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College Overview


History of Our Lady of the Lake College

Our Lady of the Lake College Community Creed


Our Lady of the Lake College (OLOLC), located in Louisianaís capital city of Baton Rouge, is a four-year independent, private, Catholic institution.  The College is a wholly owned subsidiary of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and is sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, North American Province.

Devoted to excellence in teaching and learning, OLOLC is a student-centered academic community guided by its institutional Mission.  Student to full-time instructional faculty ratio is eighteen-to-one, with Fall 2011 census reflecting an enrollment of 1748 students. 

Accredited to offer masterís, bachelorís and associate degrees, the Collegeís fifteen academic degree programs are organized within two schools: the School of Arts, Sciences and Health Professions and the School of Nursing. Vocational and certificate programs are offered through the Health Career Institute at the College.

Our Lady of the Lake College has an extensive and growing tradition of service to the community.  During 2011, students provided 19,339 hours of service locally.  In early 2011, the College was named by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Carnegie Engaged Campus.  In addition to this prestigious Carnegie Foundation classification, the College has been named four times to the Presidentís Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

History of Our Lady of the Lake College

A School of Nursing is Created to Serve Louisiana
Established in 1923 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, the Our Lady of the Lake 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 School Initiates Innovations in Healthcare Education
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.

The Modern College Begins to Take Shape
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.

In response to trends in nursing education and licensure, the faculty began exploring options in the 1980s 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. In May of that year, Our Lady of the Lake College of Nursing and Allied Health was registered with the State. 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.

New Programs are Developed
The late 1990s and early years of the new millennium were a time of expansion for the College, and several new associate degree programs were added to the curriculum. In 1998, the College was approved as a Level II institution to offer baccalaureate degrees, and by the turn of the century had added seven bachelorís programs. The Health Career Institute (HCI) was established during the summer of 2000 to offer dynamic training programs such as practical nursing and phlebotomy as well as continuing education for health care professionals.

In response to the regional devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the College ramped up outreach programs on three campuses in the New Orleans metropolitan area: East Jefferson General Hospital, Tulane Medical Center, and West Jefferson Medical Center. Still operating at the East Jefferson  campus through 2012, these accelerated Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) programs helped to meet an urgent shortage in the area.

A noteworthy point in the Collegeís history occurred in 2005, when SACS granted approval for masterís level programs in nurse anesthesia, nursing and physician assistant studies, making available for area professionals a new level of academic achievement.

In February 2006, Dr. Sandra Harper, the current President, joined the College.

Our Lady of the Lake College Today
In 2009, the College received a full ten-year re-accreditation from SACS. This process was extremely valuable, leading to some reorganization of undergraduate programs and the development of a stronger core curriculum.  Additionally, the College went through a reorganization of its undergraduate and graduate academic programs resulting in two comprehensive academic schools: the School of Arts, Sciences and Health Professions and the School of Nursing.  Today the College offers four masterís degrees, six bachelorís degrees and five associate degrees. 

In addition to an emphasis on academic excellence, Our Lady of the Lake College has continued the commitment to service begun by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady.  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.