CLTC to Expand Mission and Program Offerings

The following is a Press Release from the Louisiana Community and Technical College System:

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) and Central Louisiana Technical College (CLTC) received a positive endorsement from the Louisiana Board of Regents during its recent meeting, giving the go ahead for the institution to convert to Central Louisiana Technical Community College. The approval from Board of Regents will allow the institution to expand its mission and program offerings at its six campus locations throughout the Cenla region. The approval by the Regents now allows the initiative to move forward to Legislature during the 2012 Legislative Session.

"We are committed to the creation of a technical community college in the Alexandria region and we have been for some time now," said Joe D. May, LCTCS president. "Most of us are aware that the Central region of our state is greatly underserved when it comes to two-year college services. We're pleased to bring new opportunities to the citizens of this part of our state and to improve workforce training efforts for local business and industry partners."

The expanded mission is the direct result of a formal study that was conducted over the past two years. During 2010 and 2011, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) conducted an extensive assessment of community college service needs in Central Louisiana. Nearly 30 individuals were interviewed as a part of the study in addition to the review of population projections, personal income information, commuting patterns, residence statistics, along with detailed college participation data. The results of the formal study concluded that the area of the state was the most underserved when it came to community college offerings and that the current providers offered a scattered approach to the delivery of services. It also concluded that there was no single 'front door' to two-year college services.

The study recommended that LCTCS work to create a technical community college in the Alexandria region that would serve as a single front door to two-year college services and provide a full array of programs and services, including developmental education for both youth and adults. The college will also assume responsibility for adult basic education as well as arrange for the delivery of the transfer of general education curriculum.

"This is an exciting time for Central Louisiana and the addition of a technical community college will ensure that all levels of postsecondary education services are accessible to the citizens living in and around Alexandria. This is a key addition necessary to grow their economy and allow them to flourish," said Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell.

"We are enthusiastic and grateful to the Louisiana Board of Regents for their strong endorsement and support. This evaluation responds to the demands of our community's business and industry for workforce training and transfer opportunities for students. We look forward to building and strengthening relationships across the Cenla area," said CLTC Interim Director James "Jimmy" Sawtelle III.

As part of this transition, going forward, CLTC will work closely with Louisiana State University at Alexandria on a plan for the orderly transfer of remaining associate degree programs and the delivery of developmental education courses from LSUA to CLTCC. LSUA is currently in the process of transitioning into a four year university.

James Clinton, president and CEO, Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance said, "The business community in Central Louisiana has been clear in its message that we need more and better training in the area beyond high school degrees and below baccalaureates. We have employers ready to hire the graduates of a strong technology-and business-oriented campus. We are grateful to the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Higher Education for understanding the needs of the business community and taking action to close the skills gap in Central Louisiana."

Central Louisiana Technical College enrolled 2,397 students in fall of 2011. It consists of a main campus in Alexandria and five satellite campuses, the Huey P. Long campus in Winnfield, the Lamar Salter campus in Leesville, the Oakdale campus in Oakdale, the Shelby M. Jackson campus in Ferriday and the Avoyelles campus in Cottonport.