LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — The University of Louisiana System has launched a new program with the goal of getting Louisianians back to school and finishing their bachelor’s degree.
System President and CEO Jim Henderson discussed the details of the Compete LA program at a luncheon last week for One Acadiana members, The Acadiana Advocate reports .
The program is designed to re-engage the approximately 653,000 people in Louisiana with some college credits who dropped out before completing a degree. Henderson says the program is an opportunity to improve the state’s second-to-last ranking on adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, but also a chance to work toward One Acadiana’s goal of having 55% of Acadiana’s population achieve a secondary education degree or certification by 2025.
“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.”
By applying to Compete LA, the nearly one-in-five people in Louisiana who have some college but no degree will be matched with a coach who will evaluate the student’s completed courses to create a degree path to help the student reenroll and complete their degree as quickly as possible while working around their schedule.
There are also ways businesses can partner with the program such as promoting employee benefits like tuition reimbursement and debt repayment, providing internship opportunities and sponsoring Compete LA.
The program has 51 degree programs ranging from business and education to health care and the humanities.
It was introduced in May and has already engaged with more than 1,100 students.
The United States has a 30.9% educational attainment rate at the level of Bachelor’s Degree or higher. Louisiana sits at a 23.4% rate.
Students interested in completing their degree can apply at www.CompeteLA.org or they can text CompeteLA to 58052.