Laredo College

Laredo College (LC) is a public college in Laredo, Texas. Founded as Laredo Junior College in 1947, it is part of the Laredo Independent School District. As defined by the Texas Legislature, the official service area of LC includes the municipality of Laredo and all of Webb, Jim Hogg and Zapata counties.[2]

Laredo College
Other name
Laredo Community College
TypeCommunity College
EstablishedSeptember 28, 1947
Budgetc. $50 million (2012–2013)
$48.3 million (2011–2012)
PresidentDr. Ricardo Solis
Vice-presidentDr. David Arreazola (Interim)
Academic staff
210 Full-time (Fall 2010)
300 classified staff
Students8,732 (Fall 2013)[1]
8,307 (Fall 2014)
8,749 (Fall 2015)
Majority part-time
Graduation rate=18 percent (2013)
CampusFt. McIntosh (Main Campus):
300 acres (1.2 km²)
South Campus
ColoursBlack, Gold, and Green

Finances and enrollments

Budgets and taxes

The 2012–2013 LC budget was approximately $50 million. The student tuition and fee share of the budget doubled in a decade from 18 to 36 percent.[3]

The 2011–2012 LC budget was $48.3 million, or a decrease of $1.43 million from the preceding year.

The college property tax rate of $0.2365 per $100 of assessed valuation declined slightly in the 2012–2013 budget.[3] Unlike many other community colleges in Texas which can reach into the county or adjoining counties for purposes of taxation, LC can levy property taxers only within the City of Laredo. Some 40 percent of the 2012–2013 LC budget is derived from property taxes.[4]

Enrollment figures

Enrollment for the fall of 2013 was 8,732, a decrease of 602 or 6.4 percent from 2012. Enrolment peaked in 2011 at 10,046.[1]

In 2010, LC had 210 faculty and 300 classified staff personnel.[5]

LC enrollment dropped for the fourth consecutive year in the spring of 2015 by 4.3 percent from 2014, attributed to changes in the local employment marked.[6]

In the fall of 2015, enrollment was 5.3 percent above that of the previous year. There were 8,749 registrants in 2015, compared to 8,307 in September 2014.[7]


In 2010, LC had a three-year graduation rate of 14 percent from students pursuing either associate degrees or completing specialized certificate programs.[8]

In July 2012, Laredo College was placed on twelve months of probation for failure to comply with standards required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In a document reviewed by KGNS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Laredo, the accrediting body said that LC had not demonstrated "compliance with comprehensive standards". President Juan L. Maldonado said that the institution will meet any deficiencies required but that the situation would not impact instructional programs or other operations of the college.[9]

SACS contends that LC failed to correct deficiencies in its reports on institutional effectiveness. If the deficiencies remain uncorrected, LC could forfeit its accreditation.[10] LC sought the services of an outside consultant and an editor to convert the accreditation data into narrative form.[11] Vincent Solis, LC vice president for student services, discounted the possibility that the probationary status was a cause of the decline in enrollment in the fall of 2012. Solis noted that despite the probationary status, LC accreditation remained fully in place.[12]

On June 20, 2013, SACS restored accreditation after the process was completed to correct past deficiencies in the reports LC submitted to the agency.[13]

Having overcome the accreditation controversy, LC was ranked tenth in 2015 among Texas' two-year colleges, which number more than seventy, by the website; LC was cited for its two campuses, affordable tuition, the variety of associate degree programs, and in the quality of its nursing and allied health programs.[14] In 2016, LC retained its tenth ranking in the same listing.[15]

In 2016, LC ranked first in the nation in the least amount of debt accumulated by its departing students. The average debt of $2,000 at LC is a fraction of the national average of $27,000. As of 2014, student debt nationwide had increased more than 50 percent over the preceding eleven years.[16]


Main campus

The main campus, also known as the Fort McIntosh Campus because of its location on historic Fort McIntosh, is situated at the west end of Washington Street in downtown Laredo. The campus has many of the original United States Army buildings from the old fort along with modern buildings from the 1940s to the 21st century. The campus is situated on a small hill on the bend above the Rio Grande. The campus has more than thirty buildings. Its founding president, W. J. Adkins, a native of Ellis County, Texas, served from 1947 to 1960.

In 1964, Ray A. Laird, the second LC president, commissioned a master plan for a college of 1,500 students. By the 1974–1975 term, under Laird's successor president, Domingo Arechiga, enrollment totaled 3,925.[17]

The Martin Building, dedicated in 1970 and renovated in 2016, is named for Joseph C. Martin Sr., late president of the Laredo Independent School District board of trustees, and the father of the late Laredo Mayor J. C. "Pepe" Martin. The structure houses the information technology department, including the offices of (1) institutional research and planning and (2) institutional effectiveness.[18]

In the spring of 2000, under President Ramón H. Dovalina, LC had 177 full-time faculty and 7,317 students.[17]

South campus

The Laredo College South Campus, located at 5500 South Zapata Highway (U.S. Highway 83) at coordinates 27°26′N 99°29′W, was established to extend the college's mission to the growing residential area of south Laredo. More than 80 percent of voters approved a $50 million bond issue to construct the second campus, which was completed in the spring of 2004. The 60-acre (240,000 m2) campus contains seven buildings and will be expanded in the future to develop athletic and recreational fields and courts. The second campus sits on a small valley near the bank of the Rio Grande.

