LOUISIANA’S COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES:
A FOUNDATION for the FUTURE
Postsecondary education in
Louisiana has made great
progress in recent years. And
though we still have some goals to
reach, I am convinced that if we
can maintain the momentum we’ve
developed, Louisiana’s educational
future is bright.
First and foremost, unprecedented
support from our governor and
legislature in recent years, now reinforced by a
firm commitment to postsecondary education
from Governor Blanco, is fueling education
reform. For fiscal years 1983-1993, Louisiana
ranked 48th in the nation in percentage funding
increases, but for fiscal years 1994-2004 the
state ranks 2nd in the nation.
Supported by that funding, some of our most
significant milestones have been in the area of
fostering student access and success, a primary
objective of Louisiana’s Master Plan for Public
Postsecondary Education. High on that list has
been the creation and continuing development
of the Louisiana Community and Technical
College System, which has seen enrollment
growth of more than 50 percent since 2000.
Other important advancements in this area
include the establishment of an award-winning
statewide electronic distance learning network
and the establishment and expansion of a
course articulation matrix.
In anticipation of expected changes in enrollment
dynamics as our four-year admissions
standards are fully implemented, all of our campuses
have worked diligently to assess enrollment
and recruitment strategies, develop enrollment
management plans and address student
In the all-important realm of quality and
accountability, teacher education programs at
all Louisiana public and private
colleges of education have been
redesigned, and the development of
alternative certification programs
An indication of our state leaders’
commitment to postsecondary education
and of public confidence in
our colleges and universities is the
significant growth in endowments
for chairs and professorships at our institutions
statewide. Since 1986, the Board of Regents has
been able to award some $214 million for
endowed chairs and professorships, creating
196 $1 million chairs and 18 $2 million chairs
at 20 universities across the state, as well as
1,267 endowed professorships at 34 campuses.
These initiatives are resulting in unparalleled
improvements. Among other meaningful indicators:
Louisiana postsecondary education is headed in
the right direction, and with the continued support
of our elected leaders and our citizens, we
will reach our goal of optimizing educational
and economic opportunity for all of our citizens.
- enrollment continues to rise each year (including double-digit growth at our twoyear colleges for three years running);
- retention rates are improving dramatically;
- average ACT scores continue to rise;
- state teacher certification exam passage rates are up;
- the number of degrees and certificates awarded each year is going up steadily; and
- program accreditation has improved from 84 to 95 percent since 2000.
DR. E. JOSEPH SAVOIE
Commissioner of Higher Education
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LOUISIANA’S COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES:
The national State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
(SHEEO) selected Louisiana as one of five states to showcase pre-kindergarten
through college (PK-16) systems as models of successful programs
for other states. Louisiana was selected because of its exemplary PK-16
Louisiana was one of five states selected to participate in a forum to
help the nation address literacy outcomes to support President George
Bush’s Reading First federal legislation. The institute, hosted by the
Harvard Graduate School of Education and the National Governors
Association, was designed to assist states in advancing the literacy-related
content of teacher preparation programs and to better coordinate
existing literacy efforts in teacher education. Louisiana was selected by
NGA because of its promising PK-16 initiative.
Louisiana was recognized by the National Governors Association as
a “promising practice state” for its outstanding education reform initiatives.
A national postsecondary education study ranked Louisiana among
the top states to provide affordable access to public colleges and universities.
The study, conducted by the Indianapolis-based Lumina
Foundation for Education, measured access to postsecondary education
across the country.
When you get right down to it, education is economic development.
Louisiana’s return on its investments in its colleges and universities is paying
off in a big way—and our state will be stronger as a result.
ENROLLMENT IS UP
Enrollment at Louisiana’s postsecondary institutions is the highest in
the state’s history. This past fall saw a record enrollment statewide of
210,634 in our colleges and universities, nearly a 3 percent increase over
fall 2002. The total includes an enrollment of 39,550 at Louisiana’s community
colleges (up from 28,283 the previous fall), marking the second
straight year for double-digit percentage enrollment increases at nearly
every campus in the system. These increases confirm that our new and
growing community college system is meeting an important need and
attracting Louisiana citizens who have not historically accessed postsecondary
STUDENT RETENTION IS UP
From 1996-1997 to 2001-2002, the first-year to second-year student
retention rate statewide has risen from under 71 percent to approximately
75 percent, indicating that Louisiana’s college students are better
prepared and experiencing improved success.
GRADUATION RATES ARE UP
Since 1994-1995, the number of degrees and certificates awarded
annually at Louisiana colleges and universities has increased from fewer
than 23,000 to over 26,000.
DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION IS DOWN
The percentage of first-time freshmen requiring developmental
(remedial) instruction has decreased dramatically, from over 45 percent
in 1996 to 33 percent in 2002.
INVESTMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION IS GROWING
Louisiana has moved from 48th in the nation in percentage funding
increases (1983-93) to second in funding for fiscal years 1994-2004.
These increases are a testament to the administration’s firm commitment
to the proposition that educational excellence and economic vitality are
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