The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, or Perkins V, serves as the primary federal investment in Career and Technical Education (CTE). The Louisiana Perkins V State Plan depends on having strong regional teams to ensure rigorous education and training opportunities that lead to high-wage, high-skill, in-demand occupations are available to all citizens. The purpose of the regional approach is to better target the needs of industry, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and to ensure that Perkins funds are focused on achieving the greatest outcomes. Leveraging the regional team model which already existed under Perkins IV, the previous regional teams were consolidated into eight coalitions that match the Regional Labor Market Areas (RLMA) identified by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Each coalition, led by a Perkins Regional Coalition Coordinator (PRCC), consists of stakeholders vested in CTE- (1) secondary, post-secondary, adult, and corrections education, (2) business and industry, (3) workforce and economic development, (4) students and parents, and (5) foundation and community partners. These members help to assess and inform CTE programming in their region by utilizing local needs assessments and employment data to support planning and decisions. We will highlight a few of the success stories from the field.
The students in Region 3 are well on their way to high-wage, high-skill, in-demand occupations at Fletcher Technical Community College.
Pictured abbbove is Wilfred Streams (Wil). He is 31 years old and from Raceland. He is a 2007 graduate of Central Lafourche High School and joined the Fletcher family in 2017. He enjoys Italian food and competitive gaming in his free time.
Wil is enrolled in a Health Science CTE Program of Study where he is considered a nontraditional participant because of his gender. According to the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), nontraditional occupations employ less than 25% of males or females.
Wil’s focus, the cardiopulmonary program, is a personal passion of his. Wil's mother has a tracheostomy and suffers from severe asthma that frequently has her hospitalized. Wil knows that as a future respiratory therapist, he can ensure that his mother always has the best care that she deserves.
Christy Unbehagen (above) is a 2nd semester ASN student. She has been described by her nursing instructor as “compassionate, the kind of student nurse that pays attention to the details”. Christy defines nursing as “not only a career, but it’s a way to give back to the community “. We are so proud of the student nurse Christy represents here at Fletcher!
Makayla Bergeron (above) is 22 years old, Medical Laboratory Technician student from Dulac, Louisiana, and a 2017 graduate of Ellender Memorial High School. Her hobbies include running long distance and reading. She has a very smart and energetic puppy named Opie and refers to her mother and father as amazing. She chose Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) simply out of interest and passion for medical science. With her degree, she plans to enter the clinical laboratory field and contribute as much as she possibly can and is committed to continuing to learn every day so she can provide accurate and quality results to the surrounding communities. Makayla is a joy to teach and the clinical sites rave about her determination and work ethic. She will make a great Medical Laboratory Technician.
PRCC Lead: Region 3
The students and faculty at South Louisiana Community College understand that strong relationships positively impact student achievement. Dr. Jeanine Thomas authored the following story for the college.
Former Student to a Registered Nurse: A Student’s and Instructor’s Perspective
In January 2021, Mrs. Helen Durieux, a SLCC RN instructor received a monoclonal antibody therapy used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. While scheduling an appointment, to Mrs. Durieux’s surprise, she was recognized by a former student, Casey Andrepont.
Casey Andrepont, a former SLCC RN student graduated in May 2020. The highlight of her studies at SLCC was the clinical experience. “I felt ready comfortable. It solidified what I wanted to do.” Mrs. Shawndolyn Lebine was my favorite instructor. “I felt like she really pushed us and if I did not know anything, she was educating us in a way that would make our wheels turn. She knew we knew it, and she would just have to pull it out of us. Advice that Ms. Andrepont wants to share with future nurses is to “learn as much as you can, be a sponge. You will not learn everything before you leave school, but it is good to have a foundation in some areas such as assessment.”
Currently, Mrs. Andrepont is employed at Ochsner University Hospital and Clinics as an ICU nurse. When not working in the ICU unit, she works extra shifts in the COVID-19 Infusion Center. Ms. Andrepont is proud to be an ICU nurse. She “loves patient care and being able to give them what they need.” She sees herself working long term as an ICU nurse. When asked, why do you work extra shifts in the COVID-19 Infusion Center, Ms. Andrepont stated, “because I work with COVID-19 patients so often, it is a nice change to help patient who are not intubated.” Ms. Andrepont also appreciates that she can help COVID-19 patients before that are admitted to the ICU unit. It was in the Infusion Center that she provided patient care to Mrs. Helen Durieux.
Mrs. Helen Durieux, an SLCC RN instructor, enjoys “outpouring her nursing knowledge and experience and imputing it into students. I teach first semester and second semester students; I get the opportunity to see their growth from the beginning. I am excited because I am doing something right…it is my passion! I have taught nursing for many years, but it was not until I came to academia at SLCC that I felt like I found my niche.”
When asked, how did she feel to know a former student would provide her patient care, Mrs. Durieux response was, “I was excited to know that she was out of school less than one year and I knew she would take care of me.” Mrs. Helen stated she was honored for her to be her nurse. Mrs. Helen stated “she is honored and proud to work at SLCC. Who better to take care of me as a nurse than our students? I can see Casey used the knowledge and skills we taught her. Look at what we do!
“From a former student and a faculty perspective, both Ms. Andrepont and Mrs. Durieux found their love and passion at SLCC. It gives us great pleasure and joy to know that SLCC RN program is producing passionate and competent nurses. Students introduction into the Nursing profession is an amazing privilege we have as nursing educators. It is more amazing and rewarding when we receive excellent patient care from a Registered Nurse who was a former SLCC student. SLCC Everyday Excellence is surpassing SLCC campuses and is entering the workforce” said Dr. Jeanine Thomas, Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Heath.