Winnfield native, Jeff Johnson, Rotarian of the day and speaker of the day, spoke to the Winnfield Rotary Club on September 14, 2022, about our very own campus of the Central Louisiana Technical Community College. Mr. Johnson is the Dean of the Huey P. Long Campus of CLTCC, as well as director of the adult education program for the CLTCC region.
Jeff first addressed the recent reorganization of the Louisiana Technical and Community College System, which is comprised of 12 regional technical and community colleges, one of which is Central Louisiana Technical Community College. The current structure of CLTCC provides access to technical and academic education to students in ten parishes. There are two campuses in Rapides Parish, the main one in downtown Alexandria and an extension on south MacArthur Drive, a Ferriday campus, the Ward H. Nash Avoyelles campus in Cottonport, and the Huey P. Long campus here in Winnfield along with the Rod Brady Extension campus in Jena. Three other campuses in the western-central part of the state which were previously part of CLTCC have been transferred to the umbrella of more westerly-located community technical community colleges.
The Huey P. Long campus offers four credentialed programs: business office administration, practical nursing, welding technology, and forestry technology. CLTCC has been able to purchase two simulators for the forestry program which allows students hands-on training on multiple machines used in the logging industry. The extension campus in Jena also offers four programs including the first three above, and industrial manufacturing instead of forestry technology. Heavy equipment simulators are available for student training in the industrial program. The HPL campus is also working on a licensed practical nursing course for evening students, made possible through a grant from the Rapides Foundation.
CLTCC also provides general education courses, adult basic education, and workforce development training. The Huey P. Long campus has a dual enrollment program in conjunction with Winn, Grant and Jackson Parish schools. The Winn Parish School Board offers a jump start summer camp, which allows a high school student to take a program in certified nursing assistance and welding during the summer. No credit hours are received, but financial aid is available, partially paid by the school board and those who successfully complete a program receive a certificate for their coursework.
Workforce development training and credentialing programs are available through CLTCC, including commercial driver training, emergency medical responder, emergency medical technician, and advanced EMT. Training to comply with Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration standards are offered, such as basic life support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, forklift operation, NC3 welding accreditation, and others. CLTCC also provides customized training for business and industry.
Mr. Johnson said that, while tuition has increased quite a bit such that a full semester’s credit can run up to $2000, significant financial aid is available through the federal Pell grant program, the Reboot Louisiana scholarship program, which is $1500 per semester, other scholarships available through the financial aid office, and the Title I workforce development program providing funds for dislocated workers and youth, designed to help people get back in the workforce after being laid off. Other financial aid programs include the M. J. Foster Promise scholarships funded by the state of Louisiana to provide financial assistance for welding and manufacture-related programs for students who have been declined assistance by other programs, as well as low interest student loans.
CLTCC also provides courses to prepare students to take the High School Equivalency Test (HISET) in all ten of the parishes in the CLTCC region (Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Rapides, Vernon and Winn). This is an alternative to the GED (General Equivalency Diploma) which still exists, but is less rigorous than the HISET and thus less desirable for colleges, universities and employers. Students taking the HISET preparation course may also take other CLTCC courses which do not require a high school diploma as a prerequisite at the same time. The HISET prep is funded by federal and state grants, and is therefore free to the students.
Other adult education courses include developmental courses to improve performance on college entrance exams, as well as community education classes such as financial literacy and health literacy. CLTCC also administers tests including the Accuplacer and college entrance, work certification exams and the HISET.
The enthusiasm he brings to his talk about CLTCC and its offerings to the community clearly demonstrate that Jeff Johnson is committed to his work at CLTCC and to the education of our community.
At the conclusion of the talk, the meeting was adjourned with the Rotary motto, “Service above self!”