2016 Year in Review

A look back at the best of 2016 here at Southeastern - from A to Z!



Did you know we have an art gallery right on campus? Southeastern’s Contemporary Art Gallery provides a forum for national and regional exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as lectures and workshops, for students, the city of Hammond and residents of the North Shore. Exhibitions and educational programs at SLUCAG connect students with opportunities to engage with artworks and artists while giving them insight into current directions in contemporary art.



Southeastern’s graduate program in biological sciences received another accolade this year when it was ranked third in the nation by SR Education Group, an education research publisher. Southeastern was the only Louisiana institution listed in the top 30 colleges and universities, and ranked high based on campus safety, career advising, quality of instruction, student diversity, financial services and degree satisfaction.


Camp Sensation

Southeastern’s College of Education was the first university in the nation to host two highly specialized facilities, called Lekotek and Snoezelen®. Both programs help student teacher candidates gain expertise and hands-on experience in working with children with special needs. Every summer, Southeastern hosts Camp Sensation - a three day program where children with disorders such as autism, Down syndrome and other diagnoses get the chance to experiment with different feelings, sounds and smells through various stations and experiencing the Snoezelen Sensorium. This article by The Advocate describes several families experiences with Camp Sensation this year.



Southeastern offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs that stand among the best in the region. With majors and concentrations as wide-ranging and exciting as Energy Engineering Technology and New Media and Animation, you're sure to find a program that appeals to you. Here are some of our recent rankings



We are all about green here at Southeastern, and not just due to our school colors. Southeastern’s Sustainability Center is nationally recognized and this year was the recipient of the Operational Excellence Champion Award by the Louisiana Chapter of U.S. Green Building Council. Every year, the Center sponsors a week of activities for students and the public aimed at education, awareness. The 2016 Earth/Sustainability Awareness Week featured tours of the university’s high tech Sustainability Center and its Outreach Classroom, tours of Turtle Cove Environmental Research Center on Pass Manchac, a business expo for the public and professionals in the building trades, a Sustainability Science Fair, and a variety of other displays and events.


Friendship Oak

Friendship Oak, the iconic symbol of Southeastern, underwent an extensive checkup and treatment plan in 2016 intended to preserve it for years to come. Licensed arborists conducted tree preservation treatment including pruning of dead wood, fertilization, systemic insecticide applications and other work. The tree has long been a meeting area for students, and a long-held tradition claims that couples who kiss under the tree are destined to marry. Trees on campus are continually assessed for tree health and campus safety, and Southeastern continues to actively plant trees to maintain the traditional beauty of the campus.



Don’t our Lions look great in green? Southeastern’s spring 2016 commencement ceremony debuted new green gowns for our graduates!


Health Coaching

A two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture allowed Southeastern and its partners, including North Oaks Health System, to expand a highly successful health coaching program that has reduced hospital readmission rates by 72 percent among at risk patients since its inception two years ago. The program provide authentic field experiences for Southeastern Louisiana University students, while at the same time increasing the quality of life for area residents.



The Big Event is one big day of community service in which the Southeastern Campus gives back as a way for the entire student body and campus to express gratitude to the local residents, businesses and agencies who support them during their college career. In April 2016, approximately 600 students participated in the massive community service initiative sponsored by the Student Government Association. This event is one of numerous outreach and volunteer projects completed by our students, student organizations and student athletes annually to connect them with our community. In fact, last year Southeastern was named the top ranked in Louisiana for student impact on community by Purposeful Networks.



On of Southeastern’s most unique traditions is Strawberry Jubilee, a salute to our state’s culture! Sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, the Jubilee kicks off with the traditional cutting of the huge strawberry cake by Miss Southeastern. What follows is an afternoon of food, entertainment and fun activities. Students enjoy red beans and rice, make your own custom license plate, interactions with exotic animals and “Stuff-A-Lion” which allowed students to make their own Roomie stuffed animal! The Strawberry Jubiliee takes place in the spring, and Gumbo Ya Ya is our fall fun!


