T- T T+

SOWELA Achieves Highest Student Retention Rate Among All Community Colleges in Louisiana for Third Consecutive Semester

SOWELA’s retention rate from Spring 2021 to Fall 2021 is #1 at 74.18%

(Lake Charles, Louisiana – October 6, 2021)

Despite the challenges from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and just one year after devastating damage from two disastrous hurricanes, SOWELA has achieved the highest student retention rate among Louisiana’s community colleges of 74.18% from the Spring 2021 to the Fall 2021 semester.

SOWELA, with nearly all campus buildings reopened after record-breaking Hurricane Laura, did not experience a major loss of enrollment following nature’s challenges. The 74.18% retention rate is the best semester-over-semester retention rate of any community college in Louisiana with community colleges in the state reporting an average retention rate during the same semester-to-semester time period of 61.09%. This extends SOWELA’s streak of leading all Louisiana community colleges in retention rates for the third straight semester. SOWELA’s Fall 2020 to Spring 2021 retention led at 83.71% and SOWELA’s Spring 2020 to Fall 2020 led with 75.06%.

In addition to the highest retention rate in the state, SOWELA was recently named WalletHub’s (opens new window) #1 community college in Louisiana for the fourth straight year. SOWELA is also ranked #36 on the “Top 100 Community Colleges in America” by Stacker.

“The dedication of a committed faculty and staff and a strong student focus helps SOWELA retain the title of the #1 Community College in Louisiana for a 4th year in a row,” said SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall. “Even through the last 12-14 months of natural disasters, the college has managed to pull together and provide the instructional and student support services needed to keep our students engaged and progressing towards their educational goals; hence, the reason for our retention rate remaining the highest among community colleges in the state.”

SOWELA is currently offering online, hybrid and in-person options dependent on course availability and requirements since it began the Fall 2021 semester on August 16. SOWELA’s main campus is in Lake Charles with satellite campuses in Jennings, Oakdale and the newly acquired Lamar Salter campus in Leesville.

SOWELA is currently offering a “Next Start” option for new students hoping to enroll. The Next Start option also allows current students to add another course to their Fall 2021 schedule. Enrollment for the Next Start option is open now and will end tomorrow, Thursday, October 7. Interested students can visit our Next Start page for more information or to sign up.

SOWELA offers more than 30 technical and academic programs including Practical Nursing, Machine Tool Technology, Culinary Arts, Criminal Justice, Surgical Technology, Accounting Technology and Forest Technology.

For more information about any of SOWELA’s programs or to apply online, visit this page. Anyone needing additional assistance can contact onestop@sowela.edu for more information.

About SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 80 years.