Mike Foster Honored for Contributions to Community College System
The Louisiana Community and Technical College System awarded former Governor Mike Foster the Inaugural Murphy J. “Mike” Foster Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Community and Technical Colleges in Louisiana last week at the annual conference for Louisiana’s community and technical colleges. Named in his honor, Governor Foster was presented with the award for his leadership and vision in creating the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.
“Of all the things we accomplished, creating the community and technical college system is the one that most people thank me for,” said Foster. “It is remarkable what has been done with the system. What was created to educate and help get people jobs is being done at high levels, and I am proud of that,” he added. “The cooperation with industry has been significant as they have been intricate to the success of the community and technical college system.”
In 1996, Governor Foster set out to create a system of higher education that would establish and provide academic transfer programs and workforce training for Louisiana residents. The Legislature supported the initiative by the passage of ACT 151 and ACT 170 during the First Extraordinary Session of 1998. That same year, voters overwhelmingly approved the establishment of a separate board of the community colleges and the technical college campuses, and on July 1, 1999, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Board of Supervisors became operational.
In 2014 more than 165,000 students attended a community and technical college and more than 20,000 students earned a credential including associate degrees, technical diplomas and industry based certifications.
“The foresight of Governor Foster and the legislators who authored the bill to start the community and technical college system was brilliant,” said Monty Sullivan, president of Louisiana’s community and technical colleges. “The need for workforce training and transfers has never been greater and a decision 16 years ago is paying dividends now and will continue years into the future.”
LCTCS Board of Supervisors Chair Woody Oge said, “His vision to unify the community and technical colleges in this state has created a lasting legacy that will improve the lives of Louisiana citizens for generations to come. His commitment to workforce development is unmatched.”