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History of McNeese State University
McNeese State University was established by the Louisiana Legislature in 1939. The institution was first named the Lake Charles Junior College, and was a division of Louisiana State University with the opening session beginning on September 11, 1939. The following fall, the school changed its name to John McNeese Junior College to honor John McNeese, a renowned Southwest Louisiana educator and the first superintendent of schools in Imperial Calcasieu Parish. In 1950, McNeese became a four-year college in its own right and came under the authority of the Louisiana Board of Education. Finally, in 1970, McNeese State University became the official name of the school.
McNeese achieved Commission on Colleges/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation in 1954 and maintains its regional accreditation status as a Level IV institution authorized to award associate, bachelor, master, and specialist degrees. The University also provides opportunities for continuing education in support of its mission to value lifelong learning. As a member of the University of Louisiana System and a selective admissions institution, McNeese offers programs through the department of general and basic studies and six academic colleges: Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Nursing, and Science. McNeese’s student body is comprised of students from throughout Louisiana, the United States, and approximately 50 countries. McNeese’s athletic programs are NCAA-certified for competition at the Division I level.
The McNeese State University campus in Lake Charles, Louisiana, features 68 buildings on 500 acres dotted with live oak trees and azalea bushes. The McNeese community continues to use three original structures - Kaufman Hall, Ralph O. Ward Memorial Gym (the Arena), and Francis G. Bulber Auditorium. Bulber Auditorium, a striking example of Art Deco architecture, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
McNeese State University upholds a long tradition of service to the Southwest Louisiana community and the nation. The University motto of “Excellence with a Personal Touch” extends beyond the classroom. During World War II, the campus was the headquarters of the Louisiana Maneuvers, an extensive military exercise to prepare American soldiers for battle. In 1957, the McNeese community gave aid and comfort to the victims of Hurricane Audrey and served as the National Guard’s base of rescue operations. Recently, McNeese provided shelter for New Orleans residents and university students fleeing from Hurricane Katrina. McNeese faced one of its greatest challenges when Hurricane Rita struck in the fall of 2005. The storm caused devastating damage to campus facilities and infrastructure. The recovery effort after Hurricane Rita demonstrated the resilience and commitment of the McNeese faculty, staff, and students to higher education and to moving forward in support of the core values of academic excellence, student success, fiscal responsibility, and university/community alliances.
McNeese State University Mission Statement
McNeese State University is primarily a teaching institution whose mission is successful education of the undergraduate students and services to the employers and communities in its region. McNeese uses a traditional admissions process based on courses completed, GPA, and standardized test scores.
McNeese is responsible for serving:
- Residents of southwest Louisiana who have completed high school and are seeking either a college degree or continuing professional education;
- Two-year college transfer students, particularly those from Sowela Technical Community College;
- Employers in the region, both public and private, school districts, health care providers, local governments, and private businesses;
- Economic development interests and regional entrepreneurs; and
- The area community, by providing a broad range of academic and cultural activities and public events.
Array of Programs and Services
- An array of liberal arts programs at the baccalaureate level - arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences - appropriate to a teaching institution with a predominately undergraduate student body.
- Baccalaureate programs in education, engineering, business, nursing, selected allied health fields, mass communication, and criminal justice.
- Masters programs primarily related to education, engineering, arts and sciences, nursing, and business.
- Support for area K-12 schools seeking college general education courses for advanced students and assistance in ensuring that their graduates are college- and career-ready.
- Services specifically desgined to meet the needs of regional economic development (small business development, support for entrepreneurs, problem-solving).
- Programs in innovation, entrepreneurship, and small business development supported by the Southwest Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center.
- Agricultural and related sciences with opportunities for experiential learning at three working farms and the Center for Advancement of Meat Processing and Production.
- Custom academic programs and professional certifications integrated with area business and industry.
- Applied undergraduate research partnerships in engineering, sciences, allied health and the Louisiana Environmental Research Center.
- Cultural events are designed to connect McNeese with the regional arts community and K-12 education.
