Community College campus open for on-site classes, first day Jan. 19

Classroom at St. Charles Parish campus of River Parishes Community College, which is ready for in person attendance for the first time.

While the opening of its Boutte campus for on-site classes was delayed by COVID-19, the wait is finally over for River Parishes Community College (RPCC) and its prospective students.

The United Way of St. Charles RPCC campus, located at 13145 Hwy. 90, is now open and welcoming students for its spring semester, with registration ongoing. It is RPCC’s fourth campus, with a main campus in Gonzales and satellite campuses in Reserve and Plaquemine. The Boutte addition was brought to reality in large part due to a $3 million investment by United Way and an agreement with RPCC’s Reserve campus, which agreed to manage the St. Charles Parish campus if United Way found a building.

Thus, local students won’t have to travel far for college classes – starting just about now. The first day of classes will be Jan. 19, and the semester will run into May.

“We know they’ve been hearing about it for awhile,” said Penelope Shumaker, Campus Director at the site. “Now, we just want everyone to know we’re open and you can come on in and register. We’ve been seeing people here already. We’re very excited about it.”

Construction on the campus was initially expected to be finished over the summer of 2020, but COVID-19 delayed the projected opening until now. The school held online-only classes for a semester late last year, with 59 students enrolled, and is ready for its physical opening.

The site hosts 10 classrooms, two computer labs, student and faculty lounges and a meeting room.

It will also have an expanded curriculum from what was offered in its online-only semester. Included among programs offered at the school are process technology, industrial instrumentation, general studies, social sciences, humanities, criminal justice, business, physical science and biological sciences. Plans to add a medical assistance program are in the plans for the fall, but per-requisite courses for it are available now.

Online, hybrid and face to face classes are available.

“It’s going to be a full-service campus,” said Shumaker.

The United Way purchased a 3.9-acre site at 13143 Highway 90 for the community college’s location. The former 16,389 square-foot bingo hall was renovated and an extra 439 square feet added.

The campus’ goal is to serve a wide range of students, including people right out of high school wanting to learn a trade, students wishing to start at a smaller institution before transferring to a large university and people working in a minimum wage job looking for an advancement opportunity. Students will be able to complete two-year college programs at the site.

A virtual orientation is set up for new students on Jan. 14 at 3:30 p.m.

For information regarding admission and enrollment, contact 985-536-4418 or 225-743-8500.

 

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