Admission Requirements

General Admissions Requirements

All applicants must submit the following items (documents will not be returned once submitted):

  • A completed online application form. The online application must be submitted prior to the first day of classes. Incomplete or false information may jeopardize admission to SOWELA.
  • Proof of Selective Service status. In accordance with the requirements of Louisiana Law R.S. 17:3151 and the Federal Selective Service Act, applicants who are between the ages of 18 and 25 must provide written evidence that they have registered with Selective Service before they will be allowed to register for classes. Acceptable documentation may be a copy of the applicant's Selective Service Registration card or a printout from the Selective Service website indicating the applicant's status. The following categories of applicants are exempt from this requirement:
    • Military personnel currently on active duty in the military
    • Veterans who submit a copy of their DD214 discharge certificate
  • Proof of immunization. As required by Louisiana Law R.S. 17:170, all first time students must provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, and at least one COVID vaccination as a condition of enrollment. Students will not be allowed to complete the registration process until they have satisfied the immunization requirement. A waiver may be signed by the student, however, in the event of an outbreak of measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, or COVID on campus, the college will require the students who are not immunized to stop attending classes until the outbreak is over or until they submit proof of adequate immunization.
  • Official college transcripts are not required to become fully admitted to the college; however, students who wish to receive a placement test waiver and/or transfer credit from previously attended colleges should submit official transcripts to the Registrar's Office. An official transcript is one that is mailed directly from the transferring college to SOWELA or submitted in a sealed envelope from the transferring college. Students are encouraged to request that their transcript be sent electronically to SOWELA from those colleges that participate in the escript system.

Admission of First-Time Students

Applicants must provide an official high school transcript or official high school equivalency scores (GED or HiSET) for admission into the Associate of Nursing and the Practical Nursing program.

Students planning to enroll should request that their ACT scores be sent to the Enrollment Services One Stop Center at SOWELA. SOWELA's ACT Code is 5064.

ACCUPLACER scores may also be used for placement. Students whose test scores indicate a need for additional preparation in basic skills will be required to enroll in appropriate transitional courses to help prepare them for success in higher level courses.

SOWELA's placement exams are administered for1 course placement only and are not used in determining admission to the college except when academic achievement levels are required by a licensure board (i.e. the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners).

Special Admission Requirements

The programs listed below have special admission requirements in addition to the standard admission requirements for SOWELA Technical Community College.

School of Nursing and Allied Health

  • Selection for Enrollment in Nursing Courses:
    • Faculty will review each clinical application packet and selection will be made based on each student's rank:
      • TEAS exam - 30%
      • GPA - 30%
      • Fundamentals exam - 40%
      • TOTAL Possible = 100%
      • Additional points will be awarded if the student holds a degree/diploma/certificate:
        • Master +5
        • Bachelor +4
        • Associate +3
        • Diploma +2
        • Certificate +1
    • Faculty decisions for admission to the LPN to RN program are final. Appeals will not be considered.
  • Must have an unencumbered Louisiana license to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
  • Must have IV Therapy Certification.
  • Must score a 64% on the entrance exam (TEAS VII) prior to registering for NURS 1153.
  • Must score a Level II (65%) on the ATI Fundamentals Exam prior to registering for NURS 1153.
  • Must take NURS 1153 the summer accepted into the program. Must receive approval to register for class.
  • Upon successful completion of NURS 1153, NURS 2300 and NUR 2310 - 17 Credit hours in nursing will be awarded for the following nursing courses: NURS 1100, NURS 1110, NURS 1150, NURS 2200, and NURS 2210.
  • A minimum grade of ‘C' in all required biology, mathematics, and nursing courses.
  • Completion of prerequisite general academic courses toward the degree. (All courses listed in the first and second semester of the curriculum pattern.)
  • Minimum grade point average of 2.8 in all non-nursing courses required for the degree. Grades earned in any required course completed at the time of the application will be calculated in the GPA.
  • A student will be permitted to repeat only one required non-nursing or nursing course. A student who fails or withdraws (receives a grade of ‘D', ‘F' or ‘W') again in that course or from a second required course will no longer be permitted to apply to the ASN program at SOWELA Technical Community College School of Nursing and Allied Health.

LPN to RN Application Checklist

Student Responsibilities

The application process must be completed, and students must be accepted into the program prior to beginning any clinical nursing course. This application MUST be completed in full by the deadline or student will be considered ineligible.

