Plan Aims To Double Community, Technical College Graduates

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College system has come up with a plan aimed to double the system's number of graduates and meet the state's workforce demand.

         On Monday, Monty Sullivan outlined his plan that calls for the system to increase the number of students it graduates annually to 80,000.

         Sullivan said the state won't be able to meet its workforce demands if it doesn't focus on educating the estimated 1.65 million Louisiana adults who have no post-secondary credentials, The Advocate’s Elizabeth Crisp reports.

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         "Are we going to solve the state's workforce challenge with 40,000 high school graduates a year?" Sullivan asked. "No, we're not. We have to do a better job of bringing adults into our institutions."

         Sullivan said the community college system is central to access to higher education opportunities in Louisiana.

         "Your zip code should not have an impact on your ability to earn a baccalaureate degree," Sullivan said.

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         Sullivan said he sees the 13 community and technical colleges that make up his system as crucial to helping solve the state's workforce challenge.

         "This is the great challenge of our time," Sullivan said. "Those jobs come here portable and can leave here portable."

         Also included in his system's 2020 strategic plan is doubling the earnings of an annual graduating class to $1.5 billion and quadrupling the number of students who transfer to four-year universities to 10,000 each year over the next five years.

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         Transfer from the community college system to universities has been a work in progress for the state for some time. Last year, the state Senate passed a resolution requiring that the Louisiana Board of Regents study transfers and report back.

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