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College Overview


History of Our Lady of the Lake College

Our Lady of the Lake CollegeCommunity Creed


Our Lady of the Lake College  is a diversified institution of higher education made up of two academic schools and a Health Career Institute. The two academic schools are the School of Arts, Sciences and Health Professions and the School of Nursing. The School of Arts, Sciences and Health Professions offers baccalaureate degrees in biology, clinical laboratory sciences, health sciences, health service administration and liberal studies; and, in addition, offers associate degrees in arts and sciences, physical therapist assisting, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy and surgical technology. The School of Arts, Sciences and Health Professions also offers a Masters of Medical Science degree in physician assistant studies. The School of Nursing offers the following degrees: Associate of Science in nursing, including a traditional program, accelerated program and Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse Transition program; Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science degree in nursing; and master's degrees in nursing and nurse anesthesia.

The Health Career Institute offers a diploma in practical nursing, as well as several certificate and continuing education programs for the health care community. Certificate programs include phlebotomy and certified nursing assistant.

The College provides an environment that anticipates, recognizes and is responsive to students' needs in promoting academic achievement and student learning. Student services, academic support services, student development and a wide range of administrative departments and services are offered to assist students in achieving their educational goals.

History of Our Lady of the Lake College

Our Lady of the Lake College  has evolved from the foundation of excellence provided by the Our Lady of the Lake School of Nursing, established in 1923 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. The School of Nursing began in conjunction with the establishment of Our Lady of the Lake Sanitarium in the Capitol Lake area of downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The School was an integral part of the new hospitalís program of service to the community.

Five students from the St. Francis Sanitarium in Monroe, Louisiana, formed the nucleus of the first class of nine students. The students lived, attended classes and cared for patients in the hospital overlooking Capitol Lake. Upon completion of three calendar years of education, the students were awarded a diploma in nursing.

The curriculum was revised over the years to incorporate advances in medical science, nursing science, nursing practice and nursing education. In 1960, in response to the changing health needs of the community and the prevailing nursing shortage, the School of Nursing was the first school in the South to revise its curriculum by shortening its program from three calendar years to 27 consecutive months. Recruitment to the diploma program was intensified, enrollment increased and the School continued to grow and maintain its reputation for excellence.

During the 1970s, major changes began to occur in the student population. Along with a decline in residential students, there was a gradual but persistent increase in the number of non-traditional students (23 years of age and older) seeking admission to the nursing program. By the close of the decade, the School of Nursing became a commuter school and no longer offered on-campus housing. This coincided with the relocation of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center to its present site on Essen Lane.

During the 1980s, in response to current trends in nursing education and licensure, the faculty began exploring options to position nursing education within the collegiate setting. In 1989, the process culminated with the decision of the Franciscan Sisters and the medical center administration to transition to a degree-granting institution of higher education.

Further development in the area of academic programming began in 1990. In May of that year, Our Lady of the Lake Collegeof Nursing and Allied Health was registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State and the Louisiana State Board of Regents. Within the next few years, the College began offering Associate of Science degrees in radiologic technology and general studies, in addition to nursing.

Regional accreditation of the College was initially received from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in June 1994. In July of 1995, the College was officially renamed Our Lady of the Lake College .

The late 1990s and early years of the new millennium were an exciting time of expansion for the College. Several new associate degree programs were added to the curriculum. In 1998, the College was approved as a Carnegie Level II institution to offer baccalaureate degrees. By the turn of the century, SACS had reviewed and approved seven bachelorís programs technology. Throughout this time of growth, the College developed a strong foundation of faculty, highly qualified in their academic disciplines and professional fields of practice.

The Health Career Institute (HCI) was established during the summer of 2000 as a center for the institutionís non-degree programs. Built initially on a foundation of practical nursing, this dynamic center continues to develop outreach programs, both for new health care professionals and those interested in a wide range of continuing education. Numerous programs today include practical nursing and areas such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and phlebotomy.

The Collegeís outreach programs also have extended beyond Baton Rouge. Associate of Science degrees in nursing are now offered at two locations in the New Orleans metropolitan area. 

SACS accreditation affirms excellence in academic programming. In 2004, the College was approved by SACS to begin offering three new programs. And, a noteworthy point in the Collegeís history occurred in 2005, when SACS granted approval for masterís level programs in nurse anesthesia, nursing and physician associate studies.

In February 2006, Dr. Sandra Harper, the current President, joined the College. In 2007, she led a reorganization of the College's academic programs resulting in more comprehensive academic schools. The School of Arts, Sciences and Health Professions united the former School of Health Sciences and School of Arts and Sciences. The Graduate School of Nursing and Undergraduate School of Nursing merged to form one comprehensive School of Nursing.   

Most recently in 2009, the College participated in a comprehensive reaffirmation of institutional accreditation study, critically examining all aspects of academic programming and student learning, as well as facilities and operations. This process was extremely valuable, leading to some reorganization of undergraduate programs and the development of a strong core curriculum.  

Our Lady of the Lake College  continues to broaden its leadership and faculty ranks, striving to recruit and retain the highest level of talent.  Our students recognize this continued dedication to the Sistersí vision of education, and consistently give the College positive feedback regarding faculty access and quality of degree earned.  Our graduates possess a wide range of knowledge and skills and continue to fulfill the Collegeís mission of service to God's people.

Our Lady of the Lake College  Community Creed

Our Lady of the Lake College , established by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, is an interactive community dedicated to personal, academic and professional excellence. This is best accomplished within an environment of mutual respect and civility, self-restraint, concern for others and academic integrity. By choosing to join this community, I accept the obligation to live by these common values and commit myself to the following principles.

As a member of the Our Lady of the Lake College  community:

I will commit myself to the pursuit of knowledge and understanding with personal integrity and academic honesty;

I will respect the sanctity of the learning environment and avoid disruptive and deceitful behavior toward other members of the campus community;

I will contribute to the development of a caring community where compassion for others and freedom of thought and expression are valued;

I will support a culture of diversity by respecting the rights and dignity of those who differ from me;

I will embrace the concept of a civil community, which respects the rights and property of others and abhors violence, theft and exploitation of others;

I will honor, challenge and contribute to the tradition of excellence left by those who preceded me and work to leave this a better place for those who follow.

By endorsing these common principles, I accept a moral obligation to behave in ways that contribute to a civil campus environment and resolve to support this behavior in others. This commitment to civility is my promise to the Our Lady of the Lake College  and its community of scholars.