The Courier, Houma, La., on state two-year colleges growth:
Louisiana’s community and technical colleges are growing, and that growth is strong and steady.
“This is certainly something we’re expecting,” said Fletcher Technical Community College Chancellor Travis Lavigne, “and it’s certainly the case in this area.”
The fact is that two-year schools and technical schools provide a wide range of services that are attractive to a growing number of students.
And that is clear from the numbers.
Two-year schools across Louisiana showed a 3 percent increase in enrollment in the 2011-12 school year.
During that same time period, technical schools — where students focus on certification in various trades — shot up by more than 12 percent.
We are fortunate in our region to have a good mix of educational offerings — from Nicholls State University to Fletcher to Louisiana Technical College — that can cater to a variety of different demands.
The two-year and technical schools are an integral part of the educational process, and they represent a growing part of what local students are doing.
Part of the equation has changed in recent years.
As Louisiana’s four-year schools have implemented and strengthened admission requirements, more students have taken advantage of community and technical colleges’ academic and vocational courses.
That makes sense.
The change in admission expectations has resulted in more qualified students applying to, being accepted by and attending four-year universities. It has also meant some students who in the past would have attended four-year colleges can begin their educational careers at the community and technical colleges.
By doing that, the various types of colleges and universities are able to focus in more clearly on their missions, better serving all their students.
A great byproduct of this process is that Louisiana’s community and technical colleges are growing by leaps and bounds. Their collective enrollment has nearly doubled just since 2007.
The continued growth of these excellent institutions is a trend that looks like it’s here to stay.
As these students avail themselves of the wide variety of educational offerings available right here, they are preparing themselves to be tomorrow’s leaders in business, academia and industry.
And the future is getting brighter all the time.