Compete LA Press Coverage

A collection of media coverage of the Compete LA program. Full articles are linked below.

Compete LA in the News

Our opinion: Here’s a great way to get ahead: Houma Today, Houma

The University of Louisiana System has come up with a great program to help Louisiana residents who started but never finished college get back to school and earn their degrees. Compete LA, the topic of a short Associated Press story on Page A2 of today’s Courier and Daily Comet, is so brilliant it’s hard to believe nobody has done it before. An estimated 653,000 Louisiana residents have dropped out before completing a college degree, state statistics show. The program aims to make it as easy as possible for them to enroll in one of the UL system’s nine regional universities, including Nicholls State in Thibodaux.

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Never finished your degree? The university system has an app that can help: The Advocate, Acadiana

The University of Louisiana System has launched a new program with the goal of getting Louisianians back to school and finishing their bachelor's degree. System President and CEO Jim Henderson discussed the details of the Compete LA program Thursday at a luncheon for One Acadiana members. The program is designed to reengage the approximately 653,000 people in Louisiana with some college credits who dropped out before completing a degree. Henderson said the program is not only an opportunity to improve the state's second-to-last ranking on adults with a bachelor's degree or higher, but also an ability to work toward One Acadiana's goal of having 55% of Acadiana's population achieve a secondary education degree or certification by 2025.

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One Acadiana and UL System announce Compete LA initiative: KATC, Lafayette

One Acadiana hosted a luncheon today featuring University of Louisiana System President and CEO Jim Henderson to announce the launch of their new Complete LA initiative. Complete LA aims to re-engage Louisianians who have some college credit, but no degree. The program aligns with One Acadiana's 55 by 25 initiative by providing support to adults who are considering returning to college to earn a bachelor's degree.

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UL System launches Compete LA to re-engage adult learners: Natchitoches Parish Journal, Natchitoches

University of Louisiana System President and CEO Jim Henderson announced the launch of Compete LA, a program designed to re-engage the 653,000 Louisianians with some college credit but no degree. Henderson, former president of Northwestern State University, introduced the program during the monthly meeting of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday. “For Louisiana to be competitive in the economy of the future, we have to develop a more educated workforce,” Henderson said. “Compete LA is designed to cut through the red tape of returning to school and provide supports at every step of the student’s educational journey.”

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Our Views: A new way to ease the path back to college: The Advocate, Baton Rouge

The prime candidates for enlarging Louisiana’s pool of college graduates aren’t just kids fresh from high school. They’re also like Brikinya McZeal, who is 35 and had 47 hours in college, but moved into the workforce without getting a secondary degree. Now, because of Compete LA, a promising new program of the University of Louisiana system, she is taking online courses with a view to getting the business management diploma that would help her with her career. For Jim Henderson, who heads the University of Louisiana system, that is the kind of student who can return to higher education either through online courses or in person.

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State is making effort to help college dropouts: American Press, Lake Charles

A new statewide program is looking for ways for the more than 650,000 college dropouts in Louisiana to find their way back to class. Called Compete LA, the thought behind the program is to make returning to college easier for those who never finished their degree. The program includes a variety of online degree programs and other convenient class structures designed for Louisianians with some college credit. According to, personal coaches will guide students through the process of re-enrollment and find their fastest pathway to a degree. The free coach will also provide support to help them navigate their college journey through graduation.


University of Louisiana colleges are pushing folks to return to college and complete their degree: The Advocate, Baton Rouge

Brikinya McZeal is about to start taking college classes again, lured back to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette 15 years after leaving by a new state push to boost the woeful number of adults in Louisiana with a college degree and the skills needed in a changing workforce. McZeal, 35, plans to take 12 hours online during the fall semester to go with the 47 she already has in hopes of earning a degree in business management. What got her attention is a new program called Compete LA, which is targeting the 1 in 5 adults in Louisiana — 653,000 — who went to college but left without a degree.


Didn't finish college? New UL System initiative aims to help Louisianans compete: The Advertiser, Lafayette

The University of Louisiana System is launching an effort to help students who never finished college get back to school. Maybe the freshman's parent lost a job and he had to return home. Maybe she had a baby. Maybe college wasn't right for him at 18, and now he's ready but in debt or working full-time or just doesn't know how to apply. No matter the reason, there are 653,000 adults in Louisiana — one in five — with some college credit but no degree.


Press Releases

Acadiana Press Release

Natchitoches Press Release