Leesville, Sowela leaders celebrate Lamar Salter campus acquisition

Published 9:10 am Thursday, August 25, 2022

City of Leesville leaders joined Sowela Technical Community College officials in commemorating the recent acquisition and opening of Sowela’s Lamar Salter campus in Leesville on Wednesday with a special key ceremony.

The acquisition of the Leesville campus was made official on July 1, and this week’s key ceremony commemorated the passing of ownership from Central Louisiana Technical Community College to Sowela. Lamar Salter was a part of CLTCC in Alexandria since its opening in 1978.

Leesville Mayor Rick Allen said the acquisition will bring great educational opportunities to Leesville and its surrounding communities, as well as to military personnel presently stationed at Fort Polk.

“We are so grateful for this transition. It will mean more opportunities for not only our students and citizens, but also our military personnel as they consider careers outside the Army,” Allen said.

The Lamar Salter Leesville campus currently offers instruction to 120 students, including high school dual enrollment, adult basic education, workforce development training, general education courses, and career and technical education programs.

The campus offers seven different programs and degrees that include Business Office Administration, Practical Nursing, Automotive Technology, Business Office Technology, Carpentry, Outdoor Power Equipment Technology, and Welding Technology.

A custom key used in Wednesday’s ceremony was even created by Lamar Salter carpentry students.

The Leesville campus is now the third Sowela satellite campus, and falls under the same Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation. That accreditation is welcome news to local students, as it makes general education classes transferable to an accredited university for a bachelor’s degree.

Sowela Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall said the college is excited for the opportunity to reach additional students in the Southwest Louisiana region.

“The addition of the Lamar Salter campus to Sowela is very exciting and welcomed. This addition has increased the footprint of Sowela and provided the means for the college to offer educational programs and services to the citizens of Vernon Parish and to the soldiers and their families at Fort Polk,” Aspinwall said.

Sowela has been named the top Community College in Louisiana by WalletHub the past three years.