Nearly 200 students filled the Louisiana Delta Community College conference room to see what Grambling State University has to offer. Delta students met GSU administration, faculty, staff and students during the first “GSU Day at Delta.”
“It’s a great collaborative effort between two schools to ensure students receive a quality education,” said Barbara Hanson, Delta’s chancellor. Louisiana Delta Community College and four-year university Grambling State University are institutions of higher education just a few miles apart and with a common interest to help students become successful.
Hanson, who hosted GSU President Frank G. Pogue and a number of GSU representatives, kicked off the event by highlighting what she and other educators consider the four-year university as a contributor to the Louisiana system.
“You don’t know how honored we are to have Grambling here today,” said Hanson. “Were thrilled because the pathways we can create through educational opportunity is a wonderful thing.” Pogue agreed.
“It just an exciting time,” said Pogue, who gave Hanson a black and gold “Big G” lapel pin. “I’ve been here a number of times and this is the first time I found it to be so exciting because I’ve never seen students understand and know Grambling so well.”
The collaborative effort between the institutions’ student affairs offices was aimed at providing Delta students an opportunity to interact with GSU representatives in one place to learn about degree programs, student life and other opportunities only a short distance away in the next parish to the west.
As she grabbed a bag full of brochures, Sarah Zeno, 18, who is studying child development at Delta, said meeting with her future university was beneficial. “I’m going to do all I can here so when I transfer to GSU, it won’t be hard of an adjustment for me,” said Zeno, who is spending two years at the community college to prepare her for two additional years at Grambling State.
Kelvin Barris, 27, of Monroe, is studying business technology at Delta and plans to extend his college career in the spring with a psychology major at GSU.”By attending today’s presentation, I am well planned and excited to go to a place where everybody is somebody,” said Barris, reciting Grambling State’s decades-old motto of inclusion.
Louisiana Delta Community College is an open-admissions college that offers two-year degree programs, certificates and courses for personal or professional growth. Delta’s main campus is in Monroe and there are campuses in West Monroe, Bastrop, Farmerville, Lake Providence, Ruston, Tallulah and Winnsboro. Nearly 4,000 students attend Delta annually.
Pogue said many students attend a community college or another two-year college as an interim step to pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. Pogue told LDCC students he started his college career at a community college in Mobile, Ala., before graduating from Alabama State University. He said his community college experience was a good stepping stone for him, and he wants GSU to be that stepping stone for Delta students.
Alvina Thomas, interim vice president of student affairs at Delta, said it’s all about creating an environment that makes it possible for students to succeed. “I encourage all of our students to go to a four-year institution,” said Thomas.
GSU has taken many steps to respond to the changing demographics and to make the campus more attractive to potential students. University officials are nearing completion of a campus beautification project, including remodeled the yard outside of the Favrot Student Union, expanding and updating landscaping around campus and developing a first-year experience program for new students.
The midday event included lots of entertainment, along with free pizza and soda provided by Delta’s student government association. Members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Iota Theta Fraternity and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity stepped with fraternity chants and songs before a packed crowd in the conference center. Members of Grambling State University’s World Famed Tiger Marching Band, the university cheer squad and the Orchesis Dance Company also performed.
“This event was inspiring to our students,” said Yosha Lain, Delta’s SGA president. “I hope our students choose GSU.”
Pogue was thrilled with the event, and hopeful about the results. “Our main goal was to tell students how the important it is to transfer to Grambling,” he said, “and I hope we achieved that goal.”