LSU System Board of Supervisors Hears Report on Implementation of LSU Shreveport Commitment Plan
LSU Shreveport to Hold Open House Event on Feb. 7 at Noel Memorial Library
BATON ROUGE – On Friday, the LSU System Board of Supervisors were briefed on progress by LSU Shreveport officials on a legislatively backed plan aimed at improving student enrollment and retention at the university.
The wide-ranging endeavor, dubbed the LSU Shreveport Commitment Plan, calls for coordinated action between units of the LSU System to achieve these goals.
In the executive summary of a status report drafted by LSU Shreveport officials and delivered during the board’s Academic and Student Affairs, Achievement and Distinction Committee meeting, the plan is described as “a living document which will evolve with the ongoing participation of all partners and the changing needs of the Shreveport-Bossier community.”
The components of the plan fall into five broad categories. These include:
- a system-wide strategy to provide new and updated academic programs to meet the needs of the Shreveport-Bossier City region;
- a commitment to increase access to both traditional and non-traditional students through increased use of online teaching;
- a commitment to formalize transfer student agreements with the region’s community colleges;
- a commitment to creating academic program efficiencies through a consortium of regional public and private postsecondary institutions; and
- a commitment to enhance the LSU Shreveport academic experience, increase student enrollment and improve retention.
During the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, three resolutions – SR 145, SCR 130 and HR 112 – were adopted, addressing the importance of the implementation of the LSU-Shreveport Commitment Plan. The resolutions also called for the creation of the LSU Shreveport Commitment Plan Implementation Group, which monitors the plan’s progress, and for semiannual reports to be presented to the Louisiana Senate and House committees on education over the next five academic years, and to the Board of Regents for the next three academic years.
In the plan’s first year, the report reads, LSU Shreveport began offering collaborative degree programs in petroleum engineering and construction management. Additional programs in sports management and human resource education are slated to begin in the fall 2013 semester, and plans to add more programs are under review.
LSU Shreveport is also expanding many of its current programs, according to the report, with plans to offer Doctor of Education in Leadership and Doctor of Psychology degrees. Both programs have had respective letters of intent approved by the LSU System, and program proposals are being prepared for approval by the Louisiana Board of Regents. Master’s programs in criminal justice and history, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in digital arts, are in development. In addition, a dual degree in biology and clinical lab science is being developed between LSU Shreveport and the LSU Health Science Center Shreveport.
To enhance enrollment and student accessibility, according to the report, LSU Shreveport has also recently entered into a relationship with Dallas-based firm Academic Partnerships to offer a Master of Education degree program through online instruction, with similar academic programs through the partnership currently in the planning phase.
In regards to improving the student transfer process, the report states that an outreach office has been established on the Bossier Parish Community College campus, with another being planned for the campus of Southern University-Shreveport.
Informal discussions have taken place between regional institutions regarding academic program efficiencies, the report states, and will continue as articulation agreements and course equivalency at state schools moves forward.
Results from a Noel Levitz satisfaction survey regarding efforts to enhance the academic experience at LSU Shreveport have aided officials in developing a strategic plan to improve areas of weakness, according to the report. Strategies put in place to increase retention include an early-alert system to identify students in need of assistance; improvements to the academic advising process; and a comprehensive call team, composed of faculty and staff, tasked to contact students who do not re-enroll from previous semesters.
A full copy of the LSU Shreveport Commitment Plan report is available on the LSU System website, within the February 2013 meeting agenda and supporting documents. These documents can be found at http://www.lsusystem.edu/docs/agenda/2013/agenda20130201j.pdf.
To share the progress of the plan with the Shreveport-Bossier City community, LSU Shreveport will hold an open house on Thursday, Feb. 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Noel Memorial Library. Representatives from both LSU and LSU Shreveport will be on hand to answer questions, and information will be available on all degree programs included in the joint commitment plan. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact, LSU Shreveport Director of Media and Public Relations Brooke Rinaudo at 318-0797-5108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.