McNeese State University was established by the Louisiana Legislature in 1939, with the opening fall session beginning on September 11, 1939. The institution was first named the Lake Charles Junior College and was a division of Louisiana State University. 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 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation in 1954 and maintains its regional accreditation status as a Level IV institution authorized to award associate, bachelor, master, and specialist degrees and post-baccalaureate, graduate, and post-master's certificates. 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, William J. Doré, Sr. School of Graduate Studies, and six academic colleges: Business, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Professions, and Science and Agriculture. McNeese's student body is comprised of students from throughout Louisiana, the United States, and numerous countries. McNeese's athletic programs are NCAA-certified for competition at the Division I and Football Championship level.
The McNeese State University campus in Lake Charles, Louisiana, features 88 buildings on 500 acres dotted with live oak trees. 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. The Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) Center, which houses the Southwest Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, is an example of the many vital partnerships McNeese has established with the region’s businesses and industry. In addition, McNeese has three working farms and the Center for Advancement of Meat Processing and Production (CAMPP) to serve its agricultural sciences program.
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. McNeese provided shelter for New Orleans residents and university students fleeing from Hurricane Katrina and then 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 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.
All academic programs at McNeese State University emphasize in-depth disciplinary knowledge and its application to academic and professional environments. McNeese graduates achieve success through the studied acquisition of content knowledge, the demonstration of discipline-specific skills and dispositions as well as mastery of general education competencies such as critical thinking, effective communication, and independent learning.
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 designed 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 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (www.sacscoc.org) and is authorized to award associate, bachelor, master, and specialist degrees and post-baccalaureate, graduate, and post-master’s certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of McNeese State University.
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 are as follows:
- AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, 7777 S Harbor Island Blvd Ste 750, Tampa, FL 33602-5730, P- (813) 769-6500, www.aacsb.edu. Reaffirmed in 2014; next reaffirmation in 2020.
- ABAI - Association for Behavior Analysis International, 550 W Centre Ave Ste 1, Portage, MI 49024-5364, P- (269) 492-9310, baab.abainternational.org. Reaffirmed in 2018; next reaffirmation in 2019.
- ACS - American Chemical Society, 1155 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036-4839, P- (800) 227-5558, www.acs.org. Reaffirmed in 2014.
- ACEND - Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 S Riverside Plz Ste 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, P- (312) 899-0040 (ext. 5400), www.eatrightacend.org. Reaffirmed in 2018; next reaffirmation in 2025.
- CAC/ABET Inc. - Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET Inc., 415 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201-4405, P- (410) 347.7700, www.abet.org. Reaffirmed in 2015; next reaffirmation in 2019.
- CACREP - Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, 1001 N Fairfax St Ste 510, Alexandria, VA 22314-1587, P- (703) 535-5990, www.cacrep.org. Reaffirmed in 2016; next reaffirmation in 2024.
- CAEP - Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, 1140 19th St NW Ste 400, Washington, DC 20036-6610, P- (202) 466-7496, www.caepnet.org. Reaffirmed in 2017; next reaffirmation in 2024.
- CCNE- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 655 K St NW Ste 750, Washington, DC 20001-2399, P- (202) 887-6791, www.ccneaccreditation.org. Undergraduate program reaffirmed in 2016; next reaffirmation in 2026. Graduate program reaffirmed in 2013; next reaffirmation in 2023.
- EAC/ABET Inc. - Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET Inc., 415 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201-4405, P- (410) 347-7700, www.abet.org. Reaffirmed in 2016; next reaffirmation in 2022.
- JRCERT - Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, 20 N Wacker Dr Ste 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182, P- (312) 704-5300, www.jrcert.org. Reaffirmed in 2017; next reaffirmation in 2025.
- NAACLS - National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 5600 N River Rd Ste 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5156, P- (773) 714-8880, www.naacls.org. Reaffirmed in 2013; next reaffirmation in 2020.
- NASAD- National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr Ste 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248, P- (703) 437-0700, nasad.arts-accredit.org. Reaffirmed in 2016; next reaffirmation in 2025.
- NASM - National Association of Schools of Music, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr Ste 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248, P- (703) 437-0700, nasm.arts-accredit.org. Reaffirmed in 2018; next reaffirmation in 2028.
Other agencies that have approved or certified programs include:
- ACEI - Association for Childhood Education International
- ISTE - International Society for Technology Education
- BESE - Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
- ELCC - Educational Leaders Constituency Consortium
- LBEDN - Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition
- LSBN - Louisiana State Board of Nursing
- NAEYC - National Association for the Education of Young Children
- NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association
- NCSS - National Council for Social Studies
- NCTE - National Council of Teachers of English
- NCTM - National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- NSTA - National Science Teachers Association
McNeese State University does not discriminate with regard to age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation in admission to or employment or participation in its education programs, services, and activities. The University has adopted the Diversity Awareness Policy to provide for prompt and equitable resolution of discrimination complaints. The policy describes the grievance procedure for individuals who may have experienced discrimination.
McNeese State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended employer committed to excellence through diversity. The University is committed to providing students, employees, and visitors with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the university’s academic programs and other activities through its Accessible Participation Policy by providing academic adjustments, reasonable accommodations, and accommodations to assure access to University programs, services, and activities.
The Office of Equal Opportunity ensures that all students, faculty, and staff have an equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of University life. The Chief Diversity Officer is the University’s ADA Coordinator, Title IX Officer, and Equal Opportunity Officer, and investigates complaints of discrimination, including sexual harassment. The grievance procedures for individuals with disabilities confirms the University’s commitment to providing accessibility to its programs, services, and activities for individuals with disabilities who are otherwise qualified and entitled to an accommodation. Individuals who believe they may have experienced discrimination, but are uncertain as to whether a complaint is justified or whether they wish to initiate a formal written complaint, may discuss their concerns confidentially and informally with the Chief Diversity Officer.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
In accordance with 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and 34 CFR Part 99, McNeese State University complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Questions regarding FERPA may be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
Students’ Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day McNeese State 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 school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school 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 is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school 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 (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The school 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 McNeese in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the [School] who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist 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 McNeese. Upon request, McNeese may also disclose 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 McNeese State 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.
