by Norm Miller
A two-year trend of enrollment growth continues at Louisiana College, which reports an 18 percent head count increase since the 2017 spring semester.
Spring enrollment reflects a 53 percent increase in graduate students and an eight percent increase in traditional undergraduate students. High school dual enrollment also doubled.
The continuing increases have reversed a 5-year downward spiral in enrollment that began in 2010.
“There is no magical formula here,” said Dr. Rick Brewer, president of the college. “Success still requires a vision and the hard work to fulfill it.”
Particularly gratifying for Brewer is the number of transfer students. “These students have essentially recruited us and have left other good schools for what we have to offer. Some of them considered enrolling at LC last fall but attended elsewhere, yet they have come back saying that they should have begun here initially.”
Brewer noted that the struggles LC endured prior to his unanimous election by trustees in 2015 are continually overshadowed by the innovative strategies developed in, and implemented by, the college’s President’s Leadership Team.
“These enrollment successes require a team that’s ‘all in,’” said Brewer, noting that LC’s leadership and faculty continually demonstrate the teamwork needed to achieve great goals. “Louisiana College has scores of leaders who work behind the scenes. They do the heavy lifting, and they deserve rightful credit for their successful efforts.”
Brewer attributed continued growth to increased academic offerings for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a growing online studies presence. Several new scholarship opportunities have enhanced enrollment, as well as flat rate tuition inclusive of fees launched last fall.
“We are seeing a renaissance for which we are grateful. Such renewal underscores the validity of our Vision to Prepare Graduates and Transform Lives,” Brewer said.
Leaders in the Alexandria/Pineville area recognize the strides LC has made and have offered the following remarks:
Alexandria Mayor Jacques M. Roy
“Dr. Brewer and Louisiana College have been moving the needle positively, and we are so proud to have such a wonderful, faith-centered liberal arts institution here at home. LC is recognized worldwide and we are delighted to share in its accomplishments by directly benefitting from them.”
Alumnus Rick Ranson, Manager, Economic Development - North for CLECO
“It is exciting to hear that, once again, enrollment at Louisiana College has increased. This is a result of the exceptional leadership of Dr. Brewer and the dedication of the outstanding faculty and staff. As an economic development professional, I know the importance of providing a qualified workforce for our employers. I am happy that my alma mater is doing its part in preparing the next generation of leaders.”
Jim Clinton, CLEDA President and CEO
"The news of Louisiana College's continued enrollment surge comes as no surprise to the business and economic development communities. LC is now fully engaged as a higher education leader throughout Central Louisiana. Dr. Brewer's willingness to partner with the business community and with other higher education institutions is evidence of his vision, leadership and hard work."
Pineville Mayor Clarence R. Fields
"There are many reasons we value a close relationship with Louisiana College. One is that we hang our economic development hat on LC. As the college goes, so goes Pineville. Our local retailers know when school is in session and when it is out for the summer, and that's one of the reasons why we promote LC in every way we can across Louisiana.”
Dr. B. David Brooks, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Alexandria
“The resurgence underway at Louisiana College is being noticed, experienced, and applauded by many. Not only is LC Preparing Graduates and Transforming Lives, but the college also is investing in and revitalizing our community. What is happening in the heart and through the hands of LC is making a healthy spiritual, emotional, mental, social, and financial impact in CENLA and beyond. May God continue to bless and strengthen Dr. Brewer and the entire LC family as they devote their lives to God’s purposes and plans for the college."
Blake Chatelain, Red River Bank President and CEO
“It is exciting to see the momentum at Louisiana College. A vibrant, growing college is such a positive force that is preparing the leaders of tomorrow for our community. Congratulations to the Louisiana College team.”
Alumnus Mike Johnson of Johnson, Siebeneicher, and Ingram Law Firm
“Growth at Louisiana College has a direct and positive effect upon Central Louisiana. When we see increases in students, we see stability in the local economy. Most importantly we see an increase in the number of employable and educated young adults from my alma mater who are on a track to graduate with not only academic qualifications but with a solid moral and spiritual quality that improves the workforce and future for our community.”
Alumnus Dr. Wade Warren, Professor of Biology
“One of the best indicators for trends in student population in the Biology Department at Louisiana College is the roster of students enrolled in our first general biology course for science majors, BI 113. This course had an enrollment of 36 in the fall of 2015, 54 in the fall of 2016 and 60 in the fall of 2017. The science composite ACT score for the class also rose during that time by 0.92, nearly a full point. Both the numbers and academic quality of the students have risen during the last two years. We are thrilled with these trends.”
Dr. Lillian Purdy, Professor of English, Bridge Program Director
“Part of LC’s success comes by helping others to be successful. Last summer we hosted our first Summer Bridge Program, which assists students with low ACT scores, specifically in English and math. Students accomplished a 97 percent pass rate and a fall-to-spring retention rate of 75 percent. It has been exciting to watch their successes in the classroom, athletics, music programs, and campus life.”
Alumna Dr. Cathy Eschete, Assistant Professor, School of Education
“Our tremendous growth in enrollment, the financial contributions from donors, the lively atmosphere of campus, and the outstanding students that are coming to Louisiana College are confirmation that God is at work on this campus. As a faculty member, I consider it an honor and a privilege to be a part of this transformation that is taking place at Louisiana College. It is truly an exciting place to be.”
Brewer said, “I treasure the relationships among all these stalwarts of our campus and community. They are among the many people contributing to our success, and that group includes our alumni and friends, as well as the members of Louisiana Baptist Churches. All are crucial to our efforts, and we could not be more thankful for every one of them.”