NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University and South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette formalized an agreement in which students who earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in civil survey and mapping from SLCC can transfer into NSU’s bachelor’s degree program in Unified Public Safety Administration with a concentration in GEO Computation.
The agreement will help students fulfill requirements to become civil surveyors without having to go out of state for credentials. UPSA classes are offered online so students are not limited by time or location.
“This is an in-state opportunity for students,” said Dr. Jack Atherton, UPSA coordinator. “Louisiana state statute requires a bachelor’s degree for state licensure as a surveyor. This concentration meets an identified workforce need.”
Expertise in geomeasurement is important to public safety, Atherton said, and fulfills needs in several fields, such as civil engineering, construction, architecture and real estate. NSU was able to bundle several existing UPSA course offerings to create the GEO Computation concentration.
“Geo Computation has a direct connection to safeguarding life, health and property and promoting the public welfare. Louisiana, especially in coastal areas, has a significant subterranean infrastructure with pipelines and cables and knowing where they are is crucial. Damage to petroleum fuel lines could be devastating,” Atherton said. “Because a portion of the statutory mandate for surveying in Louisiana is grounded in public safety, this fits perfectly in a public safety administration program.”
“This is a gold star day for students,” said Darcee Bex, SLCC’s dean of STEM, Transportation and Energy. “It saves students time and money when they can transfer credit hours and is a great foundation for work in oil and gas, construction and transportation.”
“Our students have an opportunity here that they’ve never had before,” said SLCC Chancellor Dr. Natalie Harder. “They can move into a four-year degree online so it’s convenient for them.”
“This could not have happened without the hard work of faculty at both institutions,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “These agreements are for the end goal of helping our students.”
NSU’s UPSA degree program is housed in the Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences and equips graduates for careers in federal, state and local agencies. In addition to Geo Computation, concentrations are available in law enforcement administration, fire and emergency medical service administration, emergency management administration and public facilities management.
Two years ago, NSU and SLCC formalized a 2 + 2 agreement in which students who earn an associate degree in criminal justice can transfer those credits towards a four-year degree in criminal justice at NSU.