In an effort to efficiently maintain and expand local postsecondary educational opportunities, Louisiana State University at Alexandria has entered into a contract with the Louisiana Board of Regents to operate the Learning Center for Rapides Parish.
The agreement, which went into effect July 1, 2012, has a three-year duration. The Board of Regents began operating the consortium of colleges and universities on England Airpark in 2003. The recent shift in management was based on feedback from meetings throughout the state regarding higher education matters.
“The Board of Regents believes the strongest management strategy for the Learning Center is to empower those in the local community who best understand the region’s educational needs,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell. “We are thankful for LSU Alexandria’s interest in providing a broad array of postsecondary services for central Louisiana and we will continue to be supportive of their efforts to meet both student and workforce demands.”
“This new partnership will allow for additional educational opportunities while bringing scale to higher education in central Louisiana,” said Dr. David Manuel, chancellor for LSU Alexandria. “While our main campus is committed to providing high-quality undergraduate programs, I believe this partnership will allow for a greater expansion of those programs and better utilization of our community’s resources.”
Through the agreement, LSU Alexandria will coordinate the course offerings and will contract with LCRP’s current partner institutions to offer coursework and programs at the facility, which is located on England Airpark. LSU Alexandria will also work with other prospective partner institutions to expand the program offerings at the facility.
“The Learning Center could easily be a platform from which additional programs could be launched, which would benefit existing partners as well as new partners,” Manuel said.
With the transfer of operations to LSU Alexandria, students and staff will be able to take advantage of benefits not previously afforded to them, including improved services, greater information technology efficiencies, and enhanced safety.
Dr. Barbara Hatfield, provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at LSU Alexandria, has encouraged Learning Center partners to seek out ways to work together to make collaborations more effective. “The success of the facility will require partnership among everyone, and I look forward to the opportunities that are presented to us.”
Learning Center personnel, who were previously Board of Regents employees, will continue to operate the facility as LSU Alexandria employees. The facility continues to provide spaces for lease for meetings and special events, as well as partner with colleges and universities to offer classes during academic terms.
This fall, eight colleges and universities are offering classes at the Learning Center. Those include Bossier Parish Community College, Central Louisiana Technical College, Louisiana State University, Louisiana State University at Eunice, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Texas Wesleyan University, and Upper Iowa University.
For the Learning Center’s fall 2012 schedule of classes, visit www.TheLCRP.net or find us on Facebook under the name “LCRP Alexandria”. Information can also be obtained by calling (318) 484-2184.