Lone Star College-North Harris held a grand opening ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 15 for its new full-service center, LSC-Victory Center, located in the northwest Houston neighborhoods of Acres Homes and Inwood Forest. The 85,000 square foot facility opened to students with the start of the fall semester and has expanded higher education options for the nearby communities. More than 1,300 students are already enrolled, which is a 55 percent increase compared to the previous fall at the area’s former facility, LSC-Carver Center.
Located on a 17-acre site at the corner of Victory and Vogel, LSC-Victory Center is home to diverse academic classes, essential workforce training in high-demand fields, and critical adult education such as GED preparation and English classes for non-native speakers.
“Our vision was about serving the community and having a partnership with the community. This facility is focused on education, but not just academic education. We also want to teach responsible citizenship, hard work, discipline and perseverance. What we are trying to do is give people the skills to be successful in college so that they can give back and be successful in the community,” said Dr. Steve Head, president of LSC-North Harris.
The site also houses the college’s partnership with Aldine ISD, the Victory Early College High School, where selected students can pursue a high school diploma and associate degree from the college simultaneously. Academy for Lifelong Learning and Small Business Development Center offerings solidify the center as a valuable resource for the entire community.
Dr. Richard Carpenter, chancellor of the Lone Star College System, spoke about the center’s impact on the community.
“This new state-of-the-art higher education center clearly represents an investment in our students’ future. It also represents an investment in the community. What we are dedicating here today will affect generations to come. Together, we are opening doors to brighter futures,” said Dr. Carpenter.
LSC-Victory Center, which is the first major construction project in an area seeking revitalization, was also recognized for the potential impact it can have on Houston’s workforce. In June, Lone Star College System announced that it had received a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help build the LSC-Victory Center and establish a vocational training center designed to provide workers with the critical skills needed to compete for higher-skill, living-wage job opportunities.
The state-of-the-art center also offers several workforce specific training labs. These labs allow the center to offer hands-on training in high-demand fields such as HVAC and welding. Students in these programs can gain the skills needed to start a new career, often in just 12 to 18 months.
“We are trying to get students in and out with training that pays a good salary. We’ve set the program up so that they can come through that piece of it and get out of it in about a year. Then, if they want to come back later and get a college degree we can articulate those classes back and help them reach that goal as well,” said Dr. Head.
“LSC-Victory Center certainly showcases the many opportunities that Lone Star College System offers. It has all of the offerings that make up the core of the community college mission,” he added.