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The Lookout | December 13, 2018

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Trustees recognize entrepreneurs

Trustees recognize entrepreneurs

Shelby Schueller
News Editor

Four high school students were recognized for winning the fifth annual “Young Entrepreneurs Competition” at the LCC Board of Trustees meeting March 16.

The contest, conducted by the Clinton County Economic Alliance, involved high school students from Clinton County presenting a business plan before a panel of judges.

“This is a really innovative group,” said Dru Mitchell, president and CEO of the Clinton County Economic Alliance. “This business plan for the competition could be an idea that a student had or something that they are already doing as a business.”

Mitchell said about 30 students participated — an all-time high for the event.

First-place winner of $1,000 was Samantha White, who proposed an online business to sell trendy camouflage clothing.

Emily Felzke won second place and $500 with her idea to open a hometown bakery that sells comfort food from family recipes.

Sarah Bland and Abigail Wade tied for third place, each winning $250.

Bland’s business plan involved selling donated prom dresses at an affordable price. Wade proposed a fitness center where people can take classes for any type of fitness every day.

Wade was unable to attend the board meeting.

Representatives from LCC’s Academic Senate also presented to the board about an initiative for LCC classes to utilize Open Educational Resources (OER) in order to ease the cost of textbooks for students.

“We know that textbooks are expensive and that there’s a fiscal problem there, but also a student success problem because if students don’t have the books, they are much less likely to succeed in their classes,” said Jeff Janowick, LCC history professor.

Open Educational Resources are online available resources, including but not limited to textbooks that are free to utilize.

The presentation group recognized that there are not OER’s for every subject, but encouraged faculty and the college to use them whenever necessary to alleviate student costs.

Jim Luke, LCC economics professor, shared his experience with OER.

“I know we’ve been working on (the open educational resources initiative) in econ for about five years now,” Luke said. “We’ve conservatively estimate that by our choices of OER’s and some alternative textbooks, we’ve saved about three quarters of a million dollars for LCC students in the last five years.”

Alex Azima, LCC physics professor, asked the board to consider working to develop OER’s in order to both expand the online collection and become a leader for other organizations in Michigan who are interested in the initiative.

Later in the meeting, Trustee Andrew Abood proposed the LCC Administration look into the cost of textbooks for the average student per semester so a plan can be made to help reduce textbook cost in the future.

This proposal was passed unanimously.

Other presenters included students from the LCC High School Diploma Completion Initiative and LCC Early College program, describing their successes within these programs.

Representatives from the “Gateway-to-Completion Initiative” presented their progress on improving the success rates of courses with a large number of students, such as Writing 121. This initiative is in its second year.

The Board of Trustees also held a moment of silence for Diane Humphries, who recently passed away due to cancer.

Diane was the wife of former LCC Employee James Humphries and sister-in-law to current LCC Writing Program Faculty Member Dedria Humphries.

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