College system marks its 20th anniversary

The American Press

The Louisiana Community & Technical College System is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, and it has many reasons to be marking the occasion. The Council for a Better Louisiana said the system has lived up to the vision that many had when it was created by establishing a strong postsecondary presence in every region of the state.

Sowela Technical Community College in Lake Charles is a shining example of how far the system has come. It ranks as one of the best community-technical colleges in the country. Dr. Monty Sullivan, president of the system, has been a dynamic leader and strong spokesman for its thousands of employees and students.

Gov. Mike Foster was responsible for pushing creation of the system, and he was its most vocal supporter. It could be his greatest legacy.

CABL said when the system was created Louisiana had 13 four-year schools under the state Board of Regents, seven two-year schools managed by a hodgepodge of universities or agencies and 44 technical schools run by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Today, the system has seven community colleges, four technical-community colleges and dozens of smaller campuses across every region of the state.

The numbers are astounding. Since the system was created it has enrolled more than 2.1 million students, including 150,000 last year in both community and technical colleges. CABL said in 2017-18 more than 24,000 students graduated from a two-year college and 80 percent of them had a credential for high-demand, high-income jobs.

Graduates, on average, earn about $40,000 a year, but those in high-demand fields are making $55,000 annually.

Max Jordan of Lafayette, a former state senator, was the prime sponsor of the Senate concurrent resolution at the 1997 legislative session that called for the Board of Regents to study creation of a community college system. Jay Dardenne, the current state commissioner of education, was the state senator who sponsored Senate Bill 1 at a 1998 special session that established a constitutional amendment setting up the system.

Our congratulations to Foster and the other visionaries in 1997 and 1998 that helped give young and old in this state a great opportunity to earn a decent living and become contributing members of their communities.””20th anniversary college tech school

life

Students named to Sowela’s spring chancellor’s and deans’ lists

Business

La. economic development bill ‘strategic and sustainable’

life

On Campus: SW La. students recognized for achievements

Local News

No foul play suspected in death of man found in shed

Local News

Area residents updated on Southwest Coastal Project

Local News

CPSO investigating two separate traffic fatalities in Starks

Crime

6/17: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

Historical plaque unveiled to honor father of Jennings

Local News

Area towns, organizations will get boost from pet projects approved by Legislature

Crime

Sheriff investigating Moss Bluff homicide

Local News

Recall petition circulating for Iowa mayor

life

Jeff Davis School Board summer food program begins Monday

Local News

Scooter Hobbs: ACC-SEC challenge may be the future of CWS

Local News

Heavy rainfall expected this week over several days

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Pet project system is unfair

Local News

Area residents talk about their fathers

Local News

Out-of-state students spend summer vacation helping area residents

Crime

Police searching for bank robbery suspect

Local News

Jeff Davis Police Jury members vote to give themselves raises

Local News

Authorities trying to identify body found in shed

Local News

Area woman recipient of National Caregiver of Year Award

Local News

US 165 closure planned next week

Crime

1 of 2 abducted La. children found dead after mother killed

life

Free legal workshop on wills, affidavits set for Saturday