Checklist and required documentation:

  • Apply to SOWELA Technical Community College. Must be a SOWELA student during the semester of application or have completed all pre and co-requisite courses. Official transcripts must be submitted prior to application.
    • LPN to ASN program applications are available mid-January to February and are due in March for a summer entry cohort.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
  • Minimum grade of “C” in all required biology, mathematics, and nursing courses. Students completing pre-requisite/co-requisite courses for the ASN program at SOWELA or transferring from another institution can only have repeated 1 course in which a “W”, “D” or “F” was earned. Credit for RN nursing courses from another institution will not be considered for transfer at this time.
  • Completion of pre-requisite general academic courses (at least the first 2 semesters as shown on the curriculum).
  • Minimum grade point average of 2.8 in ALL non-nursing courses required for the degree (All non-nursing courses shown in the ASN curriculum will be calculated into this GPA if taken prior to application for admission).
  • Completion of the TEAS VII test with a score of 64%. This is a nationally ranked score and not necessarily on a 100-point scale. You will need to visit www.atitesting.com (opens new window) to enroll and pay for the test. Available dates to take the test are posted on the website by the Testing Center.
  • Completion of the ATI RN Fundamentals Exam with a Level II score of at least 65%. You must first pass the TEAS VII test with a 64% to be eligible to take the ATI RN Fundamentals Exam. This is also a nationally ranked score. You will need to visit Register Blast (opens new window) to register and pay for the test. All individuals testing need to have an ATI account. The Nursing Fundamentals exam is only available to SOWELA students at this time. Available dates to take the exam are posted under our Testing Center page.
  • Unencumbered Louisiana license to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (attach validation).
  • Proof of IV Therapy Certification (attach document).
  • Current CPR card (must be American Heart Association BLS Provider. Attach copy of card to application). Other certifications will NOT be accepted.
  • Immunization record with current Tdap (must be current, within 10 years, include copy of immunization record).
  • Proof of Hepatitis B status (vaccinations [3] or proof of immunity (titer), include copy of immunization record).
  • Proof of two (2) Varicella vaccinations or Varicella titer showing immunity.
  • Record of MMR- two (2) injections or Rubella and Rubeola titers showing immunity.
  • Proof of two (2) meningococcal vaccinations (or signed waiver, located in the application).
  • Proof of COVID 19 vaccination (or signed waiver, located in the application).
  • Copy of negative PPD skin test or Chest X-ray result (must be within last year and be the official copy from Healthcare provider). If no skin test in the past year, must have 2 PPD tests or QuantiFERON®-TB Gold blood test (QFT-G).
  • Signed Health Status Forms (health history and physical exam included in the application).
  • Copy of health insurance card.
  • Attach a passport photo with your name printed on the back of the photo to the application.
  • Keep a copy of all documents for your records. (Make copies prior to turning in application).

Only one application can be processed per term. If you have submitted an application for admissions and would like to change your major you must submit a “Change of Major Request” Form. Please visit the Registrar's Office for a Change of Major Request Form.

Official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended must be sent to the Office of the Registrar at SOWELA Technical Community College.

Applicants must meet the minimum entrance requirements to SOWELA Technical Community College prior to being considered for the ASN program. This includes minimum ACT scores or equivalency exam scores.

Admission to SOWELA Technical Community College does not guarantee enrollment into nursing clinical courses. Selection for enrollment in nursing courses is based on a competitive basis for available spaces. Applicants must meet the minimum criteria to be considered for selection for enrollment in clinical nursing courses.

  • Admission to the College and submission of all official transcripts to the Office of the Registrar
  • All transfer/change of major/re-entry students must be enrolled and taking classes at SOWELA Technical Community College during the semester of application for inclusion in the applicant pool for consideration for enrollment in Nursing 1100/1110.
  • If enrollment in nursing courses is interrupted for a period of three years, the student must repeat all required courses titled 'Nursing'.
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 2.0 or higher
  • A minimum grade of 'C' in all required biology, mathematics, and nursing courses
  • Completion of prerequisite general academic courses toward the degree (all courses listed in the first semester of the curriculum pattern).
  • Minimum grade point average of 2.8 in all non-nursing courses required for the degree. Grades earned in any required course completed at the time of the application will be calculated in the GPA.
  • A student will be permitted to repeat only one required non-nursing or nursing course. A student who fails or withdraws (receives a grade of 'D', 'F' or 'W') again in that course or from a second required course will no longer be permitted to apply to the ASN program at SOWELA Technical Community College School of Nursing and Allied Health.
  • Completion of the required entrance exam for nursing and achieving at least the minimum score required. (Test of Essential Academic Skills [TEAS VII test] is required with a minimum score of 64 %.) Further information and resources concerning the TEAS test may be found at https://www.atitesting.com/solutions (opens a new window). Only SOWELA students will be allowed to take the TEAS at SOWELA.
  • Completion of an application to enroll in clinical courses with attached required materials
  • Students who transfer to the School of Nursing and Allied Health at SOWELA from another institution are also subject to the rules listed above. Failure in nursing courses taken at another institution will be treated in the same way as failures in required nursing courses and non-nursing courses at SOWELA.
  • An application to enroll in clinical courses is valid for one semester only
  • Incomplete applications to enroll in clinical courses will not be reviewed for selection
  • No application to enroll in clinical courses will be accepted after the deadline.

