Op-Ed: L&C Reinventing Itself in its 50th Year in the Face of COVID-19

Lewis and Clark Op-Ed

Lewis and Clark Community College has been honored to serve and be a part of the communities that make up District 536 for the past 50 years. The college district was given the opportunity to purchase the historically significant Monticello College campus in 1970. The all-female college was established in 1838 and saw its last graduating class in 1971. The Monticello College Foundation continues to support Lewis and Clark today through financial contributions and scholarship support.

Although 2020 hasn’t shaped up to be the 50th anniversary celebration we envisioned, we’re here to weather the storm alongside our communities, and we’re reinventing ourselves to serve our students and others in a time of great need.

The college is currently conducting instruction online, in lieu of face-to-face meetings, and preparing for online instruction through the summer. We’ve added extra supports to help transition academic and student services to a virtual environment to keep our constituents safe and at the same time, empower students to overcome obstacles and achieve academic success.

Current students will soon be able to access more than $1 million in emergency federal aid to help with education and training at Lewis and Clark through the CARES Act. The Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation is also raising money to create a Student Emergency Relief Fund for additional support.

The college strives to be a good neighbor and community partner as well. We are working with our area healthcare providers to understand their needs at this time and to develop ways we can be a support for those on the front lines of COVID-19.

We are proud that many of those on the front lines are Lewis and Clark alumni – nurses, EMTs, paramedics, law enforcement, firefighters and more – all working harder than ever to keep our communities safe. We’re beyond proud of their contributions and honored to call them fellow Trailblazers.

We know that many in our communities are struggling and perhaps rethinking their future in the wake of this pandemic. Lewis and Clark is here to help.

Students eager to retrain quickly or join the workforce sooner can earn a certificate or a degree and get started in a new career in just two years or less. Transfer students can save an average of $18,396 on their bachelor’s degree if they come to Lewis and Clark for two years before moving to a four-year institution.

In addition to numerous two-year transfer degree options, Lewis and Clark also offers more than 40 career and technical education programs from Dental Hygiene to Truck Driver Training. Many of our career programs offer students the opportunity to earn competitive salaries upon completion of their certificate or degree. Starting salaries for some programs can be as high as $50,000-100,000 annually. We also offer adult education programs and other non-credit continuing education offerings for everyone from infants to senior citizens.

April is Community College Month. Now more than ever, Lewis and Clark remains committed to making high quality education and career training opportunities not only affordable, but also accessible, to any and all students who wish to pursue their dreams or change their course in life.

Although our campuses remain physically closed, Lewis and Clark remains focused on providing our district residents with these valuable academic and training opportunities. We are here for you during these very challenging times, and reaffirm our commitment to helping our community heal during and beyond this pandemic.

We look forward to the day we can reopen our campuses and welcome everyone back. Until then, we encourage everyone to continue to stay home and stay well during this time.

On behalf of the entire Lewis and Clark Team, we thank the community for its continued support of Lewis and Clark. We look forward to serving you now and in the future.


/s/ David L. Heyen
Lewis and Clark Board Chairman

/s/ Dr. Lori Artis
Interim President

/s/ Brett Reinert
Assistant Interim President


If you need access support services, or are looking for information on our online classes, please visit www.lc.edu/coronavirus.

This is a Lewis and Clark Op-Ed piece.

About Staff Contributor

View all posts by Staff Contributor →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.