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Tuesday, April 18, 2017
by: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND –The Southeastern Promise will be available to Southeastern Louisiana University
beginning freshmen starting this fall. Through this ground-breaking program – the
only one of its kind in Louisiana – Southeastern will promise these students no tuition
increases and class availability to ensure their degree completion in four years.
The initiative entails two central components for eligible students who opt to participate:
• Southeastern will not raise tuition for participating students during their four-year tenure
• Southeastern commits to providing availability of courses to ensure appropriate progress and enable degree attainment within four years
The launch of The Southeastern Promise at this time is a result of several factors. Non-fulfillment of the TOPS scholarship tuition payments by the state and multiple tuition increases in recent years due to declining state funding to state universities have created a confusing environment of financial uncertainty for students and their families. As the cost of a college education has increased, more students realize the urgency of completing their degrees in an expeditious manner.
“The Southeastern Promise is a game-changer in Louisiana,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain. “Earning a university degree is more important than ever, and also more expensive than ever before. Likewise financial planning for college has become difficult due to tuition increases. We hope to remove that future uncertainty for those students willing to participate and achieve their higher education goals in a timely manner.”
The plan relies on a student’s commitment to complete the 120 hours required for a typical bachelor’s degree within four years by following a prescribed curriculum for their selected course of study. Southeastern is committing to participating students that it will offer all the courses needed when they’re needed to graduate within the four-year time frame. If students adhere to the program, any potential tuition increases that may be implemented by the university over those four years will not apply. Program details can be found at southeastern.edu/promise.
Southeastern academic advisors will work with freshmen to choose their majors wisely and develop a four-year degree plan. Following the prescribed curriculum for their chosen major involves successful completion of at least 30 hours per year. If it is impossible for a student to reach the goal due to class scheduling or availability problems, the university will work with the student on a combination of equivalent class substitutions or provide scholarship funds for the remaining classes needed for degree attainment.
“For 90 years now, Southeastern has been dedicated to one thing – our students’ success,” Crain said. “Our entire university is focused on serving our students by providing strong academic programs with a personalized, caring culture that lays the groundwork for success.
Part of our focus on student success is sensitivity to college affordability, he added.
“Southeastern has always represented a great value and we have a long-standing tradition of programs and initiatives that save students money,” he said, pointing to the university’s textbook rental program as an example.
“Southeastern operates one of the first and now longest-running textbook rental programs in the nation, which saves students hundreds of dollars each semester, he said.
“The Southeastern Promise continues our student-centered path. Students who are committed to succeeding will succeed. That is our promise.”
The Southeastern Promise is open to beginning freshman students entering the university in the Summer 2017 or Fall 2017 semesters who elect to participate in the program. Students do not necessarily have to declare a major in the first year but must declare an eligible major by the start of their sophomore semester.
The initiative requires the student successfully complete a minimum of one-quarter of the applicable credits for the selected degree program each academic year. The majority of Southeastern undergraduate degree programs consist of 120 total credit hours. Enrollment at the university can include summer sessions to earn additional credits toward the goal if needed. Enrollment must be continuous at the university, and students are expected to remain in good academic standing.
Southeastern’s commitment involves providing the student with a four-year academic map for eligible majors; providing academic advising during the initial enrollment period and prior to the start of each semester; ensuring the availability of courses to complete the 2017 four-year graduation plan; providing students with tools, including an online degree audit to assist in monitoring progress; and providing students with an annual evaluation of degree progress.
“Southeastern is committed to creating an educational environment designed to ensure student success and to offer an excellent educational value,” Crain said. “The Southeastern Promise offers students and parents the opportunity to more easily plan an academic pathway at a structured cost.”
For more information on the plan, visit the website southeastern.edu/promise.