For 35 years, the Central Louisiana Technical Community College — Lamar Salter campus, located on U.S. 171 between Leesville and Rosepine, has been offering classes and giving back to the community, despite its many name changes. And despite additional changes forthcoming, the college isn't planning to give up its roots.

For 35 years, the Central Louisiana Technical Community College — Lamar Salter campus, located on U.S. 171 between Leesville and Rosepine, has been offering classes and giving back to the community, despite its many name changes. And despite additional changes forthcoming, the college isn't planning to give up its roots.
The campus's programs will see some changes due to state legislation passed earlier this year, which will allow the college to offer more academic degrees and other courses
"Our technical program isn't going anywhere," Kim Florich, Assistant Campus Dean, said.
Included in the upcoming changes will include expanding existing programs and adding new programs, as the college aims to fulfill the mission put forth by the state, saying that the CLTCC "shall provide a comprehensive educational program which may include career and technical education and training, workforce development training, adult basic education, continuing education, general education, associate degree programs, college transfer degree programs, and other educational programs and opportunities."
Currently, the college is in the process of obtaining Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation, and obtaining that accreditation will allow the college to name deans for different departments. Florich described this time as a "transitional" phase for the school.
The first classes — nursing classes — were held in 1977 in an unused school building in DeRidder under the name West Liouisiana Vocational-Technical School, and the current buildings were constructed the next year. The school became the Lamar Salter Vocational Technical School in 1986, and classes in office occupations, automotive mechanics, welding, small engine repair, climate control, diesel mechanics, and building trades were added before the name change.
The college became the Louisiana Technical College — Lamar Salter campus in 1996, and earlier this year, the name changed again to the Central Louisiana Technical Community College — Lamar Salter Campus.
Throughout the 35 years, Florich said there have been a number of success stories, including students who have gone on to own their own businesses or holding supervisory positions. One former student — Dr. Toni Pritchard — is now the department head of nursing and allied health at the Lamar Salter campus.
"You'll find them sprinkled over both parishes," she said.
Other programs the college offers is the dual enrollment program with area high schools, a GED program, and Work Keys assessment, a career readiness program. Students from the school have also participated and took gold in the Skills USA Championships, a state and national competition between college students in areas such as small motor skills and nursing.
Florich said that due to high demand and a waiting list for the welding courses, the college will be offering welding classes in the evening. In addition, EMT and coding and insurance courses are also offered in the evening.
Through the dual enrollment program and other initiatives, the college has continually tried to strengthen its ties to the area parishes and Fort Polk.
"We're very involved in both parishes," Florich said, noting that the college will be participating in the Vision for Vernon initiative, and that students have assisted in numerous projects throughout both Vernon and Beauregard Parish, including the construction of the Farmer's Market and Polk Theatre in Leesville.