LMC earns high grade

With 120 acres of newly renovated buildings, a diverse student population and a long list of majors, it comes as no surprise that Los Medanos College was ranked as the sixth best college in the nation.

According to College Choice, an independent online publication, gathered their data from Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Pay scale to formulate their list of the top 50 community colleges. Going up against over 1600 community colleges nationally, LMC made it into the College Choice list, earning a spot in the top 10.

Many factors went into the top 50 list with reasons such as affordability, diversity, convenience and community. As listed on the College Choice website, LMC’s campus resources, Honors Scholars program, special academic programs, and associates degree rate also influenced the high ranking.

This prestigious ranking not only benefits the reputation of LMC from an outside perspective, but Fred Wood, East Contra Costa College District Chancellor, also believes that it changes the way that LMC’s own students perceive their education.

“I was absolutely elated and proud that Los Medanos, which is just such a marvelous college, was getting this national recognition,” exclaimed Wood. “This national recognition is great for our students because they have the confidence in knowing that they’re going to a fabulous school that provides great opportunities and chances for growth.”
Wood’s statement proved correct with LMC student Megan Zmerzlikar who resonates with her own similar beliefs.

“I definitely believe that LMC deserved it, especially because of the resources that we offer,” said Megan Zmerzlicker. “The first thing that I heard about when I came here is how awesome the math department is.”

Due to the campus atmosphere and resources, student success has also been at a high rate at LMC. According to the research done by College Choice, an estimated 60 percent of students receive an associate degree, and 30 percent of the students who complete coursework at LMC transfer to a four year college or university to continue their education.

President of Los Medanos College, Bob Kratochvil has had a fist hand experience with the many positive effects that the campus has on its students first hand.

“I still remember Rose  who was a student here for several years — when we opened the student service building, she was down on the bottom floor near the welcome center and I was walking out and she yelled at me, ‘Bob! Bob! This is such a beautiful campus! I can’t believe this campus is so beautiful, it really makes me want to do well,’ and you know, that has stayed in my mind,” said Kratochvil. “I think that’s really true. If you go to a depressing place, you’re probably not going to do as well as you would if you go to a place that not only looks really nice, but is active and the faculty, staff and managers are responsive and try to help  it’s only going to increase your chances of success.”

Aside from the many opportunities and resources on campus, the teaching staff greatly influenced the success at LMC as well.

“I think the teachers are what make the school so great,” explained LMC student Ashley Rownd. “I’m currently enrolled in my fifth semester at LMC and I have never had one bad teacher or bad experience in a classroom. My professors have always been welcoming, encouraging and challenging and I definitely think they are the reason the school is ranked so highly,”

As the college rejoices over the amazing ranking, the resources, positivity and quest for improvement on the campus will only continue to grow. While the ranking may look great on paper, students can truly get a sense of the achievement that LMC breeds by just being on the campus.

“Los Medanos has always had an innovative approach,” explains Fred Wood, Chancellor of ECCCD. “It has a youthful aspiration and optimism about it and when you visit the campus you can really feel it.”