King Cake

You never know what you will find walking through the Union on campus between classes, thanks to Campus Activities Board! From king cake at Mardi Gras to pumpkin carving at Halloween, CAB always has something fun and unexpected for our Lions.


Lions Connected

A new initiative on campus this year, Lions Connected launched in the fall 2016 with a mission to offer personalized, post-secondary educational experience for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Through Lions Connected, students are immersed in the "college experience" through Southeastern courses, campus activities, and interaction with peers. While taking courses, Lions Connected students work with mentors for guidance and support. Each semester, Lions Connected students will develop the skills and concepts needed to succeed in their community and gain valuable employment experience.



Southeastern is home to the only student-run farmers market in the state, held monthly and featuring food and crafts from local farmers and artisans. The market is sponsored by the student environmental club Reconnect, which promotes the use of locally grown, healthy and sustainable food products.



During the historic flooding in Aug. 2016, our Southeastern family saw our neighbors in need - and we responded. For three days at the beginning of the fall semester, student volunteers were organized to help with regional flood recovery efforts using cleanup supplies donated by the community and organized through St. Albert’s Catholic Church. Groups were sent out to help in devastated areas all over the region, from Tangipahoa to Livingston Parish. Lions worked long hours helping homeowners. Hundreds of donations came in from the Lion Nation and the community to help with this “Lionhearted” effort! All in all, almost 3,000 hours of labor were volunteered at 120 home sites in our region by Southeastern students. Some Lions participated through their student organizations, fraternities, or sororities, while others joined the overall volunteer effort.  All 15 Southeastern sports teams participated throughout the week. It was an incredible effort that made an immeasurable difference to so many.



Southeastern’s Occupational Safety, Health and Environment program was recognized this year by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals as an exceptional program holding superior program accreditation. The program at Southeastern was the only one awarded to a public institution in Louisiana and one of only 26 recognized nationwide. Southeastern’s OSHE bachelor’s degree is one of only a few of its kind in the nation. Initiated in 2004 as a workforce demand-driven evolution from a two-year associate degree program, the degree is designed to meet the needs of industries in the region for properly prepared professionals to work in the increasingly complex field of safety and health in the industrial setting.





Southeastern strengthened its Connect to Success partnership with Northshore Technical Community College in 2016 with the opportunity for successful NTCC students to progress directly into Southeastern’s bachelor’s programs in business and biological sciences. Connect to Success was designed to expand access and preparation of NTCC students to provide a seamless and supportive path to transfer to a  baccalaureate program at Southeastern. Students have access to comprehensive resources at both institutions, including Southeastern’s textbook rental program, library, print services, computer labs, health center, counseling center, shuttle service, social activities and tutoring services as well as Northshore’s academic advising, tutoring and student support services.




All Hail the Queen and King! Southeastern Homecoming 2016 Queen is Maggie Hinson, a kinesiology major from Denham Springs. Our King is Justin Bankston, a computer science major from Loranger. Both were crowned during the Homecoming game during a wonderful day on the beautiful campus of Southeastern Louisiana University! Lion Nation enjoyed a Road Trip with Roomie at the parade, tailgating in Friendship Circle and cheering the Lions to victory in Strawberry Stadium!




Southeastern is consistently recognized for our graduates’ return on investment for degree programs, and 2016 was no exception. Southeastern was ranked among the top 100 universities in the nation for low student loan debt. Also this year, the College of Nursing's online program that helps registered nurses earn their bachelor degrees was ranked among the nation’s top 50 most affordable online nursing programs for 2016. Southeastern’s master of business administration program was also recognized as 35th in the country on a ranking of the 50 most affordable MBA programs. Our accounting, sports management and education programs have been recognized in years past for their value, and we ranked in the top 60 nationwide for return on tuition investment.