ASN Clinical Nursing Courses Application Checklist

Student Responsibilities

Understand that any crimes whether expunged or dismissed must be reported to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing and may result in the delay of approval to begin nursing clinical courses. Legal documents along with a typed explanation of the incident must be provided to LSBN with the application to the Board.

The application process must be completed, and students accepted into the program, prior to beginning any clinical nursing course. The application must be completed in full by the deadline or student will be considered ineligible.

Decisions regarding acceptance for spring admission will be made at the end of October. Decisions regarding acceptance for fall admission will be completed after grades have been posted in May.

Checklist and Required Documentation
  • Keep pages in order.
  • Apply to SOWELA Technical Community College (you must be a student at SOWELA and attending classes before applying to the clinical courses).
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
  • Minimum grade of “C” in all required biology, mathematics, and nursing courses. Students completing pre-requisite/co-requisite courses for the ASN program at SOWELA or transferring from another institution can only have repeated 1 course in which a “W”, “D” or “F” was earned. Credit for nursing courses from another institution will not be considered for transfer at this time.
  • Completion of pre-requisite general academic courses (at least the first semester as shown on the curriculum).
  • Minimum grade point average of 2.8 in ALL non-nursing courses required for the degree. All non-nursing courses shown in the ASN curriculum will be calculated into this GPA if taken prior to application for admission.
  • Completion of the TEAS VII test with a score of 64%. This is a nationally ranked score and not necessarily on a 100-point scale. Visit the Nursing TEAS page for available testing dates. If you have not taken the TEAS TEST at SOWELA, you must contact ATI Testing (opens new window) and have results emailed to SOWELA ASN Program.
  • Current CPR card (must be American Heart Association BLS Provider. Attach copy of card to application). Other certifications will NOT be accepted.
  • Immunization record with current Tdap (must be current, within 10 years, include copy of immunization record).
  • Proof of Hepatitis B status (vaccinations [3] or proof of immunity (titer), include copy of immunization record or titer). The vaccinations must have been given within the correct time frame or you must have a titer drawn.
  • Proof of MMR- two (2) injections or Rubella and Rubeola titers showing immunity. If you have not had 2 vaccinations, you MUST get a titer drawn.
  • Proof of two (2) Varicella vaccinations or Varicella titer showing immunity. Even if you have had the chicken pox; you must get a titer drawn if you do not have proof of 2 vaccinations.
  • Proof of two (2) meningococcal vaccinations (or signed waiver, located in the application).
  • Proof of COVID 19 vaccination (or signed waiver, located in the application).
  • Copy of negative PPD skin test or Chest X-ray result (must be within last year and be the official copy from Healthcare provider). If you have not had a skin test in the past year, you must have 2 PPD tests or QuantiFERON®-TB Gold blood test (QFT-G). This is a CDC Guideline.
  • Signed Health Status Forms (health history and physical exam included in the application).
  • Copy of health insurance card.
  • Attach a passport photo with your name printed on the back of the photo to the application.
  • Keep a copy of all documents for your records. (Make copies prior to turning in application).

Selection for Enrollment in Nursing Courses

Faculty will review each clinical application packet and selection will be made based on students' rank:

  • TEAS exam - 50%
  • GPA - 35%
  • Curriculum
    • SOWELA student - 15% of a point (all curriculum courses taken at SOWELA)
    • Transfer student - 7.5% of a point
  • TOTAL Possible =100%
  • Additional points will be awarded if the student holds a degree/diploma/certificate:
    • Master +5
    • Bachelor +4
    • Associate +3
    • Diploma +2
    • Certificate +1

Faculty decisions for admission to the ASN program are final. Appeals will not be considered.

