The Daily Review/Ivory Bibbins
Anthony Baham, campus dean of Young Memorial Campus of South Central Louisiana Technical College
Changes coming with state school merger
St. Mary Industrial Group members heard Monday about ways the merger of state community and technical colleges can help them.
The merger will combine the South Central Louisiana Technical College with South Louisiana Community College systems.
“Can we supply the skilled labor that’s needed by the industry?,” asked Young Memorial Campus Dean Anthony Baham.
Baham said that the realignment of SCLTC with SLCC will allow for more educational opportunities and funding for future students.
Baham said that as a technical college, SCLTC was accredited by the Council of Occupational Education Commission. Now it will be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges with the realignment.
The change in accreditation will allow students who complete an associate’s degree at Young Memorial to be able to continue their education at a four-year institution to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
“A lot of times, stu-dents were hurt when trying to go back to school because the transferability of their degree was not complete from a COE school to a SACSCOS school,” Baham said.
The change gives students the potential for growth in career fields including marine operations and engineering.
The SACSCOS is a regional education accrediting body of four-year institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
The accreditation change also brings in more course offerings to the campus such as general education courses that are required for an associate’s and bachelor’s degree.
The Hugh and Byrnes Young Foundation has funded scholarships for locals to be able to take one general education course at the campus for free. Scholarships from the foundation will also be available for the upcoming spring semester once the course offering list is finalized.
Baham said the Young Memorial campus will continue to offer programs such as commercial diving, industrial marine electronics technology and marine operations.
Also, Baham said that with the change in accreditation, federal student funding will become available for students which, as a technical college, SCLTC could not offer.
“I’m not an advocate for going in debt for your education, but sometimes that is the only way a student has,” said Baham.
The realignment of SCLTC with SLCC will be fully complete at the start to the new fiscal year beginning July 1, Baham said.