Bossier Parish Community College

Bossier Parish Community College

Bossier Parish Community College is a two-year institution of higher education established in 1967 by the Louisiana State Legislature, initially as a pilot program to test the feasibility of commuter two-year colleges. The institution hence opened as the "thirteenth" and "fourteenth" grades of Airline High School in Bossier City.

Classes began with 101 students and five full-time faculty, including Edwin T. "Eddy" Shell, who taught speech for more than forty years at BPCC until his death of cancer in 2008. In 1991, Shell was elected to the Bossier Parish Police Jury, the parish governing board, a position which he also retained until his death.

The name "Bossier Parish Community College" was not established until 1973, and academic offerings were expanded in day and evening divisions. Efforts were also made to reach military personnel at Barksdale Air Force Base.

In 1977, the Community Education Division began offering non-academic courses. The Northwest Louisiana Police Training Academy (renamed in 1984 as the Criminal Justice Institute) was created to serve ten northwest Louisiana parishes. In 1978, the Respiratory Therapy Technology program was born. From 1979-1984, BPCC was authorized to grant associate degrees in Occupational Studies. Two-year degrees were hence established in criminal justice, business administration, and office administration. In 1984, an associate degree in data processing was approved.

The first commencement ceremony was held in 1980, when eight students received degrees. In 1983, BPCC received accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.In 1995, Bossier Parish Community College entered into articulation agreements with Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Northwestern State University at Natchitoches, Grambling State University in Grambling, Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Kilgore Junior College in Kilgore, Texas, and Louisiana State University at Shreveport to assist students in transferring credit hours to four-year institutions.

In 1996, BPPC added new associate degree programs to the curriculum in Physical Therapist Assistant, Emergency Medical Technican (Paramedic), and Computer Drafting and Design. On July 1, 1997, BPCC became a member of the University of Louisiana System. In May 1999, new programs were added: Associate degrees in Industrial Technology and Theatre; academic certificates in Computer Aided Drafting, Pharmacy Technician, and Telecommunications.

On July 1, 1999, BPCC became a member of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. In 2000, the Board of Regents approved the consolidation of associate degrees in Law Enforcement Technology and Corrections Science into a single Associate of Science in Criminal Justice. The regents also approved the conversion of the Culinary Arts non-credit program to an academic certificate program.

In 2001, BPCC joined with Delgado Community College in New Orleans to implement a collaborative Pharmacy Technician program through the use of interactive video. The innovative program was inspired by new certification requirements instituted by the state in 1997. BPCC and DCC both determined that the certification requirements established a need for such a program in higher education.

In 2004, BPCC moved to a new $55 million complex on U.S. Highway 80. An associate degree in music was added. The new campus held its grand opening on February 1, 2005. A Health and Physical Education Complex and Performing Arts Theatre officially opened.

Tom Carleton is the chancellor of BPCC.

References

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