LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - McNeese State University students are heading back to school for the fall semester.
Dr. Daryl Burckel will be starting his second year as president of the University. He says the number one priority for this semester is the students.
"We are looking forward to having our students back on campus and having them have a great experience, but also, not only in the classroom, but also on campus, so we're focused on our students having a great college experience and so we are excited about that."
Another focus: upping student enrollment across all platforms. Around 7,000 students are registered for this semester.
"Our long-term goal is to get to 9,000 students; back to 9,000 where we once were. We would like to have another 1,000 online. So we would really like to be at 10,000. And if in the next five years we can get there, that would be a great goal and then beyond that we would like to keep growing."
Along with new students this semester, McNeese has a new Chief of Police William Scheufens, a McNeese grad himself with 36 years of law enforcement experience.
"We want parents to know when they drop their students off here that they're safe and that they are always safe. Now naturally, there are some things that can happen, but we want parents to know we will do everything in our power and our police department is constant and vigilant. Will is going to be great for us. He is a very seasoned police officer and he is going to add a lot of value to what takes place on campus."
Classes for McNeese start Monday, August 20.