RPCC holding ‘mini-mester’ for displaced

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Some community college courses being held in LaPlace at church

SORRENTO — River Parishes Community College is now conducting a “mini-mester,” an additional, shortened semester for Louisiana students displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The “mini-mester” started on September 26 and will end on December 15. Courses include English, math, biology, sociology and other general education core courses. Classes are held at the Depot Building in Gonzales and at the First United Methodist Church in LaPlace. Most displaced students being taught by River Parishes Community College are from Delgado Community College in New Orleans and Elaine P. Nunez Community College in Chalmette.

“We understand that many students have had their academic lives, and indeed their lives in general, disrupted by the recent hurricane,” said Chancellor Joe Ben Welch. “River Parishes Community College is in a unique place to be of service to students who attended a school in the affected area which may not be able to hold classes this semester or this year.”

River Parishes accepted nearly 100 students after Hurricane Katrina. The school is helping students from Delgado and Nunez community colleges, as well as other New Orleans area schools.

Both students and teachers from the displaced community have encountered challenges. Sharon LeGard, a biology instructor at Nunez Community College, is currently helping River Parishes Community College by teaching “Biology 2500: Human Anatomy and Physiology” to students displaced from Delgado and Nunez community colleges. That class is held in LaPlace for displaced students pursuing a degree in the nursing or allied health field.

One student, James Perkins, remarked that he struggled to find available courses for his degree program in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He said that River Parishes Community College had information available to the public quickly and appreciated the “personal calls from the RPCC staff.”

River Parishes Community College is a two-year learning institution, fully-accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate Degrees.

The school is located at 7384 John LeBlanc Blvd. in Sorrento. For more information about River Parishes Community College, or to enroll in classes, call 225-675-8270 or log on to www.rpcc.edu.