Louisiana State Board of Nursing Explanation of Application to Nursing Clinical Courses and Reasons for Denial or Delay of Approval

  • All applications for nursing clinical courses are submitted online after acceptance into SOWELA's ASN or LPN to RN Program. This includes permission to perform a FBI background check.
  • Students must set up an account through the LSBN Portal after SOWELA submits a list of accepted students to the Board.
  • Incomplete applications or errors in payment to the Board may result in the delay of approval and jeopardize the student's seat in the class.
  • All crimes including misdemeanors and felonies must be reported to the Board whether charges were dismissed, record was expunged, or student was found not guilty. This includes any charges at any age and whether the records were closed.
  • Students are required to submit all documents related to any charges along with a typed explanation of the incident at the time of application.
  • Student applications with misdemeanor or felony charges are sent directly to the investigations department within LSBN.
  • Depending on the length of time it takes to investigate past charges, student approval may be delayed and jeopardize the seat in the class.
  • It is the student's responsibility to follow the instructions for application carefully to avoid any delay in approval.
  • It is also the student's responsibility to communicate with LSBN with any issues concerning the application.

To be considered for admission into the Practical Nursing program, all applicants must:

  • Submit a completed SOWELA Technical Community College application online through our website. Those applicants interested in enrolling into the Practical Nursing program will need to select the “AGS - Practical Nursing” option on the application.
  • Complete the admission testing with a minimum or greater score in reading, math, and English.
  • Provide a high school or GED equivalent official transcript. Must be in a sealed envelope from the school, school board, or Department of Education.
  • Provide an original birth certificate.
  • Provide a valid driver's license or state issued ID.
  • Provide a social security card.
  • Provide Immunization record.

In addition to the items above, international students will need to provide their permanent resident card or student visa.

Testing Policy

A student wishing to apply for college admission and declare Practical Nursing as their program of study must meet the current testing scores required for entry into the program and those stipulated by the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners (LSBPNE).

Current admission test scores can be found in the table below or by contacting the Support Coordinator or Program Coordinator.

It is recommended that students who do not earn sufficient ACT or ACCUPLACER Next Generation scores enroll in course work that will develop their content knowledge. Upon completion of that course work, the student must retest in order to meet one of the categories for admission.

If unable to meet the minimum scores after above steps, career counseling will be provided to explore alternate career options.

Practical Nursing Placement Score Requirements
Reading English Math
ACT 20 17 18
Next-Generation ACCUPLACER 250 241 (Writing) 243 (QAS)

To be considered for admission to the Surgical Technology program, all applicants must:

  • Successfully met all requirements for admittance and completed the application process to enroll at SOWELA Technical and Community College. See college admission requirements and new student checklist for information.
    • Enrollment in the college does not guarantee admittance into the Surgical Technology Program. Admission is competitive and based on cumulative GPA, meeting all application deadlines, and a rubric which will be provided in the program application.
  • Students will be advised on the declared major they will be enrolling under by their enrollment specialists. Students should select the Surgical Technology AAS major when enrolling or when completing a Change of Major form once they have:
    • Been officially admitted into the program.
    • Attended a mandatory program orientation and been allowed by the program faculty to schedule the required course in the summer semester, MEDL 1303 Introduction to Healthcare for Surgical Technology.
  • Provide a high school or a GED equivalent official transcript as well as any previous college transcripts to your admissions department enrollment specialist. Retain copies of your unofficial transcripts in case submission to the program Faculty is necessary during the admission process.
  • Take a SOWELA placement test (Nex Gen ACUPLACER) or submit official scores from ACT or SAT test. Scores must meet the minimum required test score to enter an AAS degree program and be at least less than 10 years old.

Testing Policy

A student wishing to apply for college admission and declare Surgical Technology as his/her program of study must complete the 28 credits (- 1 year plan) of pre-requisite courses as well as meet testing score minimums and comply with the following testing guidelines:

  • Placement Score Requirements
  • If a student does not score the above, they are allowed to sit for retesting only once. If they are still not able to meet the minimum score(s), they must enroll and successfully complete the remediation class in that subject matter until is complete and they are eligible to enter the required level course (see curriculum and test placement score sheet)
    • Provide a certified copy of their birth certificate and up to date immunization records to Admissions. Retain a copy for future program submission and personal records.
    • Student should review and be able to meet ALL requirements for admission into the program including having the ability to perform all skill requirements necessary to successfully progress and complete the program in order to be considered for gainful employment as a Surgical Technology. Please see Clinical Application and the Student Handbook for complete lists of the requirements prior to beginning the Surgical Technology Application Process. For any questions regarding if you meet the requirements, please schedule an appointment with the program faculty for career advising.

3820 Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615
(337) 421-6565
(800) 256-0483
info@sowela.edu

Mon-Thu: 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM
Friday: 7:45 AM to 12:00 PM
(337) 421-6550

SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person(s) have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies:

Title IX Officer

Candy Parker

candy.parker@sowela.edu

(337) 421-6510 or (800) 256-0483

3820 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

ADA Officer

Maegan Lewis

maegan.lewis@sowela.edu

(337) 421-6952 or (800) 256-0483

3850 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

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