Board of Supervisors Approves New Student Excellence Fee For A&M Campus
One positive move in the 2015 legislative session to counteract potential cuts to higher education came from House Bill 152, which provides post secondary management boards with the authority to autonomously assess fees for currently enrolled students for a fixed period of time.
LSU's Board of Supervisors approved the A&M campus's request to assess an additional fee, dubbed the Student Excellence Fee, at its meeting on October 23. Academic Colleges will receive the majority of the revenues generated from the fee to enhance the student experience, specifically related to services that have direct student impact—i.e. teaching, counseling and supplemental instruction.
The majority of the colleges will use the funds to hire additional instructors and teaching assistants to open more class sections and provide supplemental instruction to increase retention and graduation rates. In addition, at least three units indicated that they would use the funds to hire student counselors and advisors. Ranking second in order of need is technology improvements. Several units indicated a need for technical support personnel, software and hardware upgrades. Other requests include classroom enhancements to provide more hands-on learning experiences and supporting student experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, workshops, field trips, student organizations, and travel related expenses for competitions, conferences and study abroad programs.
A common thread identified throughout the narratives was the necessity to improve student success via smaller classes and more individualized instruction. Further, the additional revenue will allow for higher quality advising and individualized attention to better serve our students, thus leading to increased persistence. All told, the fees will provide better instruction, facilities, support services and opportunities for our students to excel during their tenure at LSU.