LSU System announces plans for new academic programs at LSU Shreveport

BATON ROUGE—In a plan that mobilizes the academic power of LSU System institutions, the LSU System Work Group on Organization and Collaboration on Wednesday announced creation of up to 24 new degree and certificate programs at LSU Shreveport (LSUS), including Petroleum Engineering and Construction Management that could be available for entering LSUS freshmen as early as this fall.

The LSU Flagship campus in Baton Rouge is a major partner in the unprecedented endeavor, jointly offering six new degree programs at LSUS.  In addition to Petroleum Engineering and Construction Management, other LSU/LSUS collaborative degrees slated for quick deployment include bachelor’s degrees in Human Resource Education, Sports Administration, and International Studies as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

:: Click here to read the LSU System Commitment Plan ::

“Louisiana needs engineers,” said Dr. Richard Koubek, Dean of the College of Engineering at LSU A&M, adding, “The LSU-LSUS partnership allows the state’s flagship university to leverage our vast industrial and academic network to advance the economic and educational needs of North Louisiana.”

No significant additional state funding would be requested under the plan that will be rolled out over an 18-month period and supported primarily with self-generated funds such as tuition.  If any extra money is needed, LSU Work Group officials say, private donations would be solicited from Shreveport/Bossier businesses.

The LSU Work Group plan, aimed at meeting educational goals for both traditional and non-traditional students, is the first response to a unanimous Board of Supervisors resolution in March that acknowledged all LSU institutions have a commitment to the success of LSUS.  That resolution also endorsed an earlier Work Group report, calling for creation of the Northwest Louisiana Initiative, which would be made up of five public and private higher education institutions, including the LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport (LSUHSCS), Centenary College, Southern University Shreveport, and Bossier Parish Community College.  A key feature of the alliance would be formalized transfer agreements with the region’s community colleges and cross-institution class registration.

“The LSU System Commitment Plan exemplifies a strong and detailed commitment from the LSU entities to support the academic needs of the Shreveport/Bossier Metro Area,” said LSUS Chancellor Dr. Vincent Marsala.  “In addition to specific joint degree programs, are a number specially designed programs, efficiencies and processes that are aimed at ensuring enrollment growth of the LSUS campus in serving the immediate needs of our citizens and business.”

A number of the proposed new academic programs at LSUS would be provided mostly online.  Those programs include a bachelor’s in Business Administration, and master’s degrees in Human Services Administration, and Health Administration.  High school dual enrollment courses also would be delivered via distance education.

The Commitment Plan anticipates development of seven other degree programs, including a Doctorate of Education in Learning and Leadership that has been approved by the Board of Supervisors and is awaiting Board of Regents approval, and a Doctorate of Psychology.

Increased use of existing LSUS facilities is also a key factor in the new plan.  LSUS classroom and laboratory space as well as faculty will be called upon in delivering coursework for a Physician’s Assistant’s program and in Child Development, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy, courses already authorized at the Health Sciences Center across town.

Currently, LSUS offers 38 degree and one certificate program to its approximate 4,100 students.

Long-range plans encompass conducting a market study to measure demand for creation of a MD/MBA degree in conjunction with LSUHSCS.

For adult learners who want to advance their careers, nine certificate programs would be created under the rapid response proposal.  Those include: Water Management, Hospitality Management, Accounting, Health Informatics, and Transportation Policy, Operations and Logistics.

In a memo to LSU Board Chairman Hank Danos, outlining the proposal, LSU System President Dr. John Lombardi noted, “One of the key elements in the success of this Commitment Plan is the recognition that all LSU institutions have a commitment to the success of LSUS, reflected in the willingness of campuses to mobilize appropriate programmatic support and academic sponsorship to move academic initiatives into operation quickly and effectively.”

Board of Regents approval is not necessary for programs extended from LSU A&M because the Flagship Campus already has a recognized statewide mission.  Other elements of the plan would be submitted for approval over the next year and a half by the Board of Regents and, as needed, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  According to a timeline for deployment released as part of the Commitment Plan, the LSU Board could be asked to approve some segments the proposal at its April 27th meeting.

For further information, contact Charles Zewe, LSU System Vice President for Communication and External Affairs, 225-578-3941 (czewe@lsu.edu). Inquiries for additional information from LSU Shreveport should be directed to Jennifer Steadman, LSUS Director of Media and Public Relations, 318-797-5108 (www.lsus.edu/pr).  For LSU A&M additional information, contact Kristine M. Calongne, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, LSU Office of Communications and University Relations, 225-578-5985 (kcalong@lsu.edu).

Note: LSU University Relations in Baton Rouge has video footage of the LSU Engineering Visualization Lab and video and stills of the PERRT Lab, which is used to train students on how to prevent oil rig blowouts as part of the Petroleum Engineering program.  Contact Kristine Calongne to set up downloads.