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Louisiana’s higher education system is composed of the publically supported University of Louisiana, Louisiana State University, Southern University, and the Louisiana Community and Technical College systems. Besides the University of Louisiana and Louisiana State University, the state is has other notable universities, such as Grambling State University and Louisiana Tech University. The state also has 10 independent colleges and universities, and large, private, for-profit institutions such as the University of Phoenix, Virginia College, and the ITT Technical Institute.
Louisiana’s public colleges and universities are coordinated by the Louisiana Board of Regents, which is responsible for approving degree programs and implementing new policies designed to improve the quality of education. It also approves or modifies proposed academic programs or departments, approves of private institutions, and makes higher education budget recommendations. Its Office of Information & Learning Technology emphasizes the implementation of online learning programs in its public universities, and provides the state’s institutions with strategic planning and support.
Louisiana State University, the flagship institution of the Louisiana higher education system, was established as the Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana in 1853. Since it first opened its doors in 1860, the university has risen to national prominence as it’s one of 30 universities to hold land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant status. The U.S. News & World Report placed Louisiana State University at No. 128 in its 2010 ranking of the top national universities, and its library and information studies and veterinary medicine graduate programs were ranked within the top 30 in the nation. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees at its campus in Baton Rouge. It also offers online courses, an undergraduate certificate program, and a certificate in accounting. However, unlike the universities featured below, it does not offer fully online degrees.
The University of Louisiana at Monroe is a public, four-year institution that awards associate, bachelors, master’s, and doctoral degrees to its 8,583 students at its campus in Monroe, La. It offers study in a wide range of areas of interest, including biology, business, computer information systems, aviation, education, and health science. It also offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in education, history, business administration, and criminal justice online. The university’s online courses are delivered through Moodle, its course management system. Moodle allows students to access course content, including readings and lecture notes, as well as communicate with their professors and fellow students. The U.S. News ranked the university at No. 19 for admissions selectivity and No. 33 for faculty credentials and training of the top online education programs.
Located in Ruston, La., Louisiana Tech University serves more than 11,500 undergraduate and graduate students with associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in business, education, engineering, and more. The institution, founded in 1894, was ranked No. 194 in the U.S. News’ ranking of national universities in 2010. Louisiana Tech University offers two bachelor’s and six master’s degrees, as well as professional certificates, through its online Global Campus. It also offers more than 275 distance learning courses and it plans on expanding its distance learning options in the future.