RELEASE: A Newly Chartered Community College Has Transformed Rural Louisiana—the Coronavirus Threatens To Upend It

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new feature report about expanding opportunity in rural America and the path to recover from the economic toll of the pandemic. It documents the eight-year-old journey to establish Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) in rural Louisiana and how improved college access has changed lives. It also shows what is at stake if community colleges such as CLTCC all over the country—and the states that support them—do not receive new resources to help them survive the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The piece chronicles how budget cuts to higher education that grew out of the Great Recession and poor policy choices hampered CLTCC’s plans to pursue accreditation; how new state leadership resuscitated that goal; and how the school has helped one nontraditional student start college with great success before even completing a high school equivalency diploma.

“Colleges like CLTCC are lifting families out of poverty in rural America and, with the help of its committed students and the 3D printer housed in the school’s center for manufacturing programs, even helping to protect front-line workers during the coronavirus pandemic by producing face shields,” said Marcella Bombardieri, associate director of Postsecondary Education at CAP. “Unless Congress provides substantial new federal funding for public higher education, states will almost certainly cut funding for higher education, blunting efforts to improve social mobility and expand opportunity in rural communities.”

Please click here to read “Among Forests and Bayous, a Fledgling College and Fragile Dreams” by Marcella Bombardieri.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.