New undergrad certificate approved by Louisiana Board of Regents

Published: Feb. 27, 2019 at 3:45 PM CST
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(WAFB) - The Louisiana Board of Regents approved a new undergraduate certificate (UC) Wednesday to specifically meet the needs of various businesses looking for more flexible educational options.

The approval, which took place Wednesday, Feb. 27, gives schools the opportunity to start developing post and sub-baccalaureate programs for students.

Universities in Louisiana, along with the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, will work with high-tech employers, such as CenturyLink, DXC, and IBM, to create a more qualified workforce.

“Regents has been fast moving on this initiative and came up with a solution that is amazing,” said Louisiana Economic Development Fast Start Director Susie Schowen. “This is very exciting and came about in the right way with colleges and universities coming up with the solution. What we hear over and over again from industry is computer science majors, for example, are very much in demand, but they aren’t the only college graduate populations that could thrive and be successful in the workforce if they had additional tech skills.”

“We are constantly looking to hire qualified employees,” said IBM Baton Rouge Talent Manager Beth Aucoin “Right now, we are training those with potential on our own, but this undergraduate certificate will shorten that time period for us. Additionally, from a diversity standpoint, this will help us hire a diverse workforce in our Louisiana operations and we’re excited by that.”

The undergrad certificate would be offered to current students and returning students who have already earned some college credit or degree. The certificates will require at least 18 credit hours focusing on a skill associated with high demand jobs and specializations. The certificate is designed to complement someone’s current educational background and meet an industry need.

The Board of Regents says similar programs have been successfully implemented in Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri.

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