BPCC signs agreements with NSU, LSU

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Bossier Parish Community College Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman and Northwestern State University President Dr. Jim Henderson signed an articulation agreement between the two schools that will allow the transfer of manufacturing credentials into college credits to create an easier path for students intent on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology. The agreement is one of several the two schools have in place with the intention of meeting regional and state-wide workforce needs. 

Bossier Parish Community College has signed new articulation agreements with two Louisiana universities, paving the way for more students to seamlessly transfer into a four year institution.

BPCC officials met with representatives from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge last week to ink the deals.

Students who earn a Certification for Manufacturing (C4M) at BPCC will receive seven hours of credit to apply to a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering technology at Northwestern State. The agreement provides more options for individuals who leave high school and obtain an associate degree to then pursue a bachelor’s degree.

C4M is an industry-based certification recognized by the secondary system as well as business and industry. The certification course is offered through the C4 Workforce Certification program developed by Louisiana Economic Development and is offered at BPCC.

“BPCC and Northwestern State University have a shared vision of innovation and collaboration that leads to enhanced educational services to the citizens of our region,” says BPCC Chancellor Rick Bateman. “Together, we will create pathways to prosperity for students and continue to create a competitive advantage for employers in northwest Louisiana.”

The agreement will create a pipeline for employers to better meet the needs of the regional industry. Northwestern State University President Dr. Jim Henderson called the agreement a game-changer in workforce development for Louisiana where industrial expansion is poised to create an economic renaissance.

The C4 Manufacturing curriculum provides an introduction to manufacturing, tools and equipment used in manufacturing, automation and an introduction to fabrication, process technology and machining. LED tailored the curriculum to reflect industry needs and to create a map for individuals interested in pursuing more advanced credentials.

Sandra Partain, Dean of Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at BPCC, said partnerships like this need to exist to serve students on a larger scale.

“This will give the students more options and more opportunities. We want to show them that their career path doesn’t end at BPCC. This will help launch them toward the bachelors, masters and doctorate level.”

BPCC’s first cohort of C4M students completed the coursework summer 2014.

Partain added, “The beauty of the C4M program is that its short and can be done relatively quickly. The opportunities for them are limitless. We’re excited about continuing partnerships and helping our students achieve their greatest success.”

Both Bateman and Henderson touted that this is just the beginning of things to come for the partnership.

“We are providing students with a bridge from advanced technology to engineering technology,” Bateman said. “Our two institutions are laser-focused on aligning programs to meet workforce needs.  We have seen remarkable innovation.”

BPCC also inked an agreement with LSU-Baton Rouge that will give students who earn an Associate of Science degree in Engineering at BPCC the ability to transfer all credit hours to Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge in partial fulfillment of degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering or Petroleum Engineering degrees in the College of Engineering.

This partnership will benefit BPCC students, both traditional and nontraditional, by offering them an opportunity to continue their education after completing the AS degree in Engineering at BPCC with a university that will accept those credits.

“When engineering students at BPCC graduate with an associate’s degree, they will be well-prepared to excel in all of Louisiana State University’s engineering programs,” says BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr. “This partnership will allow our students to seamlessly continue their educational journey to a four-year degree.”

The arrangement is also beneficial to LSU-Baton Rouge because it provides another opportunity for LSU to attract and retain Engineering students with a proven record of academic success.

“The partnership between Bossier Parish Community College and the LSU College of Engineering is designed to make a world-class engineering education accessible to more Louisiana students,” said Dr. Sherif Ishak, the College’s interim associate dean for academic affairs.