The core values of McNeese State University are:
- Academic Excellence
- Student Success
- Fiscal Responsibility
- University-Community Alliances
McNeese State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, P-404.679.4500, www.sacscoc.org, to award associate, bachelor, master, and specialist degrees. A comprehensive list of other agencies included in the Board of Regents General Policy on Program Accreditation that have accredited or approved McNeese academic programs follows:
- AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, 7777 South Harbor Island Blvd., Suite 750, Tampa, FL 33602-5730, P- (813) 769-6500, www.aacsb.edu/.
- AAFCS - American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, 400 N. Columbus St., Suite 202, Alexandria, VA 22314, P- (703) 706-4600, www.aafcs.org.
- ACS - American Chemical Society, 1155 Sixteenth St. NW, Washington, DC 20036, P- (800) 227-5558, www.acs.org.
- CAATE- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, 2201 Double Creek Drive Suite, Round Rock, TX 78664, P-(512) 733-9700, F- (512) 733-9701, www.caate.net.
- CADE - Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, American Dietetic Association, 120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, P- (800) 877-1600, www.eatright.org.
- CAC/ABET Inc. - Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, P- (410) 347.7700, www.abet.org.
- CCNE- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for American Association of Colleges of Nursing, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, P- (202) 887-6791, www.aacn.nche.edu/index.htm
- EAC/ABET Inc. - Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, P- (410) 347-7700, www.abet.org.
- JRCERT - Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182, P- (312) 704-5300, www. jrcert.org.
- NAACLS - National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119, P- (773) 714-8880, www. naacls.org.
- NASAD- National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190, P- (703) 437-0700, http://nasad.arts-accredit.org/.
- NASM - National Association of Schools of Music, 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248, P-(703) 437-0700, http://nasm.arts-accredit.org.
- NCATE - National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036, P- (202) 466-7496, www. ncate.org.
- NLNAC - National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, P- (404) 975-5000, www.nlnac.org.
- TAC/ABET Inc. - Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, P- (410) 347-7700, www.abet.org..
Other agencies that have approved or certified programs include:
- AAHPERD/NASPE - American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance/National Association for Sport and Physical Education
- ACEI - Association for Childhood Education International
- CEC - Council for Exceptional Children
- ISTE - International Society for Technology Education
- BESE - Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
- ELCC - Educational Leaders Constituency Consortium
- LSBN - Louisiana State Board of Nursing
- NAEYC - National Association for the Education of Young Children
- NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association
- NCTE - National Council of Teachers of English
- NCTM - National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- NSTA - National Science Teachers Association
- OAKE - Organization of American Kodály Educators
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The University complies with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Questions regarding FERPA may be referred to the Office of the Registrar.
Notification of Rights
FERPA affords students (and the parents of dependent students, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code) certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student believes is inaccurate or misleading, and specify how and why it should be changed. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the governing or management board; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University. Upon request, the University also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-5901.
Confidentiality of Student Records
Under the FERPA only directory information may be released without a student’s written consent, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Directory information is defined as: a student’s name, address, telephone number, and email address; date and place of birth; major field of study and classification; enrollment status (full-time or part-time; undergraduate or graduate); photograph; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance, degrees, awards, and honors received; and previous educational institution most recently attended.
To prevent the release of directory information without written consent, students may complete a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form in the Office of the Registrar. Requests to withhold information are in effect until the student provides written notification to the Office of the Registrar to rescind the request.
Each year a campus telephone directory is published. Students can withhold directory information from this publication by completing a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form in the Office of the Registrar. Faculty and staff can withhold directory information from this publication by notifying Human Resources. The telephone directory is a public document, and it is the only document that the University makes public containing the name, address, and telephone number of students.
Institutional Disclosure and Reporting Requirements
Federal law requires all public universities to provide students with information concerning graduation rates, security policies and crime statistics and athletic program participation rates and financial data.
The annual report on Completion and Graduation Rates is available and can be reviewed in the Office of Institutional Research.
Security policies and crime statistics are available on the MSU web site at http://www. mcneese.edu/depts/police/crime.asp and at http://www.mcneese.edu/policy/.
Athletics program participation rates and financial data are available each year by October 15, and the report is placed on reserve in Frazar Memorial Library.
