BPCC students now have ‘world class’ transfer path

BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman discusses the new transfer pathway while NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson (center) and LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark (right) look on.

New BPCC-LSUS-NSU agreement makes transfers easier, more efficient

Sean green

Bossier Parish Community College has joined forces with LSU Shreveport and Northwestern State University to create a no fuss, holistic way for students to continue their education.

The newly signed Joint Admissions agreement between the three higher education institutions has created a innovative transfer pathway that will focusing on the unique needs of the modern day college student.

What does this mean?

Basically, any BPCC student who wants to enroll in LSUS or NSU in the future can now be admitted to BPCC and LSUS or NSU simultaneously. That student can cross-enroll in courses at both institutions and students who graduate from BPCC with ann associates degree as members of Phi Theta Kappa will be guaranteed a transfer scholarship to LSUS or NSU.

“We looked at the unique experiences of students today and tried to build a system that would provide more support for students, enhance services, and improve student life opportunities so they can make the best use of their time and resources,” said BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman.

“This streamlines the pathway and simplifies the process of moving from one university to the next and takes out the bureaucracy and hassle so the student can focus on learning,” said NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.

“It allows us to keep students on the pathway so the credits they take will count. It also opens up other opportunities that they may not be thinking about otherwise,” said LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark. “It will allow them to be more aware of different opportunities that better match what they want to be or do.”

In addition, students will also be able to participate in student life activities at both institutions.

“That means a student who is enrolled at BPCC and has an interest in becoming a Pilot or Demon won’t have to wait until they’ve completed all their coursework at BPCC to have that Pilot or Demon experience,” Dr. Bateman explained.

For Bateman, who transferred from a two-year university, the chancellor said he understand the culture shock that awaits students.

“We have two outstanding universities where the majority of our students go and we can begin to introduce them to that university culture well before they go. I think that will do so much to enhance their experience and help them be successful.”

Lastly, a student who wants to continue their education at either of the universities will receive two advisors — one for BPCC and one for a university. Bateman said this will make the best use of the student’s time and improve time to degree.

“Higher education continues to cost more and more. The state had divested significantly in higher education and the majority of that cost has been passed on to the student in the form of higher tuition and fees,” said Dr. Bateman. “It’s incumbent on us to make sure we’re good stewards of the resources students and their families bring to the table.”

The idea for the agreement came from a year-old question posed by Dr. Henderson — “What would a world class transfer pathway look like?”

“We’ve got to come together and create a seamless pathway for students to continue to learn. It will give our employers a competitive advantage and give our citizens a higher quality of life,” said Dr. Henderson.

Dr. Henderson noted how times are changing, remarking that his smart phone and watch are 250,000 times more powerful than the desktop computer he used during his time at NSU. He said that is why he and his partners in this agreement are seeking to create learners.

“Those who are prepared for this new reality are those who can think critically, those who can solve problems, those that can communicate effectively, and those that continue to learn,” said Dr. Henderson.

It was this commitment to creating learners that Chancellor Clark pledged to uphold, saying he has found the importance of commitments between higher education institutions in his career.

“We found we could help elevate what students thought they could or might do, and get them to the goal line much quicker. There is the reality that to get to the point of being out there and showing how you’ve become a learner, you still have to do some things — courses done in sequences, pre requisite set — and by working together we get the students to where they are able to go through that more quickly and effectively,” Clark said.

Grown from a question to a done deal in 12 months time, three prominent northwest Louisiana higher ed institutions have not only bridged the gap between the state’s three systems — University of Louisiana System, LSU System, and Louisiana Community and Technical College System — but have made a commitment of “students first, no excuses.”

“We’re showing what we can do when we focus on students to really move the needle and effect change in a positive way for the students in Louisiana,” said Dr. Bateman.