Baton Rouge, La -- Today, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Board of Supervisors unanimously voted not to increase the cost of attending a 2-year college in the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year. The vote occurred during the Board's meeting in Baton Rouge. Given the concerns of affordability, the Board continued a 2-year practice of not increasing tuition and mandatory fees at LCTCS colleges.
"The single most important measure that Louisiana's Community and Technical Colleges can take to improve access, retention, and completion is to ensure that current and potential students can afford to attend our institutions, said Board Chairman, Tim Hardy. The greatest challenge facing students is affordability and our action today, keeps tuition flat, which will help provide access to academic and workforce training for thousands of Louisianans."
The Board also addressed other affordability and access issues by approving the Go Grant Non-credit Pilot Proposal and the Implementation Plan for "Tops Tech for Adults", as authorized in the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature.
Recognizing the value of short-term, high-value workforce training, and working in coordination with the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, theLCTCS leadership proposed an expansion of the Go Grant program for the 2018-2019 academic year. The proposal seeks to fund scholarships for adult students enrolled in certain non-credit, workforce training programs specifically those programs that lead to a high-value Industry Based Credential. LCTCS colleges will use up to 25% of their approximately $2.5 million Go Grant allocation for the pilot.
Nearly one half of Louisiana's working age adults hold a high school diploma or less, as such, they are unable to fully participate in the state's economy and are more likely to be dependent on state resources. The "Tops Tech for Adults" program calls for the development of a pilot program to establish scholarships for use in programs aligned with high-demand, high-wage occupations by Louisiana's working-age citizens who have earned an alternative high school diploma. To fund the scholarships, colleges will raise funds by working with community and industry partners.
"I am extremely proud of the action taken by our Board today which will most certainly increase access to people all over the state of Louisiana," said Monty Sullivan, LCTCS president. The solution to Louisiana's fiscal challenges and the most effective means of reducing government spending lies in our ability to educate and skill more of Louisiana's adults, ensuring they are fully able to participate in the economy, take care of their families, and contribute to the tax base. More people educated and skilled, more people working, and more people contributing to the economy is good for Louisiana."
In other Board business, today's meeting was Hardy's last as Board Chairman. He served as chairman for the past two years. "It has been an absolute pleasure to work along side Chairman Hardy", said Supervisor Mickey Murphy. "He has led this Board during very difficult financial times and worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the students, communities we serve, and our faculty and staff."
Stephen Toups of Baton Rouge was elected Chairman, Paul Price, Jr., of Winnsboro was elected first Vice-Chair, and Willie Mount of Lake Charles was elected second Vice-Chair. Each will serve a two-year term.