What is Compete LA?

UL System President discusses new pathway to educate state’s workforce and create opportunity for a better life

By Stacey Tinsley, Special to BIZ. Magazine

State universities are working together to provide a new education pathway for adults in order to increase their income and quality of life.

University of Louisiana System President Dr. Jim Henderson spoke at a breakfast in Bossier City June 18 to introduce Compete LA. 

This program helps adults across the state who have some college, but no degree, to complete their education.

Compete LA is designed to re-engage the 653,000 Louisianans with some college credit but no degree. 

Henderson explained that the college degree allows for social mobility.

“Complete LA is a ticket to social mobility and economic prosperity, which is why the Universities of Louisiana are dedicated to developing the talent necessary to elevate Louisiana to her full potential,” said Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System.

The program offers an innovative course schedule and delivery, effective student support systems through its personal coaching model, and closer connections to community partners all with the goal of providing returning adults an opportunity to earn a college degree.

Compete LA coaches help students to apply and find the program that is right for them. They can help them decide between online, hybrid, or eight-week classroom courses. 

Businesses will also have an opportunity to help their employees through this program. 

With the rapid advancement of technology, the economy is demanding a more educated workforce than ever before. By 2020, 55 percent of jobs in Louisiana will require a postsecondary degree. 

“Without a qualified workforce, Louisiana businesses will face the challenge of remaining competitive in the 21st Century economy,” said Henderson.

The Compete LA information session was sponsored by the Bossier Parish Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce and North Louisiana Economic Partnership.

Bossier Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Lisa Johnson said the audience in attendance gained knowledge of the new program and learned the steps that need to be taken for someone to earn their college degree.

“They gained the knowledge of this new program that is being launched within the state of Louisiana. They gained the steps that you, as the non traditional student or traditional student — someone who started college and was not able to finish that degree or certain certification — need to know to move forward,” Johnson said.

“The University System is going to help you find that coach so that you can complete that degree. That’s what we learned today,” she added.