“Next Start” program at SOWELA

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:53 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s a chance for students to take a traditional 16-week course and complete it in about half the time.

“It’s a shorter commitment to the class, and it’s finished in the blink of an eye. It is compressed, so it’s fast-paced,” said director of enrollment management and financial aid, Allison Dering.

It’s called “Next Start”.

“Next Start is a compressed session within our fall semester, students can start midway, middle of the semester, in fact, it’s starting today, October 11, it’ll end that first week of December, but it gives them the opportunity to earn full college credit, in a seven-week time frame versus the typical 16 weeks semester,” she said.

As Dering explains, they offer “Next Start” for a lot of their general education courses.

“In addition to those general education offerings, we do have some programs specific for the business administration program, which is offered in-person and fully online, the criminal justice program, and the accounting program.,” she said.

She tells me it allows students to graduate faster and get working.

“We’re a community college, our goal is to get students working and out into our community workforce,” she said. “So by offering these compressed courses, it gives students options, and it’s just a quicker way to allow them to graduate and get working.”

Classes began yesterday, but late registration runs until tomorrow. For more information, you can visit their website at

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