While we may not have the ivy branches on brick walls or a large green quad for a spontaneous game of capture the flag, that doesn’t stop our students at Lincoln Land Community College from finding ways to connect with their peers outside of the classroom. Like at a four-year institution, community college students still have the need to feel like they belong. LLCC is rising to the challenge to provide opportunities for our students to have this lasting connection.
Today employers are looking for graduates who are well rounded in their knowledge and social skills. LLCC continues to have instructors who are committed to preparing our students to be successful in their jobs or transfer goals. But what is LLCC doing to help students be successful outside of the classroom to enhance their social and leadership skills? This is where our college comes to life. At LLCC, many of our students connect with our Student Life office. With over 30 clubs and organizations active on LLCC’s campus, students can meet other peers with similar interests. It also allows students to explore passion areas and could potentially lead to setting new academic and career goals.
This fall, the LLCC Chemistry Club hosted a haunted chemistry lab for kids in the community. Club members received firsthand experience planning an event, using the knowledge they learned in the classroom to teach kids chemistry concepts, and found a way to give back to the community. Every year our Black Student Union takes a trip to the National Black Student Union Conference. For club members, this is an opportunity to network and connect with student leaders across the nation around topics such as graduate education and employment opportunities. These are just a few examples of how our clubs are connecting on a local and national scale.
For students who do not have the time to connect to one of the LLCC clubs or organizations, Student Life provides countless opportunities to engage with other students and continue the learning outside of the classroom. Each semester starts off with a week of welcome events to help new and current students connect with campus resources, meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. Every fall Student Life sponsors the Multicultural fest. This is a campus collaboration dedicated to enriching the student learning experience by celebrating many different cultures of our world. In the spring we celebrate our annual homecoming to connect with our alumni and celebrate our LLCC Logger pride.
No matter what our students’ academic goals are, we are here to connect those goals to their chosen career path. These experiences enhance students’ resumes and better prepare them for life after LLCC.
For students who are transferring to a four-year institution, getting involved and gaining leadership skills outside of the classroom can translate into scholarship honors. Transfer institutions want to see that students are committed to their learning in and out of the classroom. Students who are involved on campus and are looking for employment right after graduation will have additional experiences to mention during job interviews and applications. Employers want to see candidates who are actively developing their leadership and social skills.
For many of our students, their time and journey at LLCC are more than just coming to campus every day, attending class, and heading straight home afterward. It’s finding the time to connect with peers, leading a club on campus, or leaving their footprint on our campus. Those who do find this connection, I hope not only find a lasting connection to their time at LLCC, but also realize how their time at LLCC has shaped their lives.