SOWELA student enrollment continues to grow

With more businesses planning to call the lake area home, colleges are also already seeing an impact.

It's a record growth for Southwest Louisiana Technical Community College for the spring semester.

"We're growing and we're adding more buildings and I think the word is getting out that we're a well kept secret that you can get a good job and a good career by attending SOWELA," said Chancellor, Neil Aspinwall.

More than 3,000 students are enrolled at SOWELA. That's an enrollment growth of more than 20% for the college.

SOWELA officials said as industries in the lake area plan to expand, so do majors at the community college.

"Whenever I first looked into SOWELA they didn't have an RN program and now they're offering an RN program and that's going to finish with the building within the next year or so," said student Angelle Wilson.

One-on-one faculty involvement is another reason SOWELA officials said it's setting the school apart.

"They have more time here then they would at a university," said student Kennan Fontenot. "Every teacher seems to be like call me if you need anything."

A new $8 million student union is also in the works, along with plans to construct a new $10 million Jennings campus.

"Our mission is workforce development so we need these facilities and expanded capacity to be able to provide the training for those jobs," said Aspinwall.

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