Southeastern was ranked as the safest large college or university in the state and 15th in the nation in a 2016 college guide report. Among the many safety features the campus offers is the latest innovation, a safe campus app. The app can direct dial the University Police Department (985-549-2222) from its home screen and from links embedded throughout its sections. It lists steps to take in the case of an active shooter or stabbing on campus, bomb threat, fire or explosion, intruder/mental health emergency or otherwise. The app also addresses procedures to be taken should there be a need for a lockdown, shelter in place or evacuation. Additional information is provided should instances of physical injury, sexual assault, weapons on campus or weather emergencies occur. Learn about all of our safe campus initiatives here.




Work continued this year on the construction of Southeastern’s new 70,000 square foot computer science and technology building, which will open for the fall 2017 semester. The facility will serve as a state-of-the-art classroom and lab to prepare students in the programs for the STEM-related jobs that are only increasing in demand in our area.  The three-story facility will house components of several programs, including computer science, information technology, engineering technology, industrial technology, and occupational, safety, health and environment program. In addition to faculty offices and classrooms, the building will have specialty labs for computer science, engineering and industrial technology, material testing, machine and manufacturing, automation and robotics, industrial hygiene and fire protection, an electronics and drafting.




April 2016 marked the official grand opening of the university’s newly renovated and expanded War Memorial Student Union. Work on the project began in 2012 as part of a three-phase, student-funded initiative. The finished result gives our student body access to more space and modern amenities - a true campus hub. All student services, such as the health and counseling services, bookstore, and others are now centrally located in one place, along with dining options and space to meet and study.




In 2016, Southeastern was named to Louisiana’s list of the Governor’s Military and Veteran Friendly Campuses, a designation that commends institutions that have gone above and beyond to create a supportive environment for veteran and military students. Southeastern was also named a “Military Friendly School” for the fifth consecutive year by the magazine “G.I Jobs.” The university maintains a Veterans Upward Bound program; an Office of Veterans Affairs that assists students in obtaining benefits and with other issues; provides academic and other counseling services; offers scholarships specifically for military students and veterans; maintains a wide range of online and distance learning programs that provide students with flexibility in scheduling. Southeastern also has an on-campus ROTC program and a Southeastern Student Veterans & Military Interest Association, a student group founded this year.




“Those who kiss beneath its boughs one day will share marriage vows.” (Friendship Oak)

We love when couples include Southeastern as part of their special day! One couple, Megan Bonck and Hayes Walker, met at Southeastern as students. Hayes later proposed to Megan with a brick in Friendship Circle. In 2016, the couple married with a ceremony and reception on campus. This article by the Lion's Roar tells their story!



Experiential Learning

Many components combine to foster excellent learning environments. Southeastern’s Real-World Ready initiative ensures our students receive the best of educational practices both inside and outside the classroom through experiential-learning opportunities that prepare them for the demands of the 21st-century workplace and beyond. In other words, makes them ready for the “real world.” The initiative is coordinated by the the Office of Experiential Learning and provides opportunities for students to practice settings that are authentic to advancing their intended careers. These learning opportunities are current, pertinent, performance-based, practical applications of knowledge and skills experienced within the curriculum. Classes all across campus take this beneficial approach to learning by giving students a taste of what their careers will be like after graduation.




Who has the best campus food in Louisiana? That would be us!

Southeastern earned the 2016 Best College Food in Louisiana title and a national Top 100 ranking, too. The ranking, based on student reviews, takes into account meal plan costs and student access to healthy, quality food across a wide range of cuisines and dietary preferences. The expanded Student Union helped completely transform the dining experience on campus. In addition to our centralized Mane Dish dining facility, which offers all you care to eat customizable meals, Southeastern also maintains a food court, featuring a variety of  nationally-based vendors, with more on the way.



Zoom Into Careers

Every summer, Southeastern offers a series of career workshops for junior high and high school students. In the hands-on courses, participants explore a career and gain knowledge of the competencies required to succeed in their field of interest. These workshops introduce students to career opportunities available in Louisiana and compatible higher education programs within Southeastern's and Northshore Technical Community College's curriculum. This summer, campers enjoyed programs such as Animation, Computer Science, Photography, Sustainability,  Television, and Theater.