NewsAcadia Parish


LSU Eunice selected for rural college improvement program

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Posted at 10:46 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 11:46:45-05

LSU at Eunice has been selected to participate in a program that aims to prepare students for careers.

Achieving the Dream, a nationwide network of more than 300 colleges, selected seven schools to start their Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work initiative, and LSU E is one of them.

The aim of the program is to increase equitable student success by strengthening rural colleges’ capacity to prepare students for careers in today’s economy. The initiative is funded by the Cognizant U.S. Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., The Community Focus Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation,, and Ascendium Education Group.

“Rural community colleges have long served as drivers of their communities’ economic and civic vitality, playing a critical role in ensuring social and economic mobility,” said Karen A. Stout, of the network. “As Achieving the Dream works to support our colleges in fostering diverse and equitable campuses, we are mindful of the importance of building a network that reflects the diversity of institutions across our country. This initiative adds to ATD’s experience working with other rural colleges in our network as well as the nation’s tribal colleges and universities, offering new learning opportunities around the role of rural community colleges as workforce and economic development engines.”

Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work will increase rural colleges’ capacity to succeed with whole-college reform efforts, provide students with the workforce skills needed in today and tomorrow’s economy, and connect students with careers in the digital economy that pay family-sustaining wages. In addition, participating institutions’ reform efforts will include providing academic and personal supports and narrowing equity gaps.

The seven colleges that have joined this initial cohort, and the ATD Network, include:
· Berkshire Community College – Pittsfield, MA
· Clovis Community College – Clovis, NM
· Columbia-Greene Community College – Hudson, NY
· Halifax Community College – Weldon, NC
· Louisiana State University-Eunice – Eunice, LA
· Northwest Mississippi Community College – Senatobia, MS
· Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College – Cumberland, KY

“We could not be more honored to be a part of this Achieving the Dream initiative,” said LSUE Chancellor Nancee Sorenson. “This partnership will cast a bright light on the Eunice community and has the opportunity to open doors and job opportunities for our great students and citizens.”

In January, members of the cohort participated in a Learning Launch Kickoff Institute to onboard to the program and to ATD. This afternoon, the cohort is featured virtually at a Spotlight Session as part of DREAM 2021. Additionally, there will be a Rural Convening this summer, as well as ongoing coaching and capacity building for the colleges through ATD.

Learn more about Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work here.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) describes itself as a growing network of more than 300 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students.