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For the first time ever, Las Positas has received a No. 1 ranking for best California community college, and No. 6 for best community college nationwide

Every weekday and weeknight, students walk the campus of LPC striving toward their goals. Of its diverse community, there are veterans, recent high-school grads, retired seniors, international students and more. Despite its vastly different demographics, all students have one thing in common: a desire to learn. 

And they couldn’t do that without the support of professors, administrators and a wealth of resources.

LPC has received an honorable achievement to show for its efforts. 

LPC was ranked No. 1 on Intelligent’s list of best California community colleges on Feb. 14, 2023. Intelligent is a website that provides unbiased information about higher education institutions for students to make informed decisions about their future. 

It is the first time in the college’s history that it ranked No. 1 community college in California.

LPC received a score of 97.84 on Intelligent’s score of the campus, just 0.04 over second place Irvine Valley College of Irvine, Calif. 

LPC was recognized for its performing arts program, degrees and certificate programs, academic values and the diverse student body on campus. Intelligent also praised LPC for being a sanctuary campus for undocumented and international students. LPC just opened a dream center that serves as a safe space for undocumented students. 

Dyrell Foster has been president of LPC since Feb. 10, 2020, two years after the college last had an official president. LPC’s previous president, Barry Russell, retired in 2018 and then Ronna Bennie, then vice president of academic services, served as interim president until the district could find someone to occupy the position. Foster was a Riverside County College administrator before the Chabot Las Positas Community College District approved a three-year contract with Foster.

“When I started as President of LPC in February of 2020, little did I or anyone else know that a global pandemic would soon disrupt many aspects of our everyday lives, including how we work, learn and interact with each other,” Foster said.

When the COVID pandemic forced everyone into lockdown and safe distancing, it also meant educational institutions had to teach virtually rather than in-person. A time where students felt so much fear and stress that it disrupted their education. Since then, as restrictions have been lifted and more students have returned to campus, LPC’s persistence to help students continues to shine through its difficult moments. 

“We handled the unforeseen, devastating interruption with hard work, determination, collaboration and respect for one another. Reflecting back, I am extraordinarily proud of how our Chabot-Las Positas Community College District and the LPC community powered through,” said Foster.

“The challenges brought on by COVID-19 are still reverberating throughout our community, but we remain committed to supporting more and more students who are returning to campus and enjoying their experiences…while providing flexible and accessible teaching and student support options.”

Foster said that this honor gives recognition of the efforts and dedication of everyone on campus. 

“I’m happy for our outstanding faculty, classified professionals, administrators, students and our tri-valley community. The recognition has put a spotlight on all the great academic and educational programs as well as the wonderful student support services available at LPC. The recognition acknowledges the great work that our employees do on behalf of our students,” Foster said.

According to Foster, their work is not done and this is only the beginning. The commitment to provide an inclusive learning environment, that is also equity-focused, that offers educational opportunities and support for students is ongoing each and every day. Every day, it is clockwork to ensure that new and ongoing students are successful in reaching their full potential at LPC.

LPC is also bringing new buildings to its campus that will provide new classrooms, support and tutoring services, and another building for Agricultural Sciences Horticulture. It is part of LPC’s pursuit to provide students with resources and infrastructure to help them succeed.

To help students who aren’t able to attend class in person every day, LPC started offering Hyflex courses in 2022, giving students the option to attend in-person or online via Zoom.

Being ranked the top community college in the state is an honor not just to LPC, but its local communities. 

“What’s more important than rankings is the actual student experience and the pathways to success that LPC affords its students,” Foster said.

With LPC climbing up the top community colleges lists, the rankings should give prospective students of all ages and backgrounds a good reason to consider becoming a Hawk. 

“Our entire LPC community is truly amazing and now our broader community knows it too,” Foster said.

Gibran Beydoun is a freelance writer for the Express. Follow him @Gibran580MSCM

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