Best Community Colleges in Louisiana
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Louisiana's community colleges serve every corner of the state, with more than a dozen options for education. About 7% of the workers aged 25-64 in Louisiana earned an associate degree as their highest level of learning.
While 41% of the jobs in Louisiana require just a high school or GED diploma, earning an associate degree can help you earn about $150 more per week.
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The Louisiana Believes program even offers high school students a chance to jumpstart their associate-level education. The best community colleges in Louisiana also offer online education for those wishing to study remotely.
Why Study in Louisiana?
Educational opportunities for community college students spread across every region in Louisiana. The Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges system commits to "eliminating geographic, financial, and scholastic barriers to postsecondary educational programs."
More than 30,000 students graduate each year from Louisiana community colleges. The instructors at these schools take part in several learning and growth opportunities throughout the year.
With at least four waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, two hurricanes, historic flooding, and a deep freeze, the past few years have been challenging for Louisiana's citizens. However, the state's economy is recovering.
Healthcare remains in high demand due to ongoing COVID-19 challenges and fatigued workers. People tired of being quarantined at home are ready to let the good times roll in destinations like New Orleans, so the state's tourism and entertainment industries may be on the upswing as well.
Cost of Living
Most cities in Louisiana rank below the cost of living national index. Every key indicator of Louisiana's cost of living ranks lower than the national average. However, New Orleans breaks that mold with its desirable location and lifestyle. The median home value in 2019 in New Orleans reached $231,500.
Cultural and Community Offerings
Culture is abundant in all of Louisiana's unique cities and parishes. The state's Office of Cultural Development makes sure that continues for years to come.
Almost 7% of the state's workforce works in a cultural industry, and nearly $20 billion comes into the state each year through these industries. Mardi Gras celebrations happen in just about every Louisiana city, so options abound outside of New Orleans.
Winter coats might be optional if you live in Louisiana. The climate includes mild winters that aren't too long, hot summers, and year-round precipitation. The farther south you go in Louisiana, the milder the weather gets. Louisiana can expect a hurricane on average once every three years. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30.
Top Degree Programs in Louisiana
- Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
- Best Online Associate in Psychology Programs
- Best Online Associate in Communications Programs
- Best Online Associate in Agriculture Programs
- Best Online Associate in Education Programs
Louisiana Employment Outlook
The pandemic hurt the state's economy, but by March 2021, 45% of lost jobs returned. Nevertheless, full recovery may take until 2023. The first industries to bounce back were retail business, transportation functions, and tourism.
Reconstruction from hurricane damage, a lofty plan to protect the state from future hurricanes, the federal infrastructure bill, and the resumption of previously stalled projects make construction a booming industry in Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Labor projects growth for all sectors of construction in the near future.
More than half of the jobs available now and in the near future throughout Louisiana will require a technical college or associate degree.
5 Louisiana Jobs in Demand
Annual Average Salary (2021): $73,370
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 17.9%
Construction jobs took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, but projections indicate that the industry should rebound quickly. More than $10 million in construction projects are underway or planned in the Baton Rouge region. The state frequently hires construction workers to prepare locations for hurricanes and rebuild after natural disasters.
Building Material and Garden Supply Stores
Annual Average Salary (2021): $34,160
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 11.4%
The expansive construction in Louisiana naturally results in a need for the supplies. The newly-passed federal infrastructure bill includes a local hiring preference for construction projects and more than $400 billion in infrastructure improvements nationwide. Several of the projects in the bill specifically mention Louisiana roads.
Annual Average Salary (2021): $80,760
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 17.0%
The Louisiana Department of Labor projects significant growth in the air transportation industry between 2016 and 2026. Jobs in this field include air traffic controller, transportation system specialist, and safety inspector. You can qualify for these careers through programs at community colleges.
Messengers and Couriers
Annual Average Salary (2021): $36,300
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 32.7%
Messengers and couriers became a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. People wouldn't or couldn't leave home and still needed essential supplies. Businesses needed to deliver critical documents and data as more people worked from home. Students can often work these jobs as they pursue associate degrees in business.
Ambulatory Healthcare Services
Annual Average Salary (2021): $53,140
Job Outlook (2016-2026): 16.2%
Ambulatory healthcare services can provide life-saving work in the aftermath of a major hurricane. Ambulatory healthcare can also help rural areas that don't have easy access to hospitals. Many Louisiana community colleges offer associate degrees that can qualify you for careers in this field.
Popular Career Paths in Louisiana
- Software Engineering
- Physical Therapy
- Web Development
- Social Work
- Human Resources
- Civil Engineering
Best Accredited Community Colleges in Louisiana
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Best Community Colleges in Louisiana
South Louisiana Community CollegeLocation
Located in Lafayette, South Louisiana Community College was founded in 1997 and primarily serves the eight civil parishes of the Acadiana region. The school enrolls about 6,300 students through certificate and associate programs that cover over 30 areas of study. For candidates who want to complete degree work at a four-year institution, SLCC offers Louisiana transfer degree tracks; students in these programs complete 60 credits to earn an associate degree in humanities, social sciences, biology, or physical science. Graduates then enjoy guaranteed admission to any public state university.
