By Victor Villavieja
PINEVILLE (LBM) — Louisiana College’s Preview Day attendance has increased 59 percent since last year, continuing the solid growth tendency of the last three years.
Over 140 high school students were part of the March 24 event, which suggests that the student enrollment for the coming school year will rise again.
The students and their families congregated at the Martin Performing Arts Center around 1 in the afternoon. It was a standing-room-only occasion. Rick Brewer, president of Louisiana College, welcomed the attendees and explained how the school is attempting to equip the students with the means to succeed in the 21st century.
“We are preparing graduates to implement a change,” Brewer said. “The students receive an education that enables them to develop critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and problem-solving skills, while growing in their relationship with God. We have grown 24 percent in our student enrollment in two years, and the good word is getting out.”
In the fall of 2017, Louisiana College registered a total of 474 new students, including first-time freshmen and transfers. Among them, there were 17 new international students from countries as diverse as Spain, Sweden, Scotland, Brazil, and Australia. It was the third time in the institutions’ history that the enrollment exceeded 300 students.
The exponential growth the school has seen in the last years can be perceived in the atmosphere reigning in LC’s campus.
“This campus has an atmosphere that allows you to cultivate a better relationship with God,” said Stephen Magee, a local 17-year-old homeschooled student. “We can actually grow in our walk with God as we continue to gain in school knowledge. Living with other Christians, but also with students with different mindsets, would allow me to shape a strong worldview. I think that LC would guide me to learn who I am in Christ, because I will have to face new challenges. Here, we can walk with God, and grow as we face new problems.”
Maya Carrier, a homeschooled student from Duson who wants to major in History, also described LC’s atmosphere as welcoming.
“I want to get a good education, but I also want to enjoy my years in college,” Carrier explained. “I think that here, at LC, I could have a college experience to reminiscence as an adult. I am looking for a good atmosphere to thrive in.”
Students could enjoy a guided tour around the 81-acre campus. However, Hixson Student Center became the nerve center for the rest of the afternoon. There, visitors could meet LC’s coaching staff, faculty members, and current LC students.
Every department had a booth at Granberry Conference Center, located in the very student center. LC’s particular career fair provided students and their families with information on the academic programs and the School of Ministry and Missions, and on the scholarships and financial aid opportunities. Importantly, LC’s potential students could savor the sweet taste of LC’s home-like environment.
Page Hamilton came to Preview Day as a mother. Her son, Nathan Thompson, had already decided to study at Louisiana College, and Hamilton was very pleased with her experience on campus.
“It seems like all the students get a lot of individual attention from their professors and the people working in administration,” Hamilton commented. You can feel that there is a very family-like atmosphere. You can tell how the school is worried about every one of the students, about their spiritual life and their academic results. It feels like a big family, like home.”
Louisiana College’s family has been growing ever since Brewer became the president of the institution in April 2015. A recent analysis shows that overall number of students has also increased this spring, breaking with the norm of the past years.
Louisiana College’s primary objective is raising enrollment to 1,500 students by 2020, and the Wildcats seem to be steadily working to reach that goal.