Making College Work for Working Adults
A new initiative at Bossier Parish Community College is aimed at meeting the education and training needs of the region’s working adults. The Nights, Online, and Weekend College (NOW) will be launched in the summer of 2022 and provide an expanded menu of certificate and degree offerings in a flexible format with classes scheduled in the evenings, on weekends, in person or online. This new effort is timed to take advantage of a new scholarship opportunity for adults—the M.J. Foster Promise Scholarship.
The programs offered through BPCC’s NOW College are designed to fit the busy lifestyle of today’s working adult and to align with workforce needs in our region. The programs will range from short-term, high-value certifications to associate degrees in disciplines such as healthcare, cyber, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, gaming and hospitality. Students with previous college coursework can be fast-tracked to completion as can students who earn credit for prior learning for work experience.
Adult learners require flexibility in the scheduling of courses and BPCC’s NOW College has responded by making training available in the evenings and on Saturday and by delivering the content through hybrid approaches in eight-week mini-terms. These strategies will allow busy adults to focus on one or two courses at a time while also maintaining a pace to complete a degree program in two years while balancing their personal and professional commitments.
The new M.J. Foster Promise Scholarship was approved by the Legislature in 2021 and will go into effect in July of 2022. This innovative scholarship program is designed to support adult learners interested in education and training that leads to high-wage, high-demand employment aligned to Louisiana’s workforce priorities. NOW College is how BPCC is making adjustments that build the infrastructure to better support adult learners who will, beginning this summer, have access to a funding stream to support their educational endeavors.
Dr. Rick Bateman is Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College