SLCC also delivers certificate training in high-need fields like aviation maintenance technology, medical laboratory science, and culinary arts and operations. Students can also enroll in a practical nursing program that enables them to obtain their LPN state license. Additionally, the college offers online non-credit programs that prepare candidates to work as medical billers, pharmacy technicians, and office managers. All learners benefit from affordable tuition, scholarship and grant funding opportunities, and comprehensive career services.
River Parishes Community CollegeLocation
River Parishes Community College is based in Gonzales and serves about 3,500 students every semester. RPCC provides low tuition prices based on a student's residency status and program type. Financial aid opportunities include state grants, institutional scholarships, and funding for non-credit training through the Workforce Tuition Assistance initiative. The college delivers coursework through Canvas, allowing students who have completed at least 12 credits on campus to take online coursework in a flexible hybrid learning format.
RPCC operates 17 academic programs, including transfer-oriented associate of arts and science degrees. Students who want to complete core requirements before declaring a major can enroll in the general studies track. RPCC also offers an associate of process technology that prepares graduates to work in refinery operations and chemical processing. Additionally, the college provides technical training in high-need industries like industrial maintenance technology, medical coding, and air conditioning and refrigeration.
Louisiana Delta Community CollegeLocation
Established in 1998, Louisiana Delta Community College provides career-relevant certificates and associate degrees through six campuses and a workforce development center. The college also offers dual-enrollment options to high school juniors and seniors. To apply, candidates need a minimum 2.5 GPA for academic pathways and a minimum 1.75 GPA to take technical/career classes. On top of low tuition rates, all students can apply for financial support, including the Norene Smith Scholarship for business majors and the Graphic Packaging International Scholarship for learners interested in industrial technology.
LDCC delivers academic programming through four schools, including dedicated transfer tracks in general studies, computer science, and general business. Students interested in allied health careers can train to become nurse assistants, paramedics, and patient care technicians. They can also enroll in an RN program that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission of Education in Nursing. Like many other community colleges in Louisiana, LDCC delivers remote learning through Canvas.
Louisiana State University-EuniceLocation
Louisiana State University at Eunice was founded in 1966 and is the only comprehensive two-year institution in the LSU system. The school serves over 3,200 students and provides affordable tuition based on residency status. In addition to federal aid programs, LSUE delivers ample scholarship opportunities for candidates with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students can renew many of these awards if they maintain adequate academic performance.
Unlike other community colleges in Louisiana, LSUE focuses almost entirely on associate-level training with options for guaranteed transfer to partner institutions. Students can pick from over 100 transfer programs, including a 2+2 track in care and development of young children; participants complete their bachelor's degree at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Additional transfer options include criminal justice, biological sciences, mass communication, and fine arts. Candidates can enroll in a transfer-oriented business program and take core classes such as applied statistics and interpersonal communication. LSUE also offers technical career training in areas like fire and emergency services, diagnostic medical sonography, and respiratory care.
Baton Rouge Community CollegeLocation
Baton Rouge, LATuition
Baton Rouge Community College is dedicated to offering adaptable and career-relevant programming to its students. As one of the largest community colleges in Louisiana, BRCC supports more than 8,200 learners every semester. The school operates an open-door admission policy and offers state residents and online students low tuition rates. Learners may also reduce costs by earning college credit through prior learning examinations and professional certification/licensure.
BRCC operates 54 academic programs, including technical certificate tracks that prepare individuals to work as customer service representatives, pharmacy technicians, and powerplant mechanics. Students can also earn a 30-credit certificate of business technology, which includes coursework in topics like financial accounting and microcomputer business applications. Additional certificate and diploma options are available in culinary arts, practical nursing, and welding.
The school's academic catalog contains associate programs in fields like automotive technology, teaching, and computer science. Students can also enroll in transfer-focused pre-engineering tracks that lead to an associate of science. BRCC delivers online and hybrid coursework through Canvas.
Frequently Asked Questions About Community Colleges in Louisiana
Are community colleges worth it?
The cost savings of a community college versus a traditional four-year school make it worth it for many students. Also, starting in 2022, Louisiana will offer the MJ Foster Promise Program, which provides financial support for certain community college students.
How many community colleges are in Louisiana?
Louisiana operates 12 community colleges, spanning every region across the state. More than 150,000 students attend the schools with an average of 30,000 students graduating each year.
How much is community college in Louisiana?
The average cost per credit starts at approximately $135, but varies by course and college. In July 2021, the state community college system's board voted to freeze tuition increases for the sixth straight year.
Can you get a bachelor's degree at a community college in Louisiana?
Students cannot typically get a bachelor's degree at a community college. They can, however, take many of the same types of courses offered at a four-year college at a lower price. The Louisiana Transfer Degree leads to a smooth transition to a four-year school. The Southern Region Education Board calculates $6,000 in savings for students who complete their first two years of a bachelor's degree at one of the state's 12 community colleges.
What college is in Pineville, Louisiana?
Pineville, Louisiana, is home to Louisiana Christian University. Central Louisiana Technical Community College is located nearby in Alexandria.