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LA Tech and BPCC to share STEM Building for cyber, workforce education

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BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman, left, and Louisiana Tech President Dr. Les Guice, right, sign an MOU sharing use of BPCC's STEM building which houses the Academic Success Center (Sean Green/Press-Tribune)

Louisiana Tech University President Les Guice and Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) Chancellor Rick Bateman signed a memorandum of understanding today focused on increasing opportunities and access to academic programs in the Bossier City area.

The institutions agreed to share space in the STEM Building known as Building H on the BPCC Campus and in the National Cyber Research Park. Louisiana Tech and BPCC will cooperate on education and training that will respond to regional and national needs in the cybersecurity field as well as other areas of importance for the community.

“As a part of our strategic plan, Louisiana Tech has increased research and teaching on three areas of importance for our country – cybersecurity, energy, and health and wellness,” Guice said. “Our partnership here with BPCC will help us meet our goals for providing services in conjunction with the Cyber Innovation Center including cyber training, veteran support services, and economic and workforce development.”

Bateman added that BPCC is committed to increasing higher education pathways for Louisianians. 

“Expanding educational opportunities in fiscally challenging times requires unprecedented collaboration,” Bateman said. “Creating new opportunities that will strengthen our state requires higher education leaders to see one another as partners rather than competitors. This partnership with Louisiana Tech is possible because Dr. Guice knows that we are stronger together.”

Both institutions will share use of classroom and meeting space in the facility, providing unique opportunities for area residents, including access to graduate programs in business and education, as well as continuing education programs for current professionals in the area. This facility usage scenario allows for a close-proximity coupling of the institution’s missions and functions, whereby each can complement the other.

The building serves as a hub for STEM courses at BPCC and houses Tech’s Academic Success Center and Cyber Training Center on the first floor. Both schools are also working to complete a Veteran Resource Center on the building’s fourth floor.

Both BPCC and Louisiana Tech were named Military Friendly Schools in this year’s Victory Media survey. The Veteran Resource Center will allow the institutions to provide more opportunities to the area’s active-duty and retired service people, as well as their families.

“Our veterans, active-duty service members, and their families need and deserve specialized attention in order to attain their educational goals,” said Louisiana Tech Provost Terry McConathy. “We are proud of both institutions’ commitment to providing needed services for these students.”

“BPCC has long been committed to our active duty and veteran students and families,” said Bateman. “Our Veterans Educational Services Office is a state leader in serving the most military-affiliated students. With the new, upcoming Veterans Resource Center, we will be able to serve many more of those who have so ably served our nation.”