Is LSSC Meeting Its Values: What Do The Students Want?

By: Samantha Redditt
“Some advisors don’t give you exactly what you need when you’re planning for classes and the future”, said second year LSSC student Cristian Crawford, sharing his opinion based on his experience with Lake Sumter staff. “It’s ok to make mistakes sometimes but, when it comes to a student’s future, there’s no room for error!”, he continued. Another second year student, Stephanie Conti, stated that she’d like to see a greater social media output from the school. An anonymous participant wished there was more of a presence on campus for the arts, such as music or theatre. With a student population that is growing more each year, a school such as Lake Sumter needs to be in tune with and adaptive to the needs of its students. On the LSSC website, the school claims to abide by five values that should be covering these needs: “Be Affordable, Be the Best, Be Supportive, Be Challenging, and Be Student-Centered”. However, let’s see how LSSC students feel about the institution’s representation of its standards.

After surveying Lake Sumter students on the South Lake campus, many seem to be satisfied with the school as far as it’s values go. The biggest issues students are having involve the quality of education and the student-centeredness of the school. Some other changes they’d wish to see are included in the accompanying pie chart. Kaitlin Canterbury, LSSC South Lake’s SGA President had a lot to say on this subject, both on changes she would like to see and projects that Student Government is currently working on. “It’d be nice to see more of a partnership with LSSC and Lake Tech, to offer career certificates”, she said while adding that there should be more health-centric events, better-priced vending machines, more options for non-STEM majors, and better grass on campus. Kaitlin also revealed some developments that the SGA is currently working on, such as advocating for a gym on the South Lake campus, trying to convert Building 1 into a student-life area with the addition of the new science building this Fall, and getting more ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) training implemented to keep students safe and informed in dangerous situations.
A survey by U.S. News tells us the most common complaints from college students often include tuition cost, class scheduling, transferring credits, and the quality of professors. However, each college varies in its strengths and weaknesses, and Lake Sumter is no exception. David Weber, Executive Director of Planning and Effectiveness, implements hundreds of bi-annual surveys to Lake Sumter State College students. “The results of the survey data get built into college planning process”, Weber stated in an interview. “Our main areas to improve according to the 2015 surveys included parking, advising, financial aid and scholarships, and student growth”. Although this survey is helpful in some areas, the survey is redundant _ bubble-in questions are also restrictive when it comes to actual input of individual students’ thoughts.
Mr. Weber responded to the concerns over the quality and diversity of classes by saying the school wants to put more focus on general education courses and add more online classes. Implementing technological resources, such as Starfish featured on Blackboard, proactively engage the student and improves student retention. However, many anonymous survey participants admitted that the online classes are taking away quality from the education they’re currently receiving.
When asked about improvements in career opportunity he said, “We have been researching a handful of new program opportunities, some are looked at as being implemented this fall or next spring”. Weber also confirmed the previously mentioned collaboration with Lake Tech in the future, so students can easily move from both institutions. Other plans include replacing Blackboard with a program called Canvas learning management system instead of Blackboard and the beginning of the Health Science Collegiate Academy, a program this coming Fall where a partnership between Lake Sumter State College and Lake County public schools will bring more people into higher education earlier, to earn an associates or college credits during high school.
            Will this year’s anonymous surveys reflect the desires of current and incoming students? Will SGA be able to follow through with the changes they’ve mentioned? Finally, will you make your voice heard? If you are dissatisfied with some aspects of Lake Sumter State College, now’s the time to make it clear as our school continues to make changes and grow. Utilize the school’s suggestion box, attend an SGA meeting, or start a petition. Together we can make Lake Sumter State College a better place for everyone.

Clermont Home to Supercross Legends

By: Sarah Oulman
CLERMONT, Florida – Aldon Baker, one of the most well-known and successful trainers within the Supercross community, is currently training several of the sport’s top riders at his facility, which is located in the Clermont area. In an interview at this training facility, Baker gave a glimpse into what it is actually like to train these professional riders.
            When I asked Baker about his journey to becoming a trainer in his field, he explained that he initially trained individuals, specifically bicyclists, using cardio and strength conditioning techniques. Baker’s cycling career brought him from his home in South Africa to America, and once in the United States, the brand Oakley steered him towards working with motorcycles.
            Baker also explained that his elite training program did not come together quickly. According to the celebrity trainer, “The [conditioning and training] developed over time… It took 17 years to create the full training package”. He utilized his training from his own professional career in cycling and was able to accomplish a great feat, as he is now both well-known and respected throughout his profession.
            For many in the Motocross and Supercross communities, it is common knowledge that many of the professional riders train and live in either California or Florida. In most other places, the conditions wouldn’t allow the riders to constantly train, but in this sport, it is crucial that the athletes are always training and staying in peak condition. During the interview, Baker addressed the facility’s location in Central Florida and explained that the biggest advantage of the area is the weather. “Florida has good clay for tracks, and the riders can train all year round,” he stated. In addition, these professionals prefer Central Florida for several other reasons. Baker shed light on the fact that one major benefit to training in Central Florida is that there is an international airport close to the facility. He explained that “around 90% of races are located on the East Coast,” and with
the airport in such close proximity, the location is perfect for the riders.
Aldon is currently training several of Supercross’ most elite riders, many of whom are currently claiming the top spots in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. These riders include stars such as Ryan Dungey, Marvin Musquin, Zach Osborne, and Jason Anderson.
A press release from Racer X Online in 2014 explains that Baker has also been the “athletic trainer to champions past and present like Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, Ken Roczen, Adam Cianciarulo, and more…” (“First Look…”). Ryan Dungey, pictured above on the far right, is currently runner-up in the point standings for the 450’s in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship; while Marvin Musquin, pictured on the far left, is following close behind in 3rd position.
            For those who aren’t as familiar with Supercross as other readers may be, this sport can be defined as “a motorcycle race held in a stadium on a dirt track having hairpin turns and high jumps”. To succeed in Supercross, riders must consistently stay on top of their game, train as much as possible, and be committed to the sport itself.
Consider the fact that the Supercross races are widely televised and watched by many from across the U.S. and the world. These races attract “nearly one million fans in live attendance,” as well as engage with “10 million viewers around the globe weekly”. Once you know that, it is pretty incredible to think that some of the most celebrated riders live and train right here in Clermont. These top athletes have thousands of followers across their social media accounts. However, if you were to run into one of them in Starbucks or Wawa, would you recognize them? For those who follow Supercross or are involved personally in the sport, the answer would probably be yes. While this may be true, for the vast majority of those living in the area, the chances are that these superstar riders would go undetected.
Lastly, I thought it was important to ask Baker about the types of riders he accepts to train at his facility. The renowned trainer revealed that, when he chooses who to work with, he looks for “an individual with a good work ethic, consistency, talent, and ability". Baker went on to explain that his program is extremely difficult, and in order to succeed in both the training and competitions, riders must be able to eliminate any distractions and be motivated enough to give the sport their all.

Whether you have heard of Supercross before or this is your first time learning about the sport, I definitely encourage you to watch one of the races on television or attend one, if possible. The riders work exceptionally hard to compete well in the races, and so much more goes into the process than just simply getting on a motorcycle. Trainers, such as Aldon Baker, push the athletes to do their best every single day, and hopefully, you were able to get a glimpse into the lives of these hidden Supercross stars, many of whom live right here in Clermont. Although the championship is currently coming to a close, there are still a few more opportunities to watch these races in the following weeks. You can tune-in to the races on FS1, FS2, ESPN, FOX Sports GO, and more. For more information regarding the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship or how to get involved, check out the Supercross Live website here:

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