Delgado A-Z: Northshore

by: Tyler Scheuermann
and Ashley Chitwood
As New Orleans continued to expand geographically, satellite campuses of Delgado reached out to populations across Southeast Louisiana. While a satellite site was established in Covington in the early 1990s, the new millennium saw a renewed emphasis on offering a Delgado education to the exploding population on the northshore of Lake Ponchartrain.

Delgado Northshore was created in 2002 as a response to workforce and community needs north of Lake Ponchartrain.  Prior to this, Delgado’s presence on the Northshore was a satellite learning center in Slidell.  Opened in 1988, the Slidell Learning Center had reached a steady enrollment of approximately 700 students by the year 2000.  The purpose of the Slidell Learning Center was to offer foundational academic courses as a feeder to Delgado programs in New Orleans or transfer to area universities.  There had been a time in the early 1990’s when a limited number of courses were offered in Covington, but it was short-lived because it did not meet the needs of the community at the time.

Slidell learning center dedication ceremonies
 With the opening of the Greater Covington Area Outreach Center in 2002, Delgado seized the opportunity to expand its commitment to the growing Northshore community by creating the Delgado Northshore division.  Delgado Northshore united Covington and Slidell into a cohesive unit, taking an entrepreneurial approach to offering an ever increasing complement of courses and becoming more involved in local business and community affairs.  Delgado was aggressive in its pursuit of grants and focused on community partnerships to position higher education in the area to be able to respond to local needs.  From developmental to general studies to pre-requisite courses for south shore programs, Delgado Northshore grew to keep up with the higher education demands of the community it now served.  In fact, Delgado Northshore has experienced a 400% increase in headcount enrollment since fall of 2001 (763 to 3057) compared to a college-wide increase of 140% during the same time period.  Since the fall of 2006, annual comparison of semester enrollment has increased 19% on the average with some years experiencing over 30% growth.

Covington site in the 1980s
The Northshore division quickly established working relationships with local universities and businesses to develop partnerships to foster growth both in and out of the classroom. Having multiple levels of higher education, working together for the benefit of the student to create a variety of options for entry and exit, gives Northshore residents the ability to start where they need to (academically, financially, geographically, socially) while encouraging them to continue along a career lattice or pathway to long-term success.

Delgado’s presence on the Northshore brings high-quality education to local residents, allowing them to access a better quality of life without the barriers of travel across the lake.  But Delgado means more to the Northshore community than merely increased access to post-secondary education.  In a 2009 economic impact study conducted by GCR & Associates, Delgado Northshore has the following impact:

•    Total economic impact on the greater metro economy of $58,149,251 with the much of this impact captured within St. Tammany Parish;
•    1,016 of the 75,117 jobs in St. Tammany are filled by Delgado graduates from the last five years;
•    These graduates will earn $12.89 million more this year than they would have without their Delgado training; a total of $25 million in impact if you factor in the multiplier effect – just for graduates from the last five years!

Delgado Northshore currently serves over 3,500 students in credit courses between the Covington and Slidell locations.  Course offerings range from developmental to general education to full programs of study. Northshore residents can complete several programs of study, including technical competency areas, certificates or associate degrees, without ever having to travel across Lake Pontchartrain.  Students can choose many additional programs of study for which they can complete either pre-requisites or even 50 percent or more of a degree before they have to travel to Delgado’s City Park, Charity or West Bank campuses.  Taking the burden of a commute out of the equation makes it easier for Northshore residents to commit to higher education that is meaningful and has a long-term impact on quality of life.

Faculty & Staff at Northshore site
Every semester, Delgado increases its commitment to the Northshore community by expanding course offerings and working with businesses to design customized workforce training solutions.  Current articulation agreements exist between Delgado and many area universities to encourage students to continue pursuit of higher education beyond an associate degree.  With Southeastern alone, articulation agreements exist in general business, accounting, marketing, management, finance, and computer information technology. Add to these the newly-developed Associate of Arts Louisiana Transfer (AALT) and Associate of Science Louisiana Transfer (ASLT) and residents of the Northshore have the greatest opportunity for higher education attainment than ever before.

Delgado Northshore students do more than just attend class.  Through Delgado’s service learning program, repeatedly recognized as a member of the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service, students are giving back to the Northshore community as part of their education.  The Fine Arts department has been involved with the school system and engaging children in the creative process.  The Arts students also coordinated efforts of their peers across the college to raise over $2,000 for the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Foundation through the Delgado Butterfly Auction event.  The department is currently working with Southeast Hospital on an installation of student works and their impact on patient peace of mind.  Other Northshore service learning projects have included working with the Food Bank, creating a brochure for awareness and working directly with the food pantry and reflecting on social justice issues; working with Sunshine House in Slidell, learning about abnormal development while providing quality of life interaction; horticultural beautification projects; even assisting veterinary clinics with OSHA compliance.  Delgado students know the value of their degree; now they are also discovering their value and responsibility as members of the local community.

Delgado Northshore has seen increasing population since the months following Hurricane Katrina when the Northshore locations reopened to serve students.  By providing easy access to many of the college’s numerous programs, the Northshore sites are just another example of Delgado’s Education that Works!

1 comment:

  1. The faculty and staff at Delgado Northshore are wonderful! They are here for the students and are willing to do what they can to help students succeed.