Forestry program leading to stackable certificates and an Associate in Science degree launches in Fall 2022, providing direct pathways to jobs with the U.S. Forest Service and CAL FIRE. Students will learn the science behind how forests burn, how they become more resilient, and they will gain the knowledge necessary to increase active forest management around Lake Tahoe and the Western United States. Our Forestry students will be educated on the best management practices that contributed to keeping the Caldor Fire away from South Lake Tahoe, Meyers, and Christmas Valley area homes. This program meets our community’s crucial workforce needs, and will provide preparedness against future wildfires in our community.
- More support for LTCC’s Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy and its cadets is coming! All of our 19 June 2021 Fire Academy graduates were on the ground fighting the Caldor Fire, along with dozens of Fire Academy alums, support staff, and faculty members from the program. Their critical work deserves optimal support. Momentum and the funding to build a Tahoe Basin Public Safety Training Center on campus is moving forward at the state level. The center will provide the equipment and training space to educate future Fire Academy cadets and fire professionals from around the state. California senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla are both supporting a request for $270,000 in new training equipment to support the Fire Academy with as well.
- LTCC is focused on supporting “stopped out” adult students with some college credits earned, but no degree or certificate to show for it. LTCC’s Reconnect to Complete program helps to identify former students who are in this position, and provide the support they need to return and complete their education goals as quickly as possible. The program includes Credits for Prior Learning, which involves awarding college credit for skills students learned while on the job. Former students may discover they are much closer to earning a degree than they realize.
Major Grant Dollars Coming to Campus!
- LTCC just won nearly $5 million from a five-year Hispanic Serving Institute grant from the U.S. Department of Education! This funding will support Latino/a/x and low-income students in the Tahoe Basin, providing a solid foundation for those pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) degree and transfer pathways. The grant will provide students with wraparound, evidence-based academic and support services through the creation of a STEM Student Success Team working to improve access to and completion of STEM programs. It will also create a pipeline of students interested in pursuing STEM fields through the establishment of the LTCC Pre-Collegiate STEM Academy.
- A two-year Dual Enrollment Grantworth $1.5 million was also secured to support even more LTUSD students in earning college credits at LTCC while still in high school.
- LTCC also secured a five-year Trio Talent Search grant from the Department of Education that will serve 500 students annually at South Tahoe Middle School, South Tahoe High School, and Mt. Tallac High School. The funding will help low-income students graduate high school and enroll in college.