Grant updates computer equipment, curricula at Delgado and Southeastern, articulation agreement in effect
Contact: Rene Abadie
A $965,000 grant awarded two years ago in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by the Louisiana Board of Regents to Delgado Community College in cooperation with Southeastern Louisiana University has culminated in a partnership designed to upgrade computer technology equipment and curricula at both institutions, officials at Delgado and Southeastern announced.
The four-year Post-Katrina Support Fund Initiative (PKSFI) has also spawned an articulation agreement that allows Delgado’s students to easily transition from the college’s computer information technology program (technical specialist concentration) to Southeastern’s bachelor’s degree in computer science (information technology concentration). The agreement becomes effective with the fall 2009 semester.
“The program enhancements being achieved under the PKSFI grant in cooperation with Southeastern, including this important articulation agreement, are providing unique opportunities for students to take advantage of the most cutting-edge information technology education to gain relevant knowledge and skill sets for today’s growing job market,” said Delgado’s Dr. Warren Duclos Jr.
Duclos is chair of Computer Information Technology at Delgado and the grant’s principal investigator. Cris Koutsougeras, professor and chair of the Southeastern Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology, and Troy Kammerdiener, assistant professor of computer science, are co-principal investigators.
“This cooperative arrangement is important to workforce development initiatives for the state of Louisiana,” said Tammy Bourg, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Southeastern. “Professionals with this kind of education and skill sets will play important roles in the emerging knowledge-based economy of our state and nation.”
Under the agreement, students earning an associate of applied science degree in Delgado’s computer information technology technical specialist concentration can easily transition as juniors into Southeastern’s bachelor of science degree in computer science with a concentration in information technology. Delgado degree program completers meeting Southeastern admission requirements are guaranteed transferability of 60 Delgado credits toward Southeastern’s 120-credit hour baccalaureate degree program.
The seamless transition from a two-year degree to a four-year program was praised by representatives of both institutions who said the articulation program is a key part of the intent of the PKSFI grant, which aims to enhance and upgrade the curricula and equipment at Delgado and Southeastern to meet the needs and challenges of the region’s workforce.
“The agreement is a testament to the dedication of both institutions to work more closely than ever to offer our students the very best educational opportunities,” said Deborah Lea, Delgado vice chancellor for learning and student development. Being able to seamlessly advance from Delgado’s two-year program to Southeastern’s four-year program as a junior will give students the best – and most time and financially efficient – education and training to succeed in some of the region’s hottest industries.”
As part of the grant, Delgado refocused its information technology curriculum to meet market needs in high-growth professions. The college added new degree concentrations in employment-focused areas of Web design and information technology services and continues to develop multi-disciplinary concentrations in the strategic areas of information security, e-commerce, multimedia production, computer game design and production, and creative/digital media.
To support the upgraded program, Delgado applied grant funds to developing cutting-edge new labs. In 2009, Delgado completed a new computer IT/digital media production lab on its City Park campus, which features 20 Dell Precision 5400 workstations, 3 Dell Precision 7400 rendering stations, scanners and color printers, and Dell Ultra-Sharp 24-inch flat panel, high resolution monitors.
At Southeastern, the PKSFI grant funded the outfitting of the Networked Systems Administration Laboratory (NetSal) computer lab with 32 state-of-the-art server machines that support server-related curricula at Southeastern and also Delgado’s curriculum via Internet access. NetSal is a state-of-the-art Web server lab located at Southeastern that supports its computer science program. At the same time, Delgado faculty and students have Internet access to NetSal servers to support the Web server-related needs of instruction at the college.
“Besides the productive use of the state funded equipment which serves both institutions, there is another profoundly unique benefit to students,” said Koutsougeras. “Many students at Southeastern, as part of their systems administration training, provide systems administration support to Delgado students who are using NetSal Web services for their Web development class-work at Delgado. So more students get benefit from state-of-the-art equipment, and the opportunities for learning experiences are now broader.”
In addition, Southeastern will develop and run a Transitional Student Mentoring and Tutoring program – called TransMAT -- that uses the NetSal lab to provide support to students transitioning from Delgado’s associate program to Southeastern’s four-year bachelor’s program.