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ULM and Delta partner to boost STEM participation

Published November 04, 2014

From: Darian Atkins, LDCC

Louisiana Delta Community College (LDCC) and the University of Louisiana at Monroe decided to strengthen their alliance to better combat a very serious educational/career deficit in an official agreement signing Tuesday, Nov. 4, at the LDCC Monroe campus.

At one time in our nation’s history, the U.S. was a leader in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. However, recent studies have repeatedly shown that there is a lack of student interest in focusing on these topics.

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in those specific disciplines. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of high school students are interested in a STEM career and have proven a proficiency in mathematics. Currently, nearly 28 percent of high school freshmen declare an interest in a STEM-related field, a U.S. Department of Education website says, but 57 percent of these students will lose interest by the time they graduate from high school.

LDCC & ULM signed a memorandum of understanding in 2008 establishing course and program transfer and articulation agreements. The overall goal of that agreement was to identity high-student interest degree programs at each institution and develop specific degree program articulation agreements, allowing a smooth transfer of credits from one institution to the other. This would serve to improve the transfer process for the benefit of students.

LDCC & ULM have now amended their agreement to include the first 2 years of LDCC’s Associate of Science Louisiana Transfer – Biological Sciences Concentration which will now be transferrable to ULM’s Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science.


“This partnership between LDCC and ULM will serve to enhance and augment educational opportunities for all of our students by clearly defining transfer pathways. We are pleased to have such a good friend in ULM and are excited about the opportunity that this partnership provides us to support the Louisiana Community and Technical College System’s (LCTCS') Strategic goal of quadrupling student transfers to four-year universities. Together we become more than the sum of our parts,” expresses Dr. Barbara M. Hanson, Chancellor at LDCC.

Quadrupling? Yes. According to a report by the website STEMconnector.org, by 2018, projections estimate the need for 8.65 million workers in STEM-related jobs. The manufacturing sector faces an alarmingly large shortage of employees with the necessary skills — nearly 600,000. The field of cloud computing alone will have created 1.7 million jobs between 2011 and 2015, according to the report. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2018, the bulk of STEM careers will be:

• Computing – 71 percent
• Traditional Engineering – 16 percent
• Physical sciences – 7 percent
• Life sciences – 4 percent
• Mathematics – 2 percent


Hence, the goals of LCTCS is not just a great idea but, a very necessary one, as well. “We are very pleased to partner with Louisiana Delta Community College in an ongoing effort to help prepare students for high demand jobs like those in the Medical Laboratory Sciences field,” expresses Dr. Nick Bruno, President of ULM.

It has become critical that 2-year and 4-year institutions partner for our global good. Hanson and Bruno are definitely moving efforts in the right direction in Northeast Louisiana to best prepare students for the jobs that await them.