Featured Online College
There are four major public university systems in the state of Louisiana: Louisiana State University System, Southern University System, University of Louisiana System, and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. The highest ranked among these is the flagship institution of Louisiana: Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. The university is included in U.S. News & World Report‘s list of the top universities in the nation for 2013. The school was founded in 1860 and has nearly 24,000 students enrolled, making it the largest institution of higher education in the state in terms of enrollment. Notable alumni include basketball’s Shaquille O’Neal, 38th Vice President of the United States Hubert Humphrey, and James Carville, former presidential campaign adviser to Bill Clinton.
There are several notable private colleges and universities in the state of Louisiana. Tulane University, a major research institution, is ranked No. 51 among national universities by U.S. News. It offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in architecture, business, science and engineering, law, liberal arts, medicine, public health and tropical medicine, and social work. Loyola University New Orleans and Louisiana College are also esteemed regional institutions, with Loyola ranking ninth among universities in the South and Louisiana No. 53 among colleges in the South, according to U.S. News.
The Board of Regents coordinates all public higher education in Louisiana. It aims to increase the educational attainment of the state’s citizens through its policy work in statewide academic planning and review, budgeting and performance funding, research, and accountability. According to the Board, three-fourths of Louisiana’s adult residents have no postsecondary degree, and only 65% of its K-12 students complete high school. Through its Master Plan for Public Postsecondary Education in Louisiana, the Board looks to increase the educational attainment of the state’s population to the Southern Regional Education Board States’ average by 2025; invest in university research; and achieve greater efficiency and accountability in the postsecondary education system.
Louisiana Distance Learning Initiatives
One way the state addresses the needs of its nontraditional students is through the Board’s Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana, or CALL. It was created to provide adult students with options and flexibility in terms of course and program delivery, whether they’re looking to acquire new skills or earn degrees or professional credentials. To help students earn degrees faster, CALL offers increased opportunity for awarding credit for prior learning and accelerated degree program options. Authorized in 2008, today it includes 10 public postsecondary institution members and offers 20 degree programs that have 100% online course and program offerings and a majority of courses that are accelerated or compressed.
Many of the state’s universities and colleges also offer online college degree programs. Schools with online degree programs include Loyola University New Orleans, which makes U.S. News‘s ranking of the best online college programs for its online graduate degree programs in nursing. The program made the publication’s online nursing programs honor roll and was noted for the strength of its faculty credentials and training, student engagement and accreditation, and student services and technology. The school offers online masters degree programs in nursing, as well as pastoral studies, religious education, and criminal justice administration, in addition to online doctoral degree programs in nursing practice. Both the Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana systems also offer distance learning opportunities.