COMING IN 2013: One Degree by Nine Universities

Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership will be Louisiana’s First 100% Online Collaborative Degree

BATON ROUGE – As early as February 2013, University of Louisiana System institutions will begin accepting applications for the Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership, a 100% online degree offered jointly by nine public universities.  The accelerated degree completion program is designed for adults who stopped out of college.

“According to the 2009 American Community Survey there are over 600,000 adults in Louisiana with some college credit and no degree.  This pioneering program is a way to reach out to that market and entice former students to finish their degrees, while capitalizing on the unique strengths of nine public universities,” said UL System Interim President Tom Layzell.



Students who enroll in the organizational leadership degree can choose from nine distinctive concentrations that enhance their career goals:

  • Cultural and Arts Institutions at the University of New Orleans;
  • Disaster Relief Management at Southeastern Louisiana University;
  • Financial Services at the University of Louisiana at Monroe;
  • Foodservice Strategies and Operations at Nicholls State University;
  • Health and Wellness at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette;
  • Human Relations at Grambling State University;
  • Project Team Leadership at Louisiana Tech University;
  • Public Safety Administration at Northwestern State University; and
  • Strategic Global Communication at McNeese State University.

The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System today approved an agreement signed by the presidents of all nine universities to share faculty, staff, technology, and other resources in the online collaborative program. 

The degree will consist of 30 hours of courses offered jointly by faculty at the nine universities and 30 hours of concentration and elective courses offered by each institution.  The online platform will be seamless and the cost will be uniform across concentrations and universities.

To enter the program, students must be at least 25 years old and have completed 60 hours of college credit including general education courses.  However, students with less than 60 hours will have opportunities to earn credit online or through prior learning assessment that gauges skills learned on the job.

Offered in five, eight-week terms each year, and charging a flat per credit hour rate of $325, the program can be completed in two years well below the cost of other online degree programs.

“We can offer a competitive price for the program because our universities are willing to share resources.  Their faculty and staff are working together in unprecedented ways and the result will be a cost-effective, flexible degree for Louisiana’s working adults,” said Layzell.



Louisiana Tech University President Dr. Dan Reneau:
“This collaborative degree provides students with a unique opportunity to capitalize on the strengths and synergies of the UL System’s member institutions.  Louisiana Tech looks forward to serving these students and producing graduates who will effectively lead organizations throughout our state and nation.”

Northwestern State University President Dr. Randall J. Webb:
“Participation in the Organizational Leadership degree is an honor. This kind of system-wide collaboration shows the innovation of our campuses in the University of Louisiana System. We are proud to participate in finding another distinctive way to serve Louisiana’s citizens.  The Public Safety Administration concentration is a cutting-edge program that not only identifies problems but also provides solutions.”

Nicholls State University President Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert:
“Nicholls is proud to be a part of the UL System collaborative online degree in organizational leadership. The foodservice strategies and operations concentration was established to increase Louisiana’s workforce in the foodservice management industry. The curriculum is the result of collaboration between our top-notch culinary arts and dietetics faculty and will provide students with an understanding of foodservice industries and their operations.”

McNeese State University President Dr. Philip C. Williams:
“The consortium approach used by four of our universities for the master’s degree in nursing has proven to be a very efficient and effective method of delivering instruction, particularly for the non-traditional target audience. That is one of the reasons why I strongly support this cooperative degree program in organizational leadership.  The McNeese concentration in Strategic and Global Communication will prepare graduates to be innovative and ready to adapt to changing environments.”

University of New Orleans President Dr. Peter J. Fos:
“The University of New Orleans is pleased to play a role in this collaborative degree program that will draw on the unique strengths of each of the nine University of Louisiana System institutions.  New Orleans is world-famous for its cultural and arts institutions and UNO is proud to help prepare future leaders in these distinctive fields.”


Grambling State University President Dr. Frank Pogue:
“We are happy to be a part of this nine-institution degree offering. We have a number of Gramblinites who, for a variety of reasons, have gone on with their lives without completing their degrees. This online program will offer our university family members, and others, a chance to get a college degree with limited investment and limited time and without the hassle of putting life aside to attend classes on campus.  We are also pleased to provide a human resources emphasis as a part of this effort, especially because HR is an important area in corporate and non-profit management, and one in great need of more diversity.”

University of Louisiana at Lafayette President Dr. E. Joseph Savoie:
“The system-wide organizational leadership degree is a cost-efficient collaborative that will benefit higher education in Louisiana and the state’s workforce.  UL Lafayette’s concentration in Health and Wellness will positively impact Louisiana citizens’ quality of life.”

Southeastern Louisiana University President Dr. John Crain:
“The online degree in Organizational Leadership being offered by the University of Louisiana System is a great example of how collaboration among institutions with differing strengths can work together to effectively provide a much needed degree program for our state’s adult learners. Southeastern’s concentration in Disaster Relief Management uses an interdisciplinary approach that draws heavily on the disciplines of communication, criminal justice, geography, and industrial safety.  It is designed to provide the comprehensive preparation today’s professionals need to effectively manage existing and potential disasters and to plan and implement proven relief strategies. We are pleased to be a part of this unique degree offering.”

University of Louisiana at Monroe President Dr. Nick Bruno:
“University of Louisiana at Monroe business faculty possess considerable expertise in an array of financial topics. ULM’s financial services concentration—offered as part of the new BA in Organizational Leadership—will provide students with knowledge in accounting, finance, risk management and insurance.  Graduates will possess unique skill sets for a wide variety of positions in the financial services industry.  Collaboration and sharing of resources is a valued part of ULM’s mission. We are pleased to participate in Louisiana’s first system-wide online, collaborative degree that highlights the strengths of each of our universities.”


“Although applications will not be open until February, people interested in this program should begin researching their options including tracking down transcripts,” said UL System Vice President for Research and Performance Assessment Beatrice Baldwin who is coordinating the program.

The UL System has been working with the Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana (CALL), sponsored by the Board of Regents, to structure and market the program starting in 2013.  The program will join CALL’s 20 online programs for adults, although this will be the first collaborative degree of its kind.

For more about online degrees for adults and the Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership, visit and    


ABOUT THE PROGRAM AUTHORIZATION: The Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree program has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Board of Regents.  It is pending approval by the Southern Association of State Colleges and Universities (SACS-COC) in December.  Grambling State University’s participation is expected in Fall 2013.

ABOUT THE UL SYSTEM: The University of Louisiana System is the largest higher education system in Louisiana enrolling over 92,000 students at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the University of New Orleans.