SOWELA achieves record enrollment for spring semester
Southwest Louisiana Technical Community College (SOWELA) enrolled 3,275 students for its spring 2014 semester, which marks the second semester in a row that SOWELA has achieved record enrollment growth of over 20 percent.
Dr. Neil Aspinwall, Chancellor, said growth in Process Technology, Industrial Instrumentation, and Practical Nursing programs actually mirror industry needs, as well as growth in the General Education area. General education courses at SOWELA can be transferred to four-year schools and counted towards a Bachelor degree.
As new businesses move to the area and existing businesses begin to expand, the need for well-trained office and managerial personnel increases, as well. As a result, SOWELA’s Office Systems Technology programs, which offer associate degrees in accounting, computer networking and programming, are also beginning to see solid growth. The culinary arts program, graphic arts, and drafting programs are growing at a steady pace as the curriculum in those areas is centered on the job opportunities unique to this area. Automotive programs, especially Collision Repair, are seeing steady growth, as well.
SOWELA is also considered to be a military friendly school, with over 180 veterans attending.
SOWELA’s non-credit enrollment is also growing as partnerships with industry expand. An aircraft maintenance program developed in cooperation with Northrop Grumman resulted in an 86 percent employment upon completion rate. Similar programs are being developed in other industries to capitalize on the need for short-term specialized training.
The purchase of 10 acres of land is being finalized in Jennings and plans are underway to construct a new $10 million campus adjacent to Jennings High School. The City of Jennings, the Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury, and the Jeff Davis Parish School Board contributed $400,000 to purchase the land on which the new SOWELA facility will be built.
With so many parish entities throwing their financial support behind the project, it’s obvious that a new campus here in Jennings will benefit the community as a whole – in more ways than one.
Record enrollment there is good news, not only for our city and our parish, but our workforce in general.
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