In April 2012, the LC trustees approved feasibility studies for a new health science center and student union building on the South Campus. If considered needed, LC would add these proposed projects to the list of some forty improvements still underway on the Main Campus.[19]

South campus buildings

Academic and Advanced Technology Center - Computer and science laboratories, lecture halls, classrooms and faculty offices fill the Academic and Advanced Technology Center. The building's first floor contains offices for the Child Development Department and the LCC Community Education Department. The second floor contains offices for the LCC Computer Electronics Department, language laboratories for the study of English and foreign languages, and distance education classrooms.

Hall Student Center - Named for the late State Representative William N. "Billy" Hall, Jr., this two-story facility is designed to become the hub of student life, including: Meeting and Conference Rooms, Bursar's Office, Financial Aid Office, Counseling Center, Admissions Office, Bookstore, Cafeteria, TV Room, Assessment Center, Mailroom, Print Services, Student Computer Resource Room, Student Employment Services, Campus Nurse, and administrative offices.

Raquel Gonzalez Automotive Technology Center -- Named for former LCC trustee Raquel Gonzalez, the center trains future mechanics in the latest techniques in automotive repair and maintenance.

Prada Child Development Center - The new LCC Child Development Laboratory is a model teaching area for LCC students who are taking early childhood development courses in preparation for education careers in the community's child care centers. It contains six classrooms for 2, 3 and 4 year-olds, a kitchen and two outdoor playgrounds. This facility is named for Camilo Prada, whose family developed the residential neighborhoods around the LCC South campus and provided student support through scholarships and other gifts.

Treviño Fitness Center - Named for the late LCC trustee J.C. "Pepe" Trevino, Jr., this Classroom and Fitness Center contains 13,600 square feet (1,260 m2) of space that will serve all students attending classes at LCC South with a gymnasium, fitness rooms, locker rooms and a therapy room with sauna. These facilities will also be used by the Regional Police Academy for its physical training component.

Senator Judith Zaffirini Library - The Zaffirini Library named for State Senator Judith Zaffirini is located on the LCC South campus in Building B. It is equipped with a Circulation desk, Reference Desk, a Media Center, a copy room, and a computer lab where bibliographic instruction is offered. Interlibrary loan services are available online and through the Circulation Desk, and bibliographic instruction sessions can be scheduled through the Reference Desk. The library has the capacity to house 18,000 volumes. Online and Internet services are readily available throughout the building.

Notable alumni


  1. Cody Permenter, "Fewer Students: Stats: LCC's enrollment figures show drop of 1,300 in 5 years", Laredo Morning Times, October 22, 2013, p. 1
  2. Texas Education Code, Section 130.185, "Laredo Community College District Service Area".
  3. Andrew Kreighbaum, "LCC: Raises, Bonus OK'd", Laredo Morning Times, August 24, 2012, pp. 1, 8A
  4. JJ Velasquez, "Paying Tuition: Statistics: TAMIU, for which 90 percent of the students qualify, LCC easier to pay for", Laredo Morning Times, July 15, 2013, pp. 1, 12A
  5. Nick Georgiou, "LCC eyes record enrollment for fall 2010," Laredo Morning Times, July 15, 2010, p. 6A
  6. Judith Rayo, "LCC eyes enrollment turnaround", Laredo Morning Times, May 24, 2015, p. 3A
  7. Judith Rayo (December 27, 2015). "Turnaround in enrollment at LCC". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  8. Nick Georgiou, Laredo Morning Times, April 14, 2012, pp. 1, 10A
  9. ""Status of LCC's recent probation", July 18, 2012". KGNS-TV. Archived from the original on 2012-08-07. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  10. JJ Velasquez (July 20, 2012). "LCC on probation: Accreditation in jeopardy after non-compliance". Laredo Morning Times. p. 1. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  11. Stephanie Ibarra, "Board tackles failure", Laredo Morning Times, August 3, 2012, pp. 1, 11A
  12. JJ Velasquez, "Community benefits from higher education", Laredo Morning Times, p. 1J, January 27, 2013
  13. JJ Velasquez, "Laredo Community College: Probationary sanction removed", Laredo Morning Times, June 26, 2013, p. 1
  14. Monica R. Walters, "LCC ranked 10th in online list", Laredo Morning Times, July 11, 2015, p. 3
  15. "LCC named one of the best community colleges in Texas". Laredo Morning Times. April 1, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  16. "Report: LCC has lowest student debt in the nation". Laredo Morning Times. January 14, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  17. "Laredo Community College". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  18. "3 recently renovated LCC buildings re-open to public". Laredo Morning Times. May 4, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  19. Stephanie Ibarra, "LCC South may get help," Laredo Morning Times, April 26, 2012, p. 3A
  20. "Judge Louis H. Bruni". Archived from the original on August 14, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  21. "Esther Buckley Biography". Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  22. "Esther Gonzalez-Arroyo Buckley (March 29, 1948 – February 11, 2013)", Laredo Morning Times, February 15, 2013, p. 10A
  23. Distinguished alumni, Laredo Morning Times, October 7, 2001, p. 11 A
  24. "2014 honoree: Mercurio Martinez, Jr.: Former councilman, county judge to receive higher education award for community work," Laredo Morning Times, February 6, 2014, p. 4D
  25. "Robert Garcia, "Santos (from Page 1A)", p. 16A, October 1, 1999" (PDF). Laredo Morning Times. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  26. "Meet Tano". Retrieved April 27, 2014.

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