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Sep 18, 2013 7:53 PM by Akeam Ashford

SLCC $15 Million Closer To New Facility

South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) is $15 million closer to building a new health and sciences building.

The school will get the $15 million from the state, but first, they have to raise another $2.1 million in non-state funding.

SLCC Chancellor Natalie Harder says since Lafayette Parish has enrolled 220 students into the community college's Early Learning Academy this year alone, she's asked Lafayette Parish School System Superintendent Pat Cooper for help.

"Our community benefits because those students end up in the work force two years earlier. Regardless of if they decide to go in the work force after they graduate, or eventually go on for a bachelors degree. They already have two years of college finished," says Harder.

The Early College Academy at SLCC is in its sixth year. Harder says the program gives high school students, grades nine through 12, the chance to graduate high school with an associates degree.

Since the students are still considered high school students, the parish will foot the bill. Cooper says he supports LPSS giving SLCC $1 million.

"The fact that these students can start off as freshman at SLCC, and then finish as seniors four years later with not only a high school diploma, but also a community college diploma is very unique," says Cooper.

The new 83,400 square foot facility will be located on SLCC's Lafayette campus.

The college will designate a wing of the new building to the program; giving more students the opportunity to enroll in the program.

"Dr. Cooper and I believe we can grow that program to 1000 students if I have the space," says Harder.

Harder says she will make a presentation to the LPSS board in October.

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