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 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. 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, 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 88 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 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 to award associate, bachelor, master, and specialist degrees. 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 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/.
- ACEN- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc., 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850; Atlanta, Georgia 30326, P- (404) 975-5000, F- (404) 975-5020; www.acenursing.org
- ACEND - Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, P-(312) 899-0040, ext. 5400, F-(312) 899-4817, www.eatright.org/ACEND.
- 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.
- CAC/ABET - Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, 415 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, 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 - Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, 415 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, 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.
- TAC/ABET - Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, 415 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, 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/police 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
McNeese is committed to expanding the educational opportunities for current and future students. One way we carry out this commitment is through electronic learning offerings.
Online. We offer an array of online learning opportunities. From individual courses to fully online degree programs, we strive to provide options that meet all students’ needs, and online offerings permit all students to complete coursework without the time and place constraints of face-to-face courses. These courses are denoted in the class schedule as “W” sections.
Hybrid. For students who like the convenience of online courses but still want to have some “physical” connection to a course, we offer hybrid courses that blend online course requirements with face-to-face class meetings. These courses are denoted in the class schedule as “WH” sections.
Teleconference. The Burton Business Center and Farrar Hall house electronic learning laboratories that broadcast and receive live classes through fully interactive teleconferencing technology. Teleconference, also known as compressed video, classes allow students to engage in live, face-to-face class meetings from a number of specified sites off the McNeese campus. These courses are denoted in the class schedule as “CV” sections.
For more information, contact any academic department or the Office of Electronic Learning. Visit us online at http://www.mcneese.edu/elearning
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.
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.
Bruce Hemphill, 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.
Braylon Harris, Director
Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and students from families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree. Its goal is to provide opportunities for participants to succeed in pre-college performance and higher education pursuits, which will ultimately increase rates of post-secondary enrollment and graduation. Services include an academic year and summer component for high school participants and a summer bridge program for participants who are entering college.
During the academic year, students attend weekly after-school study sessions at the school site and monthly Saturday sessions at the University. The summer high school program allows students to experience different aspects of college life. Students receive academic, financial aid, and personal counseling; exposure to cultural events; information on post-secondary opportunities; and career planning. The summer bridge program assists with the transition from high school to college. Following high school graduation, eligible participants may take up to six hours of college credit and receive free tuition, fees, books, and supplies.
Freshman Foundations and Students in Transition
The mission of the Freshman Foundations and Students in Transition program is to promote the educational and personal success of all students who are in their first year at McNeese. 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: understanding the demands of college-level study and strategies for successfully meeting those demands; familiarity with basic knowledge and skills associated with their chosen discipline and program of study; and an awareness of the range of resources associated with campus life and learning. Every first-time freshman is required to enroll in an appropriate section of FFND 101 during the first semester at McNeese.
Write to Excellence Center
Corliss Badeaux, Director
The Write to Excellence Center (WTE Center), located in Drew Hall 234, is a vital part of the University’s commitment to academic success in general and writing-across-the curriculum, in particular. 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. 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. Students may also obtain specialized research support from Library Staff who work alongside the Center for prat of the week. All Students from first-year students to graduate students are invited to visit the Write to Excellence Center.
Special topic workshops related to writing are offered periodically, and faculty may request special presentation by writing-center personnel for their writing enriched courses.
Hours of operation will be posted at www.mcneese.edu/writingcenter and at the WTE Center. Appointments can be made by calling (337) 562-4206, or by registering at https://mcneese.mywconline.com/.Walk-ins are also welcome.
Office of Public Relations
Candace V. Townsend, Director
The Office of Public Relations 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 Relations 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 Relations 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.
Services for Students with Disabilities
Tim Delaney, Director
Services for Students with Disabilities serves all students with disabilities. Its goals are to facilitate the transition from high school to college; to assist students in developing the necessary skills to succeed in college; to provide counseling, including career counseling; and to assist in the successful transition from college to employment. Services for Students with Disabilities operates under the guidelines of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act As Amended. Students with a disability should present the appropriate documentation stating his or her disability to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.
Derek Fontenot, Administrator
The Office of Student Employment provides qualified students part-time job opportunities to enhance job-seeking skills, gain work experience, and defray college expenses. Student employment gives students opportunities to interact in a global community and prepare for the job market.