Sowela hosts listen and learn tour

Technical college promotes programs for high school students

<div class="Content"><p class="indent">Sowela Technical Community College hosted its “Education in Action Training” on Monday and showed Calcasieu Parish School Board leadership what the campus can offer recent high school graduates.</p><p class="indent">Neil Aspinwall, Sowela chancellor, mentioned the Senior Technical Education Program and Sowela Transfer Academy Increasing Readiness for Seniors. Both programs allow high school students to earn college credit for a two-year college or a four-year university.</p><p class="indent">“You can get anywhere from here,” he said. “Sowela is not your granddaddy’s trade school.”</p><p class="indent">Wayne Bebee, college and transitions coordinator, told visitors to make sure students are aware of all of their options, rather than boxing them into one path based on their academic path or perceived goals.</p><p class="indent">“No matter where their final goals are, make sure you consider Sowela,” he said.</p><p class="indent">The $62 million worth of improvements at Sowela over the last few years have led to more student enrollment and retention, Aspinwall said.</p><p class="indent">“Our outside finally matches our inside,” he said, quoting Paula Hellums, Sowela’s vice chancellor for academic affairs.</p><p class="indent">Many classes offered at Sowela were created to fill the needs of local industries. Jonathan Darbonne, welding program coordinator, said they “teach above quality” to prepare future welders to “hang with” welders that have years of experience.</p><p class="indent">Sunshine Radford, aviation program manager, said 30 percent of aircraft mechanics are expected to retire by 2020. Because of this, Sowela is preparing its aviation students to not only pass the Federal Aviation Administration exam, but also get the industry credentials to be “all the more employable” beyond graduation, she said.</p><p class="indent">Lewis Williams, automotive technology instructor, said many students are already “gearheads” when they start at Sowela, but become “better-talented and even multi-talented” over time.</p><p class="indent">Robert Pete, CPSB director of high schools, said colleges like Sowela are important for the continued success of high school graduates. He cited numbers on the state and national levels that indicate colleges don’t have high graduation rates.</p><p class="indent">“We have a large amount of students who are ready for, but not prepared for that next step, and Sowela is a good avenue to gain that preparation,” Pete said.</p><p class="indent">Southern Business and Development Magazine recently named Sowela the best community college for workforce training in Louisiana.</p></div>

<strong>‘We have a large amount of students who are ready for, but not prepared for that next step, and Sowela is a good avenue to gain that prepration.’</strong>

<strong>Robert Pete</strong>

Calcasieu Parish School Board director of high schools

””<p>Sowela Arts and Humanities building</p>RickHickmanPhotographer
https://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/6/d3/ea1/6d3ea1c8-3a6c-11e7-a1c2-0f91a5883b36.b31acdd1ef972ec0a2acb8ea5b28d153.png

Local News

La. abortion ban holds in court once again

Crime

UPDATE: Husband, wife both charged with molestation, cruelty

life

Classes back in session: Lake Charles Charter begins 12th year

Crime

UPDATE: Reward offered in Oakdale homicide

life

Gerald Sims: A neighborly neighbor that others can count on

Crime

One arrested, one sought in molestation case

Local News

Two Police Jury buildings closed due to water main break

Local News

La. continues to average 1,500-3,000 COVID cases daily

Local News

Drink and Draw: CYPHACON social event allows ‘like-minded geeks’ to gather, have fun

Local News

Fort Polk name change could cost $1.4M

Local News

Kathleen Mayo: She’s had passion for teaching since age 9

Local News

Seersucker and a Solitaire: Lively fundraiser to benefit St. Nicholas Center for Children

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Focus on children, families

life

Attention to detail, respect for ingredients come naturally to Calla chef

Local News

CPSB cybersecurity breach investigation handed over to DA

Crime

Cpt. Darbonne mentors young students against violence, bullying

life

McNeese’s Victory Day celebrates kids with special needs

Local News

Photo Gallery: McNeese Football ‘Victory Day’

Local News

Body of missing canoeist recovered from Ouiska Chitto Creek

Crime

8/9: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Business

Pain at the Pump: Panelists give input on why gas prices have gotten so high

Crime

Charges upgraded in Oakdale shooting

Crime

8/8: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

Arrest made in 11th Street homicide investigation