Tradition Meets 2020

Century-old universities in the region are meeting today’s workforce demands by introducing new programs.

Southeast Louisiana is home to a number of colleges and universities that have been in operation for a century — or longer. These institutions of higher education boast a rich history and deep traditions. But while time-honored traditions may not change, the schools have had to adapt to the changing education and professional landscape in order to meet workforce demands. The following are some of their program offerings for 2020.

Delgado Community College
Looking forward to celebrating its centennial in 2021, Delgado Community College is continuing to develop industry partnerships that are key to curriculum planning and development.

Tony Cook, director of communications and marketing at Delgado, said the college has a history of offering educational programs tied to workforce needs in the New Orleans region.

“We are the market leader in educating the workforce for nursing and allied health professions,” he said. “Those jobs pay top salaries, and because Delgado offers affordable tuition and fees, [the jobs] are within the reach of any student who qualifies academically and is dedicated to doing the hard work of learning valuable professional skills.”

To that end, Delgado is offering a new Health Coach Certificate program — the only one of its kind in New Orleans. The program prepares students to work as a member of a patient’s healthcare team, or at insurance companies, nursing facilities, nonprofit agencies, or as self-employed entrepreneurs.

The Health Coach Certificate program is a partnership between Delgado Community College and LSU Health Sciences Center.

Delgado is also focusing on technology needs for the future workforce, offering career-focused training in computer networking for entry-level students. The program offers training for A+, Network + and Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technicians — qualifying students for jobs in tech support, IT operations, management of wired and wireless networks, and network security.

Xavier University
As Xavier University celebrates its 95th anniversary, the private, historically black Catholic university is offering 16 new programs including bioinformatics, data science, neuroscience, criminal and social justice, and jazz studies.

Xavier’s teaching is a combination of traditional classroom study, hands-on research, service-learning opportunities and experiential education designed to help students meet the demands of today’s evolving workforce.

Xavier University President Reynold Verret, said the school has historically been a leader in sciences and social sciences, and they’re leveraging that strength as they move forward.

“We’ve been intentional about the expansion of our liberal arts-based programs in business, education, psychology and political science,” he said, “as well as recent additions such as our newly announced physician assistant program in partnership with Ochsner Health Systems.”

University of Holy Cross
Healthcare jobs have evolved a lot since University of Holy Cross was founded in 1916. Technological advances, and the need for a trained workforce in this field is always high. As part of its commitment to health sciences education, the University of Holy Cross opened a new Health Sciences Center in January.

The Health Sciences Center will be the hub for popular undergrad programs in nursing, health sciences/biology, neuro-diagnostic technology and radiologic technology. The state-of-the-art facility features innovative classroom spaces, including four lab classrooms with patient exam tables. Students will have access to some of the latest technology, including an Anatomage table — a technologically advanced anatomy visualization system that uses 3D technology to aid in studying human anatomy.

The university is also offering new and expanded graduate programs, including master’s of science programs in management, counseling, education and biomedical sciences, as well as a master’s of arts in humanities.

Louisiana State University
Established in 1860, LSU is increasing its online degree programs to meet the needs of today’s working professionals. From bachelor’s degree programs to an MBA, students can earn an LSU degree online — with instruction from LSU faculty — through programs that fit their lifestyle.

Designed with continuous learning in mind, MicroCred® (or, micro-credential) offers short-form programs aimed at working professionals who want to sharpen their skills or explore new ones in an online format. Made up of a series of high-quality LSU courses, the program is specifically developed to close the skills gap in today’s modern workplace.

LSU is also offering a new “Online Focused MBA” program boasting traditional standards in a condensed format — with only 36 credit hours required for completion. They’ve also introduced a series of online undergraduate degree programs, focused on full-time workers who want to finish their bachelor’s degrees.

Finally, LSU has developed a program of “Academic Fast Tracks.” Designed to save students time and money, these programs offer multiple and advanced degrees in one package. The fast track programs include environmental public health, engineering and law — and the make these LSU graduates more marketable to prospective employers.

Dillard University
Celebrating 150 years in New Orleans, Dillard University has three degree-granting colleges: Business, Arts & Sciences, and Nursing. With an ongoing and growing demand for nurses, Dillard’s College of Nursing remains popular; the nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in nursing.

One of Dillard’s newest offerings is a minor in food studies, focusing on the governance, planning, history and business implementation of food systems in rural and urban areas.

Looking at modern challenges facing many urban communities, Dillard is also offering a major in Urban Studies & Public Policy with a certification in Urban Water Management. This program is particularly applicable as cities like New Orleans, Miami and others are reexamining how to live with water.

A historically black university, Dillard continues to have a successful physics program, which is one of the nation’s leading physics programs for African Americans. Additionally, the school’s pre-law program boasts an award-winning mock trial team that competes nationally, helping to prepare students for success in law school.


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