SLCC opens Community College Week with reception for scholarship recipients | Education

South Louisiana Community College is turning up the noise on Louisiana Community College Week. More than 40 events will mark the celebration of this week across the eight-parish, two-year institution’s Acadiana footprint.

Community College Week informs prospective students, stakeholders and the community about SLCC programs, its mission and regional value, SLCC said in a prepared statement.

“This is an annual event across Louisiana,” Vice Chancellor Lana Fontenot said Monday. “It’s the biggest celebration since Community College Week started.”

Fontenot said with most SLCC courses restricted to online or hybrid delivery over the past two years, and in-person attendance at the college limited, the annual celebration has been subdued because of these precautions against COVID-19. The pandemic started in mid-March 2020, and appears to be at bay, at least temporarily, in Louisiana.

SLCC launched Community College Week on Monday with a reception at the Lafayette campus for more than 100 scholarship recipients across a breadth of donors. She said this is the first time the donors have been able to meet in two years.

“Surprisingly, scholarships have increased since COVID,” Fontenot said. “Across the state and nation, people are more willing to help.”

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In fact, Fontenot said, there have been five new scholarships instituted in the past few weeks, two from SLCC alums.

Vincent June, SLCC Chancellor, said SLCC and all community colleges “are the cornerstone of our nation’s higher education ecosystem. We serve as a powerful engine of workforce development and preparation for a four-year university.”

“The ‘American dream’ begins truly in our community colleges,” June said.

Events planned for this week include high school visits across SLCC’s parishes, events at SLCC campuses, a social media campaign and a College Colors Day on Friday. The college’s Center for Minority Excellence is hosting a College Day at Northside High School to talk about college options to the school’s juniors and seniors. A new organization for high-performing first-generation students, Alpha Alpha Alpha or “Tri-Alpha,” is launching this week at SLCC.

SLCC was recently named a Top 150 institution by the Aspen Institute, selected from more than 1,000 community colleges in America. It is eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2023.

In its issued statement, the college says it serves more than 15,000 students each year — that includes students in short-term and non-credit courses — and offers over 50 programs through credit programs, short-term training, and adult basic education.

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