Thursday, June 20, 2024

Smith: LSUS building momentum as fall semester begins

by BIZ Magazine

“This is the most engaged group of freshmen I’ve seen in quite a while.”

Recently, as I sat in the LSU Shreveport Port Grill enjoying the daily special – cod fish sandwich, if you’re wondering – I chatted with two faculty members. Both teach freshman seminar, the gateway course all freshmen must take as an introduction to college life at LSUS. 

Both exclaimed that the new students on campus already seemed more engaged and excited about school than those in recent years, something everyone on campus can be happy about. 

As we embark upon a new semester, there are many reasons for the students, faculty, staff, and broader Shreveport-Bossier community, to be excited and reenergized by the happenings at the LSU Shreveport campus. 

Our enrollment has grown significantly. The budget is stable. We have a new chancellor, and many new faculty and staff members. Our athletics department has two new coaches, and many teams are hoping to meet or exceed their stellar win records from last year. We are seeing greater engagement from the on-campus student population. We have two new undergraduate degrees – one of which is the first of its kind in the nation – and multiple new certificate programs. Our dual enrollment offerings have led to a sharp increase in local high school students earning college credits through our institution. Our faculty are engaged in meaningful research endeavors and community projects, on top of their primary teaching duties. 

In addition, LSUS has been awarded numerous distinctions of late, highlighting our commitment to student success. The recent Third Way report measuring the ability of higher education institutions to improve economic outcomes of low-income students ranked our university as number one in the state and in the top 20 percent nationally. This provides hard data that we truly are transforming the lives of our students and by extension, their families. Our campus also recently earned the “hunger-free” campus designation from the Louisiana Board of Regents, highlighting the work of LSUS’ on-campus food pantry and community garden.

Our summer graduation – usually the smallest of our three commencement events each year – boasted more than 1100 graduates, with approximately 450 choosing to walk across the stage at Brookshire’s Grocery Arena; many graduates were enrolled in our online programs and travelled to Shreveport from far away to meet their faculty and share in the excitement of our commencement. 

As you can see, not only are the incoming freshmen engaged and excited, but the entire campus is, as well. We hope that our momentum is contagious, and we are able to spread it far and wide across Shreveport-Bossier, enriching lives across the community.  

Erin Smith is Director of Media & Public Relations for Lsu shreveport

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