Baton Rouge, La. - The Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) has reached a milestone this October, celebrating 20 years of student success and meeting the workforce needs of business and industry statewide. In October 1998, through a constitutional amendment the people of Louisiana voted to create the LCTCS. Today, the LCTCS is comprised of 12 unified, open-access two-year colleges focused on "Changing Lives and Creating Futures" and providing the very best in academic services, cutting edge workforce development training, and inspiring adult education courses.
The creation of the LCTCS was the vision of then Governor Mike Foster and was driven primarily by the need to increase statewide workforce training capabilities. Former Louisiana State Senator and current Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne, authored Senate Bill 1, the constitutional amendment to create the LCTCS, as well as Senate Bill 2, the measure that spelled out the details of how the system would be implemented.
"I'm a proud parent because of what the LCTCS has been able to accomplish over the last twenty years", said Dardenne. "It has been enduring in a very positive way for the State of Louisiana. The creation of the LCTCS has been one of my greatest legislative accomplishments".
Since its inception, LCTCS has exceeded the expectations of Governor Foster, the state legislature, business and industry, and the people of Louisiana. Over the last 20 years, LCTCS colleges have enrolled more than 2.1 million students, including 150,000 in 2017-2018. During that time span, colleges have also awarded more than 327,000 credentials which is an average of 16,000 credentials per-year. In 2017-2018, more than 24,000 students graduated from a two-year college, 80 percent of whom graduated with a credential in a high-demand, high-income program.
To commemorate 20 years, the LCTCS recently honored several pioneers of the system at its Annual Conference in New Orleans. Honorees included Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, who was presented with the Murphy J. Mike Foster Award
for Extraordinary Contributions to Community Colleges. Former System Presidents Dr. G. Wayne Brown (1998-2001), Dr. Walter G. Bumphus (2001-2007), and Dr. Joe D. May (2007-2014) each received the LCTCS Presidential Medal of Honor.
"Serving on the LCTCS Board of Supervisors has been one of the greatest joys of my professional career", said Board of Supervisors Chair Stevie Toups. "I am proud of our transformative policy work that is removing barriers for students and the new facilities statewide that have unequivocally made a difference in the perception of our colleges. But I am most proud of the lives of students and families that have been fundamentally improved by the services our colleges provide, the leadership of our chancellors and directors, and the quality of our faculty and staff. This organization is something we can all be proud of".
"We are grateful to the people of Louisiana for the privilege to serve them every day", said LCTCS President Monty Sullivan. "We have been fortunate from the very beginning to have the most committed Board of Supervisors anywhere in the country. Because of the Board's leadership and cohesion, we have been able to deliver on the mission". He added, "Thank you to Governors Mike Foster, Kathleen Blanco, and Bobby Jindal for supporting the mission of two-year colleges. And a very special thank you to Governor John Bel Edwardsand the legislature for providing funding stability this year. Louisiana is truly fortunate to have a governor [like Edwards] focused on education from Pre-K through higher education and workforce, and who understands the critical role that two-year colleges play".
Throughout the remainder of the academic year, LCTCS will distribute various content celebrating its twenty-year anniversary. Be sure to follow @golctcs on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Click here for additional photos from the LCTCS Annual Conference.