Under 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, a student may complete a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form with Student Central. Requests to withhold information are in effect until the student provides written notification to Student Central to rescind the request.
Disclosures without Student Consent
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student:
- To other school officials, including teachers, within McNeese whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
Institutional Disclosure and Reporting Requirements
Federal law requires all public universities to provide students with consumer information including, but not limited to, graduation rates, security policies and crime statistics, and athletic program participation rates and financial data. Consumer information disclosures are located at www.mcneese.edu/consumer_disclosures.
Policy for Review of Student Complaints
McNeese State University recognizes the value of information provided by students, employees, and others in assessing the institution’s performance. The Policy for Review of Student Complaints is for the purpose of addressing significant violations 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 Research and Effectiveness for a detailed list of procedures for filing a complaint or view the policy at www.mcneese.edu/policy/student_complaint_policy.
The McNeese State University Alumni Office is located in the 6,325 square foot William Gray Stream Alumni Conference Center located at 600 E. McNeese Street. Adjacent to the Center in the Alumni Grove is the 4,500 square foot Robert Noland Alumni Pavilion. Founded in 1947 and incorporated in 1960, the Alumni Association maintains contact with over 45,000 McNeese graduates, providing innovative programs and services that strengthen alumni ties and encourage lifelong support of McNeese State University.
McNeese graduates receive the annual Roundup Magazine and monthly e-newsletters. Graduates contributing to the Annual Fund are entitled to vote, hold office, and receive invitations to alumni events.
Monies raised by the Association help to sponsor scholarships, student recruitment, alumni reunions and chapters, undergraduate research, faculty support, recognition of excellence, and the student alumni association. Donations also support various University programs for which other funding is not available.
To become an active member of the Alumni Association or receive more information, call (337) 475-5232 or visit www.mcneesealumni.com.
The athletics program fields teams in the NCAA for both men and women. The University, a member of the Southland Conference, competes for championships in football, basketball, indoor track, cross country, outdoor track, baseball, and golf for men and cross country, indoor track, outdoor track, tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball, softball, and soccer for women.
The primary purpose of the athletics 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, staff, administration, alumni, and the community. All activities, operations, and decisions of the Athletics Department are guided by principles of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination.
Public Relations and University Events
The Office of Public Relations and University Events is responsible for the comprehensive internal and external communications and public relations programs that enhance the awareness and reputation of the University, McNeese Foundation, and the McNeese Alumni Association among its many audiences, provides guidance and assistance with University and community events held on campus, and advises student publications.
The Office of Public Relations and University Events manages a systematic communication program designed to support the mission of the University, and it serves as a resource and clearinghouse for all printed and electronic publications to ensure accuracy and consistency.
As the official liaison between the University and local, regional, state, and national print and broadcast media, the office provides information and serves as principal advisor to the campus community for public relations, media relations, and crisis management and represents the University as the on-the-record/on-camera spokesperson.
In addition to assisting with organizing, implementing, and coordinating events, activities, and publicity for the University, Foundation, Athletics, and the Alumni Association, the Office of Public Relations and University Events serves as a first point of contact for all external constituents regarding use of University facilities and ensures that event objectives are in compliance with University policies and procedures.
McNeese State University Foundation
The mission of the McNeese State University Foundation is to seek outside resources to support the successful education of undergraduate students and to provide operational assistance to serve the campus community, donors, employers, and community members. To access the McNeese Foundation website, click the following link: www.mcneesefoundation.org.
McNeese rewards student achievement through endowed scholarships. Scholarships foster student recruitment, retention, and completion by providing funds for tuition and fees, housing, books, and other educational expenses. To access the list of endowed academic scholarships, click the following link: Endowed Academic Scholarships. To access the list of endowed athletic scholarships, click the following link: Endowed Athletic Scholarships.
McNeese rewards teaching excellence and scholarly and professional activities through endowed professorships. Professorships ensure that instructors remain intellectually vigorous, current, and enthusiastic about their coursework. Endowed professorships are supported by a $100,000 endowment that consists of a $80,000 private contribution and a $20,000 match awarded by the Louisiana Board of Regents. To access the list of endowed professorships, click the following link: Endowed Professorships.
H.C. Drew Endowment for Economic Development
Funded through a $6 million donation by the H.C. Drew Estate, the H. C. Drew Endowment for Economic Development was established to support new, or enhance existing, educational programs at McNeese. A pioneer in lumber, farming, and banking in Southwest Louisiana, Harrison C. Drew dedicated the trust named after him to education and economic development in the region. Consistent with his wishes, the proceeds of the endowment are dedicated to improving educational opportunities and experiences through the H. C. Drew Center for Associate Studies and the H. C. Drew Institute.
The H. C. Drew Institute reflects McNeese State University’s commitment to excellence in teaching. Its main purpose is to augment the University’s contributions to economic development by providing resources to enhance classroom instruction and educational services for students pursuing baccalaureate and/or master’s degrees. The efforts of the H. C. Drew Institute concentrate on learning, research, and service in educational programs directed toward entry into the job market or continuing professional education.
Operating through the Office of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management, the Institute’s objectives are (1) to support teaching excellence through innovative course or program development, (2) to enhance student recruitment and retention, (3) to support economic development by graduating students well prepared in general education and in their special fields of study, and (4) to strengthen McNeese State University by supporting accreditation of programs.