Policy for Review of Complaints
McNeese State University recognizes the value of information provided by students, employees, and others in assessing the institution’s performance. This Policy for Review of Complaints is for the purpose of addressing significant violation of the institution’s standards, policies, and procedures and is not a forum for addressing grievances. The University has established grievance procedures for students and employees and expects individuals to attempt to resolve grievance issues through procedures established according to the situation.
Complaints must be submitted in writing by the complainant and addressed directly to the appropriate vice president at McNeese State University. The University will address complaints that are in writing and signed. The University will not act on complaints submitted on behalf of another individual, anonymously submitted, or complaints which are forwarded to the University. Contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for a detailed list of procedures for filing a complaint.
Helen Ware, Director
The Burton Business Center, Kaufman Hall, and Farrar Hall house electronic learning laboratories which connect with other university campuses in Louisiana through fully interactive compressed video technology. Classes can originate at any campus and be attended by students on any other campus.
Students can also attend various off-campus locations. Students can communicate with each other and the instructor using two-way audio and video. Web-based instructional initiatives are offered on a departmental basis through McNeese’s Blackboard Server. College-by-cassette courses are licensed and allow students to spend a minimal amount of time on campus.
These electronic learning technologies enhance the educational opportunities available to McNeese and other Louisiana students. For more information contact MSU Electronic Learning.
Technological Advancements for Students Committee
The Technological Advancements for Students Committee (TASC) was created in the fall semester of 1997 with the passing of the Student Technology Assessment. TASC is comprised of five students and five faculty or staff members (two nonvoting members).
The technology assessment is used to enhance student life and learning by implementing three focus areas:
- Student Computing Laboratories
- Network Access and Electronic Services
- Instructional Technology and Curriculum Support
Questions regarding TASC may be referred to the Office of the Chief Information Technology Officer.
University-Wide Honors Seminar
The aim of the University-Wide Honors Seminar is to give students of superior abilities a chance to broaden their intellectual and cultural awareness by working with a select group of students and professors in a two-semester (six hours credit) course; the particular emphasis of the University-Wide Honors Seminar is the interrelationship of the arts, humanities and sciences as creative forces of twenty-first century life. It is open to any student enrolled in a two-year or four-year program. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.5 or better and must have completed 30 semester hours of class work. Credit earned may be applied toward any degree offered by the University. To apply, students should contact their department head or the program coordinator.
Jacob Blevins, Editor
The McNeese Review, published since 1948, serves as a forum for articles and essays in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Editorial policy and reviewing processes of The McNeese Review are formulated and supervised by an editorial board comprised of faculty in the College of Liberal Arts at McNeese State University.
The editorial board of The McNeese Review welcomes submissions that exhibit high academic standards and the potential to interest educated readers regardless of their academic specialty.
The McNeese Review is funded by the McNeese State University Foundation through an endowment established by Mr. and Mrs. William D. Blake, Mrs. Violet Howell, and Howell Industries, Inc. Submission and subscription information is available from the editor.
Joyce Patterson, Director
The McNeese State University Alumni Association is housed in the 5,700 square foot Stream Alumni Center located at 600 E. McNeese Street. The purpose of the organization is to promote McNeese and to stimulate and nurture alumni interest in the university. Founded in 1947 and incorporated in 1960, the McNeese Alumni Association maintains contact with over 36,000 graduates.
Each graduate is a member of the Alumni Association and receives an annual newsletter. Those alumni who contribute to the Alumni Annual Fund each year are considered “active alumni” and are entitled to vote, hold office, and receive additional newsletters and invitations to alumni events.
The Annual Fund helps sponsor scholarships, student recruitment, recognition of excellence, reunions, alumni chapters, and the student alumni association. These donations also support various university programs for which state funding is unavailable.
To become an active member of the Alumni Association or receive more information about events and chapters in your area, call 1-800-475-ALUM or 337-475-5232 or visit on-line at www.McNeeseAlumni.com.
Tommy McClelland, Director
The athletic program fields teams in the NCAA for both men and women. The University is also a member of the prestigious Southland Conference, and competes for championships in football, basketball, indoor track, cross country, outdoor track, baseball and golf for the men and cross country, indoor track, outdoor track, tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball, softball and soccer for the women.
