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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Family In Focus

By Jill Yapsuga

As the oldest community college in the Lehigh Valley, Lehigh Carbon Community College has impacted the lives of not just individuals, but entire families. Students become alumni, and their children make the same choice when it comes time to decide on an educational path after high school. For many families, all roads lead to LCCC.

Years after graduating from LCCC with an A.A.S in Accounting, earning a bachelor’s degree and being in the workforce, Arthur (Art) Taschler ‘82 became a member on the LCCC Board of Trustees. His three sons, Arthur III ‘14, Joey ‘10 and Jake ‘19, also chose to start their education at LCCC. Now, when he is on campus, Art finds the size and scale of the school much larger than when he attended. He notes, “It is much more modern and a true college campus compared to my memory of it in the 80’s when I was a student. The buildings and the campus are very much a college campus, but the faculty, administration and students make it feel like a community.”

In 1982 when Art graduated, the college comprised the Schnecksville campus but many of the current buildings wouldn’t be built for another two decades. As the college has grown, so has the sense of pride students and alumni take in the school.

Many four-year universities and colleges are viewed as legacy schools, where generations of families attend. Community colleges play the same role in many families.Parents attend, as do their children and grandchildren. It is LCCC’s sense of community that attracts families looking for a school where students can test the waters of higher education and hone in on a specialty. As Joey Taschler reflects on the benefits of attending community college, “It gave me that really good college experience without having to take the plunge right into a four-year university and got me prepared for when I went to Moravian.”

Jake Taschler entered LCCC through the SEED program, which provides academic and career planning support for students with disabilities. His reasons for attending were similar to that of his brother Joey; unsure of what path he wanted to take, attending LCCC allowed him to get a feel for college and explore his interests. He plans to earn another degree from LCCC in Business Management and Administration.

Just as their father came back to LCCC in a different capacity as a member of the board, Joey and Jake are proud to now work for the college. Joey found himself in Academic Services after having worked in retail positions for several years. Of coming back to work at his alma mater, “Working as an Academic Services Generalist for Humanities and Mathematics has helped me see what both sides of college are like, from the viewpoint of a student and now as an employee.”

Jake, who graduated in 2019, is a member of the Educational Support Staff in the Advising Office. He has found being on the administration side of higher education to be fulfilling and allows him to continue to provide the type of support he himself received as a student. “The biggest thing for me is building connection with the students coming in. When they come back in it warms my heart, shows I did a good job to assist that individual,” said Jake.

Joey and Jake find being connected to the school empowering. As Joey says, “I am actively doing things that benefit my community and benefit the people around me and the students that are coming through. I’m helping people move forward in their careers, helping people in the next phase of their life. It’s very rewarding to know that I helped that student and that students now have their degree and they’re successful. That I was part of that process is a very rewarding feeling.”

Thinking about the impact of the college on their family Joey remarks, “We’ve all gotten something from it, and now we all want to give back to it in our own ways.”