VILLE PLATTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING
FEBRUARY 24, 2014
A joint meeting was held today (Monday) at noon at Nicks on Main for two organizations in Ville Platte, the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. The purpose of the meeting was to hear from South Louisiana Community College officials answer questions about the future of the Coreil Campus located in Ville Platte.
Special guests were Dr. David Volpe, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Willie Smith, Vice Chancellor for Economic and Work Force Development for South Louisiana Community College System.
Dr. Volpe said he wanted to clear any rumors about possible closure of the Coreil Campus. He said that issue has never been discussed. He said “Coreil campus is alive and well”. He introduced the new school administrator, Carleen Jones. He reported that that there are 86 students going to Coreil Campus taking courses such as auto mechanics, welding, business and nursing. He expects the enrollment in the fall will increase to 120.
He reported that registrations for the Spring Semester have stopped which was a concern to local residents so the staff can prepare a new curriculum.
Dr. Willie Buller said he and others in the community have been concerned over the “deterioration” over the enrollment numbers and the small number of instructors at the local campus. “We need to make a concerted effort for technical” or trade courses over straight academic courses.
Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot said her concerns are over the shrinking number of instructors at the school. Currently the business program only has one instructor.
Willie Smith said he was actively recruiting additional instructors to Coreil, T.H. Harris and other campuses in the system. He said the trouble he is having is the pay. He said, the system cannot compete with private industry that is paying instructors three times what they can pay them.
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine urged school officials to try to find funding to help pay to transport students to the school.
Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin announced that the public school system has over 100 students taking dual enrollment courses using in house instructors. Dual enrollment gives students instruction and credit for post secondary courses.
State Representative Bernard LeBas said “I feel like the rural areas are once again being left out. All of the tax payer’s money is primarily going to the populated areas”.