UL System launches Compete LA to re-engage adult learners

University of Louisiana System President and CEO Jim Henderson announced the launch of Compete LA, a program designed to re-engage the 653,000 Louisianians with some college credit but no degree. Henderson, former president of Northwestern State University, introduced the program during the monthly meeting of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.

“For Louisiana to be competitive in the economy of the future, we have to develop a more educated workforce,” Henderson said. “Compete LA is designed to cut through the red tape of returning to school and provide supports at every step of the student’s educational journey.”

The program features adult-friendly degree paths throughout the System’s nine member institutions. Each Compete LA student is matched with a free coach to assist in identifying the best path to degree completion, re-enrollment, and academic success.

“Louisianians can compete at the highest levels provided they have the educational foundation to adapt in this new technology-driven reality,” Henderson said. “The future of work offers boundless opportunities for the prepared, and Compete LA is a platform to assist our citizens in reaching their full potential.”

Northwestern State University is featuring 11 degree programs in Compete LA. Areas of study include accounting, addiction studies, allied health, business administration, computer information sciences, criminal justice, general studies, nursing, psychology and unified public safety administration.

“NSU offers a ‘fast track’ curriculum with eight- and 16-week courses,” said Dr. Darlene Williams, NSU’s vice president for Technology, Innovation and Economic Development. “This a great opportunity for students who are trying to complete degrees while working full time. NSU accepts credits from any other regionally accredited university, and students can also take advantage of prior learning assessment determined to be college level learning.”

“Northwestern State University has more than two decades of experience offering online programs,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “Our dedicated team is focused on ways to enhance adult learning opportunities for the citizens of our state through quality academic programs and support services.”

The System has received more than 400 program applications through a three-month soft launch. Additionally, the System is reaching out to its own former students and has engaged more than 400 who have more than 120 course credits. The typical undergraduate degree only requires 124 credits for completion.