Compete LA is an innovative initiative by the University of Louisiana System to assist adults ready to complete their college degrees.

The University of Louisiana Monroe is featuring 12 programs through ULM Online as part of Compete LA. Degrees include those that prepare students to meet career goals in business, education, healthcare and the public sector. The nine universities in the UL System are participating in Compete LA.

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, several events were held introducing the initiative to Northeastern Louisiana.

UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson, D.M., was the guest speaker at a joint meeting of the Monroe and West Monroe West Ouachita chambers of Commerce.

“For Louisiana to be competitive in the economy of the future, we have to develop a more educated workforce,” Henderson said. “Compete LA is designed to cut through the red tape of returning to school and provide supports at every step of the student’s educational journey.”

Joining Henderson from the UL System were Jeannine Kahn, Ph.D., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Katie Barras, assistant vice president of Academic Innovations and Cami Geisman, vice president of Marketing and Communications.

Following the meeting, ULM sponsored a Compete LA and ULM Information Fair at the Monroe Civic Center.

Wednesday afternoon, ULM President Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D., and Henderson hosted a reception for Compete LA and to announce $20,000 in scholarship funding by Regions Bank.

Bruno addressed the gathering, noting that life events can have a significant impact on education. Family issues, jobs and illness can disrupt the course of completing a college degree.

“Compete LA allows the opportunity for a ‘stop-out’ to come back and pursue their degree. We have a large number of undergraduate and graduate programs through ULM Online and on campus that fit the needs of our local workforce. Guidance and assistance now available through Compete LA and ULM Online can help people reach their academic goals,” Bruno said.

For some former students, financial concerns led to the detour to a college degree. To help fund participation in Compete LA at ULM, Regions Bank created a scholarship specifically for those students.

Representing Regions Bank were Kevin Smith, senior vice president of Commercial Banking, Roger Johnston, senior vice president of Commercial Banking and Leo Nelson, senior vice president and City President.

Katie Dawson, director of ULM Online, said 12 degree programs are part of Compete LA, bachelor’s degrees in general studies, health studies, elementary education, psychology, criminal justice, history, business administration, risk management and insurance management, marketing and political science and an Associate of General Studies.

Compete LA is an innovative initiative by the University of Louisiana System to assist adults ready to complete their degrees. The University of Louisiana Monroe is featuring 12 programs through ULM Online as part of Compete LA. Degrees include those that prepare students to meet career goals in business, education, healthcare and the public sector.

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