LFCC adds specialization classes to its catalog

Students starting at Lord Fairfax Community College today will be able to choose new areas of specialization within their associate’s degree. By doing so, they can set themselves on a more direct path to a job or further studies at a four-year university.

Within the school’s associate of arts and sciences degree program, students can now specialize in recreation and outdoor leadership or human services. Within the associate of sciences degree program, students can specialize in agriculture, engineering, health professions or computer science.

Kim Blosser, vice president of academic and student affairs, said college faculty members contacted local businesses and area universities to find out what classes they would want LFCC students to have under their belts.

“What we’re trying to do is provide our students with direct paths from high school through an associate’s degree on to either a job or a four year institution,” she said.

Students will be able to transfer directly and smoothly into universities like Virginia Tech or University of Virginia with guaranteed admission, while specializations like recreation and outdoor leadership can help an individual with roles in businesses and local government.

In the past, students in the arts and sciences or sciences programs had a wealth of electives to choose from. Now, with the specializations in place and new required courses, students will have a more defined direction to take in their studies.

Many of the specialization classes have brought new introductory level courses into the college’s catalog. Blosser said that the college had needed to expand the number of seats in the classes to accommodate students.

In addition to the new specialization classes, the college has worked with other community colleges to add online foreign language classes and an introductory class on drones. These are courses that the college hasn’t had the opportunity to offer because of small interest or lack of teachers in the area with the proper credentials.

“We do try to learn from our sister institutions in the Virginia community college system,” Blosser said.

LFCC is continuing to look for other opportunities to prime its students for their next step in life. According to Blosser, specializations in cyber security and forensic science will be under consideration this year for implementation in the  next school year.

The college announced a partnership with Shenandoah Telecommunications Company last Thursday that would also help to ease student transitions into careers in business, accounting and engineering.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com