McNeese unveils new initiative to increase enrollment

Mcneese initiative

LAKE CHARLES, LA - McNeese State University is on a mission to enroll more students. Today the school announced its "McNeese First Campaign" with the help of companies like Waste Management.

The campaign is geared towards improving existing degree programs along with increasing enrollment.

The announcement was made at a luncheon at the Golden Nugget, alongside Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

McNeese has seen recent improvements in it's enrollment numbers, however, president Daryl Burckel says with the help of private funding they're hoping that number will see a steady increase within the coming years.

"What it means for us is that we're able to put money into programs that are growing, programs that have needs that have been unmet and also for labs and other infrastructure," said Burckel.

Students feel that the school has made major progress recently. They're hopeful that with extra funding it will create a more efficient environment for their studies.

"For some majors, there's only one class offered for the whole semester and if it doesn't fit your schedule then you can't take it and some of them you have to have to graduate," said Robert Rutz. "I know it's difficult because there's only so many professors and hiring professors is obviously expensive because you have to pay salary but maybe this is something that the fund raising could help fix."

Governor Edwards was also on hand to give an update on the current state of economy here in southwest Louisiana.

"The support that we're getting from the private sector for things like higher education, improving the community here in southwest Louisiana, but really across the state is critically important and we just want to highlight it," said Edwards.

As part of the McNeese First Choice Campaign, Waste Management has committed $60,000 as part of a three-year effort to make the university the school of choice for local students.

During the luncheon, Waste Management also introduced a new Thermal Desorption Unit providing secure disposal services for organic contaminated waste streams at its Chemical Waste Management (CWM) facility in Sulphur.

The Thermal Desorption Unit, expected to be in operation later this year at Chemical Waste Management-Lake Charles, provides both environmental and economic benefits to the region and beyond. The $30 million, state-of-the-art technology assists in the handling of oil or chemically contaminated waste streams, which are now shipped far distances for processing. When fully operational, the unit will provide additional full-time, high paying jobs at CWM-Lake Charles.

During the event, Dr. Daryl Burckel, Jim Fish, Waste Management President and CEO, and Governor John Bel Edwards discussed the vision and cooperation of government, academia and industry exhibited by the recent economic growth and opportunity here in southwest Louisiana.

"Without having educated skilled trained employees...that's what Sowela does, that's what Mcneese does..that's what higher education does in general in Louisiana."

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