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SOWELA Honored with Prestigious “2021 Great College to Work For” Distinction

SOWELA is One of Only 24 Two-Year Institutions Throughout the U.S. to Receive Recognition

(Lake Charles, Louisiana – September 13, 2021)

SOWELA Technical Community College in Lake Charles is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by the Great Colleges to Work For program.

The results, released today in a special insert of The Chronicle of Higher Education, are based on a survey of 196 colleges and universities. In all, only 24 of the two-year institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with SOWELA included among the medium universities with 3,000 to 9,999 students.

SOWELA earned honors in two categories this year:

  • Shared Governance – this recognition category is based on Faculty responses to the survey items on collaborative governance processes and decision-making.
  • Faculty Experience – the support for advancement and promotion opportunities and the perceived balance of teaching, service and research that are uniquely viewed through the faculty lens.

“I am so very excited about being recognized nationally as a “Best College to Work For.” Many colleges can tout how great they are but when you get an outside organization who surveys your employees and your employees substantiate that claim, then this further legitimizes the healthy culture, positive climate, and supportive family type atmosphere that exists at SOWELA,” said SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall. “The faculty, staff, and administration at SOWELA truly work as a family to ensure that we deliver on our mission of being the leader in workforce development. This award is made possible by a great group of people who truly love what they do and help perpetuate our excellent culture and productive working environment.”

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institution questionnaire that captured employment data and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

“It takes courage to lead. And the 2021 Great Colleges to Work For participants demonstrated remarkable courage, commitment and optimism in their decisions to participate in a ‘great place to work program’ in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. There’s much to learn from these remarkable institutions and their inspirational leaders,” said Richard K. Boyer, Principal and Managing Partner at ModernThink.

SOWELA was also recently listed as #36 on the “Top 100 Community Colleges in the America” by Stacker. The data for the ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education, along with reviews from students and alumni.

The new accolades add to the list of honors for SOWELA which also achieved the highest retention rate among community and technical colleges in Louisiana. The college was also named WalletHub’s (opens new window) #1 community college in Louisiana in 2021 for the fourth straight year.

About SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, online, 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 and has locations in Jennings, Lake Charles and Oakdale, Louisiana.

About ModernThink LLC

As a research and consulting leader in workplace issues, ModernThink has supported a wide variety of “Best Place to Work” initiatives. Through these programs, the firm has gained substantial survey and industry expertise, including specific insight into higher education. ModernThink knows what it takes to build a great place to work and shares that know-how with its clients. The ModernThink team of organizational development experts is dedicated to helping colleges follow through and capitalize on feedback from employees and benchmark data from peers to drive meaningful change at their institutions. Learn more about the Great Colleges to Work For® program, including all current and previous recognized institutions, at GreatCollegesProgram.com (opens new window) and GreatCollegesList.com (opens new window), and about ModernThink at ModernThink.com (opens new window).