The primary purpose of the athletic program is to provide opportunities for student athletes to achieve personal growth and development through a combination of intercollegiate athletic competition and academics. The program offers student athletes the opportunity to realize educational goals and to benefit from athletic competition on a national level.
The Athletics Department holds the philosophy that the athlete’s most important tasks are pursuit of personal growth through academic work and team experiences and development of a sense of ethical responsibility. The department recognizes that its primary commitment is education of the student athlete and, to this end, extends academic assistance. Under the auspices of the University, the Athletics Department offers grants-in-aid to qualifying student athletes, enabling them to pursue both academic and athletic goals.
The Athletics Department provides the guidance necessary for an exemplary and competitive athletics program that is beneficial to students, faculty and staff, administration, alumni, and community. All activities, operations, and decisions of the Athletics Department are guided by principles of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination.
Enrollment Information Center
Kara Smith, Director
The Enrollment Information Center houses staff from Admissions and Recruiting who are responsible for coordination of all recruiting events on campus. All prospective students interested in McNeese are served by the center, which provides McNeese admission information packets as well as other university information. Campus tours are given by appointment with one of the Admissions Counselors who will tailor the tour to meet the student’s needs. College Day/Night events, Literary Rally, and District Beta Conventions are coordinated and staffed by recruiting personnel.
Freshman Foundations and Students in Transition
Dr. Linda Larson, Director
The mission of the Office of Freshman Foundations and Students in Transition is to promote the educational and personal success of all students who are in their first year at McNeese. One of the primary functions of the office is to facilitate the offering of Freshman Foundations (FFND 101). The Freshman Foundations course is taught through the academic college in which a student is pursuing a major and offers students information in three basic areas related to success at McNeese. One, the student is introduced to the writing culture on campus, the Write to Excellence initiative, the Write to Excellence Center, and the campus-wide scoring guide or rubric used to grade writing. Two, basic college success skills such as how to budget time, improve study habits, and utilize campus resources effectively are discussed. Three, the specific expectations of the student’s major are explored in the last part of the course. Every first-time freshman is required to enroll in an appropriate section of FFND 101 during the first semester at McNeese. For more information, contact the director at (337) 562-4207.
Write to Excellence Center
Dr. Delma McLeod-Porter, Director
The Write to Excellence Center (WTE Center), located in Drew Hall 234, is a vital part of the new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) writing-across-the curriculum initiative. Open approximately 45 hours a week, the WTE Center offers feedback on written work for all McNeese students, faculty, and staff. The WTE Center’s mission is to facilitate academic success by aiding all students in becoming better writers. Collaboration is the key to successful writing of all kinds, and trained tutors will work with students to assist them in thinking critically about their own writing. While tutors will not correct errors or write papers, they will offer suggestions on how to make writing stronger. All students from first-year students to graduate students are invited to visit the Write to Excellence Center.
Special topic workshops related to writing will be offered on Friday afternoons. Any student may attend and participate in these workshops conducted by faculty from a variety of disciplines and by professionals from the local community.
First-year students writing academic essays for the first time are strongly encouraged to work with WTE Center tutors. Developmental writers will fulfill their writing lab requirements in the WTE Center.
Hours of operation will be posted on the MSU homepage and at the WTE Center. For additional information, call the WTE Center Director at 562-4206.
Office of Public Information and Communications
Candace V. Townsend, Director
The Office of Public Information and Communications (OPIC) manages a systematic communication program designed to support the mission and enhance the image of McNeese State University, the McNeese Foundation, and the MSU Alumni Association.
The Office of Public Information and Communications develops and maintains positive media relations, serves as the official liaison between the University and local, regional, state, and national print and broadcast media, and manages public relations, news media, and information services.
The Office also serves as a resource and clearinghouse for all printed and electronic publications, including the MSU Web pages and video productions, to ensure accuracy and consistency.
The Office of Public Information and Communications is responsible for managing the University’s licensing and trademark branding program.
The Office also provides administrative, technical, and clerical support to the student newspaper and yearbook.