But what it did allow for was a more pronounced partnership with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) concerning its alternative energy program and the new facility built in walking distance from the Crowley campus.
The program, as well as SLCC-Acadian Campus’ latest steps in the process of transition were the main topics for discussion for the Rotary Club of Crowley’s guest speaker Dr. Brady Levrier and former administrator and Rotarian Pat Miers.
The now 73-year-old campus has been through many changes, but its latest one has taken some getting used to as Crowley is now a part of a community college family with SLCC, which has its main campus in Lafayette.
Before the merger, which took effect as of July 1, however, the groundwork for an alternative energy program began to take shape. Miers credited Rep. Jack Moutoucet, D-Crowley, for selling her on the idea. So, the work for grants and program began. Meanwhile, Crowley’s technical college along with others were placed under the SLCC umbrella and Miers felt it was important to step aside and let someone new lead the campus on its new beginning, she promised the staff and faculty, however, that she would make sure the groundwork for the alternative energy program was completed.
Now that the final I’s are being dotted and T’s are being crossed, though, the program is set for launch in January. As Levrier pointed out, the instructor position has already gained several applicants and SLCC hopes to have an instructor hired by Dec. 1 to make sure he or she is ready to go.
Both Miers and Levrier believe this program can give Acadia Parish’s campus longevity and a competitive edge as it is one of a kind.
Despite having to restructure its program after becoming a community college, SLCC-Acadian Campus now can allow for its program to be the two-year beginning to a four-year degree while training students for entry level jobs without the degree.
But the school is not just about its new alternative energy program as it is increasing its presence online and is focusing more on retaining its students, especially with new laws like the Grad Act making funding rely more on students completing courses.
“Retaining our students is a priority now,” said Levrier. “We must get students to finish what they start.”
That hasn’t always been easy though, because as Miers pointed out, “the people [the school] is training, are being put to work.”
One final hurdle awaits SLCC-Acadian Campus as it must now be reaccredited, this time by SACS, as a community college. Accreditation is necessary to ensure to get funds, for example, student aid.
Levrier is confident the school will be ready when its SACS visit occurs next year but knows work still must be done.
“There’s a lot going on in and out of the Acadian Campus and with SLCC,” he said.