Sowela Technical Community College
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The school's mascot is the Flying Tigers, named for the World War II General Clair Chennault's 1st American Volunteer Group and their P-40 aircraft adorned with a shark-faced motif. SOWELA's Lake Charles campus is situated on land formerly utilized as Chennault Air Force Base.
Dr. Neil Aspinwall is the Chancellor of the college.
History of naming and status
- In 1962, the name was changed from some prior name to SOWELA (Southwest Louisiana) Technical Institute.
- In 1971, the institute received accreditation from the Commission on Occupational Education (COE) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- In January 1980, the institute moved to its present location near Chennault International Airport on the east side of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
- In March 1990, the institute was renamed SOWELA Regional Technical Institute.
- On July 27, 1995, the institute was renamed again to Louisiana Technical College – SOWELA Campus.
- In 2003, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) Board of Supervisors changed the name and status of the institute – renaming it to SOWELA Technical Community College and giving it the status of a technical community college.
The College currently offers associate degree, technical diploma, or certificate awards in 23 different programs including as petrochemical, automotive, aviation, culinary arts, graphic arts, nursing and allied health, and office systems. In the Summer of 2014, SOWELA introduced the 16-week Fast Track Process Technology (PTEC) program, which provides a compressed pathway to an Associate of Applied Science in Process Technology to qualified students who already hold an Associate or higher-level degree.
Following damage by Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Lake Charles campus was repaired and added four new buildings – the Phillips 66 Process Technology building, the Arts and Humanities building, the Nursing and Allied Health building, and the Regional Training Center. An $8 million Student Services building is expected to be completed on the Lake Charles campus by mid-2017. Replacing the Morgan Smith Instructional Site in Jennings, a $10 million facility will be built in 2017 adjacent to the Jennings High School in Jefferson Davis Parish.
SOWELA's fundraising efforts are supported by the SOWELA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.
- E. Holman Jones, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Oakdale in Allen Parish
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