SOWELA celebrates acquisition of Lamar Salter campus in Leesville

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 4:28 PM CDT
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LEESVILLE, La. (KPLC) - A major ceremony to mark SOWELA’s acquisition of the Lamar Salter campus in Leesville was held Wednesday, Aug. 24.

The key ceremony commemorates the passing of ownership from Central Louisiana Technical Community College to SOWELA, which went into effect July 1. Lamar Salter was part of the Alexandria college since its opening in 1978.

Lamar Salter’s carpentry students made a custom key for the event. Local and state public officials gathered along with SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall.

“It allows us to expand our footprint into Vernon Parish and provide quality programs and services to citizens of Vernon Parish. And also a big part of this, it allows us to begin to having touch with soldiers, active duty soldiers and their families at Fort Polk,” Dr. Aspinwall said.

Currently, the instructional site is home to 120 students, including high school dual enrollment, basic adult education, workforce development training, general education courses and career and technical education programs.

The campus offers the following seven programs and degrees:

  • Business office administration (AAS)
  • Practical nursing (AAS)
  • Automotive technology (technical diploma)
  • Business office technology (technical diploma)
  • Carpentry (technical diploma)
  • Outdoor power equipment technology (technical diploma)
  • Welding technology (technical diploma).

SOWELA’s acquisition of the Lamar Salter campus makes general education classes transferable for students, enabling them to transfer credits to an accredited university for a bachelor’s degree. SOWELA currently has 10 transfer agreements with four-year institutions and plans to add more to the list.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges issued SOWELA its formal accreditation in June, which cleared the way for the acquisition. The campus realignment was approved in Spring 2021 by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System board of supervisors to improve administrative efficiency and the delivery of instructional and workforce training.