Sowela Technical Community College
Southwest Louisiana Technical Community College (Sowela) is a comprehensive community college in Lake Charles, Louisiana. It also operates a satellite campus, the Morgan Smith facility, in Jennings, Louisiana.
The college is a member of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and is under the governance of the Louisiana Board of Regents.
Sowela offers associate degrees, diploma programs, certificate programs, non-credit Community Education courses, targeted training for area business and industry, testing services and summer programs for youth.Many of Sowela's primary course offerings may be transferred to credentialed colleges and universities.
Sowela is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE), but it is currently a candidate for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Sowela is an open-enrollment institution which serves traditional and non-traditional aged students. Students can take as little as one class for professional development or complete a full degree.
Located on the former Chennault Airforce Base, Sowela has expanded in recent years with the addition the Phillips 66 Process Technology Center in 2012 and the Arts & Humanities Center in 2013. It will open its Allied Health & Nursing Center during the 2013-14 academic year. Additionally, the college has been appropriated $20 million from the Louisiana Legislature to construct a large-scale training center to meet the workforce demands of the Southwest Louisiana economy.
Sowela has an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students, seeing a nationally ranked growth spurt after rebuilding from Hurricane Rita, the 2005 storm that damaged and forced closure of the campus.
Sowela's roots are tied to a 1938 act of the Louisiana Legislature which created a trade school for the Lake Charles area. During the 2013-14 academic year, the college will mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of career and technical education in Southwest Louisiana.
Sowela is supported by the Sowela Foundation, a volunteer board of business and civic leaders who assist the college with scholarships, fundraising and other financial support.
The school's mascot is the Flying Tigers, a salute to the site's aviation roots.
Dr. Neil Aspinwall is the Chancellor of the college.
- Student Government Association (SGA)
- Phi Beta Lambda (PBL)
- Instrumentation, Systems, and Automations Society (ISA)
- Southwest Student Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA)
- Sowela Artisans/American Advertising Federation, Skills USA
- Sowela Fresh Campus
- E. Holman Jones, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Oakdale in Allen Parish
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