Sowela Technical Community College
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SOWELA Southwest Louisiana Technical Community College 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.
Founded in 1938, SOWELA Technical Community College is a member of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS). The College consists of a main campus located in Lake Charles and the Morgan Smith site located in Jennings.
SOWELA serves the Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas regions in preparing students for employment or university transfer. The College also offers non-credit workforce training and business support. By partnering with businesses in designing and delivering customized, short-term, non-credit industry based training, SOWELA graduates are equipped with skills needed to gain employment in high-demand, well-paying careers.
SOWELA Technical Community College is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates. SOWELA joins nearly 800 other regionally accredited colleges and universities in the south and southeast, including the University Louisiana System, the Louisiana State University System, the Southern University System, and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. All SACSCOC accredited schools are held to a high standard of integrity and academic rigor.
SOWELA experienced record enrollment in the Fall and Spring 2013-2014 semesters with for credit enrollment exceeding 3,200 students. Another 750 students were enrolled in the non-credit courses of welding, pipefitting, millwright, and other construction-related skills training. Based on current growth, the full-time enrollment will exceed 5,000 students by 2016.
The College currently offers associate degree, technical diploma, or certificate awards in 23 different programs that span such demand industries 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 the devastation caused by Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Lake Charles campus has embarked on an aggressive campus revitalization initiative that has resulted in three new buildings - The Phillips66 Process Technology building, the Arts and Humanities building, and the Nursing and Allied Health building. A new $20 million Regional Training Facility and an $8 million Student Services building will be completed on the Lake Charles campus by the end of 2016. Replacing the Morgan Smith Instructional Site in Jennings, a new $10 million facility will be built in 2016 adjacent to the Jennings High School in Jefferson Davis Parish.
SOWELA’s fund raising efforts are supported by the SOWELA Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 established to help raise and manage private sector funds for strategic initiatives which include scholarship support for students and facility and technological improvements.
The school’s mascot is the Flying Tigers, a salute to World War II General Clair Chennault’s 1st American Volunteer Group and their P-40 aircraft adorned with the famous 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.
- Student Government Association (SGA) Main Campus and Morgan Smith Campus
- Criminal Justice Club
- The Circle
- Phi Beta Lambda (PBL)
- Gamerz Club
- Graphic Art Club
- National Honor Society Main Campus and Morgan Smith Campus
- Southwest Student Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA)
- Sowela Artisans/American Advertising Federation, Skills USA Main Campus and Morgan Smith Campus
- Sowela Fresh Campus
- E. Holman Jones, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Oakdale in Allen Parish
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