LRCC president asks Laconia schools for help in getting students to look at what his college offers

LACONIA — Lakes Region Community College President Scott Kalicki last night asked the School Board for their help in encouraging city students to consider the college as an option for their continuing education.

Kalicki, speaking for his first time before the Laconia board, noted that LRCC is "clearly affordable," is accessible, and offers a good pathway to higher education or to a career.

"We seek your support to allow the community college to be part of the dialogue," he said.

Kalicki noted that nationally, statistics show that of the graduating students who go on to a public higher education, 50 percent of them will attend a community college. In New Hampshire, Kalicki said, that percentage is just 25-percent.

He said he thinks people still think of Lakes Region Community College as "Voc-Tech" — one of the former nicknames for the two-year college on Prescott Hill when it offered degrees for trade careers only.

He also said many people think going to community college is "not the sexy thing to do."

He said while he is Laconia-centric, the state has seven community colleges and they are working on the ability to get much of their individual on-line classes available to all community college students.

Kalicki noted that for those who want a "campus" experience, there is New Hampshire Technical College in Concord and for those who want to save some money, he said that LRCC tuition is about half that of Keene State College or Plymouth State University and all of the credits are transferable.

He said the average class size is about 13 and there are 1,500 students enrolled at LRCC.

"We hope to be part of the communication," he said.

School Board member Mike Persson and Superintendent Terri Forsten are both members of the LRCC Board of Directors.