ALEXANDRIA, La., (WNTZ) — One of the clear lessons learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic is the critical demand for more Practical Nurses in Central Louisiana. Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) is working diligently to meet the demand for this high-wage, high-skill profession, and those efforts have been enhanced by a generous $150,000 investment from the Coughlin Saunders Foundation as well additional funding from the Louisiana Community & Technical College System’s Workforce Ready Rapid Response Grant program.

“The Coughlin Saunders Foundation has a long history of supporting nursing education in Central Louisiana,” said Anna Saunders Maynard Coughlin Saunders Foundation Secretary.
“Both Hugh Coughlin and my father, Rife Saunders, always recognized the importance of having enough nurses here. They would both be very proud of this grant.”

The Coughlin Saunders Foundation investment will be used to fund scholarships of up to $500 per semester for Practical Nursing students who have successfully completed their second semester of work. The Practical Nursing program is five semesters long, with an optional sixth semester to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Practical Nursing. Officials estimate this initiative will provide up to 300 awards to current Practical Nursing students, with students eligible to receive additional awards for their fourth to sixth semester.

In addition, a $25,000 LCTCS Workforce Ready Rapid Response grant will be used to create a leading-edge multimedia training center at the Downtown Alexandria Campus.

“The generosity of the Coughlin Saunders Foundation funds for Practical Nursing student scholarships will significantly lighten the financial burdens of students allowing them to focus on
their program of study and successful completion of the nursing program. In addition to the positive impact on the lives of the individual students and their families, this generous support will ultimately increase the healthcare workforce in Central Louisiana and beyond”, CLTCC Dean of Nursing and Allied Health, Mignonne Ater.

Career placement is more than 96 percent for students seeking work after completing CLTCC’s Practical Nursing program. CLTCC Chancellor Dr. Jimmy Sawtelle notes tuition for the Practical Nursing program, which is currently $2,054 per semester, has not increased in seven years. “We are very grateful for this generous investment by the Coughlin Saunders Foundation, and we appreciate the support of the LCTCS Workforce Ready Rapid Response program. We are so very blessed to have such great partners working together to help us build a better, stronger, and healthier community”, Sawtelle said.

“We are so very grateful to the Coughlin Saunders Foundation for this very generous investment in the further development of our local workforce as well as the health and safety of our residents,” said CLTCC Executive Vice Chancellor of Academics and Student Services, Dr. Heather S. Poole.

For information about enrolling in the Allied Health Programs at CLTCC visit For more information, contact the school via email at or call 800-278-9855.

Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) is a two-year technical and community college offering associate degrees, technical diplomas, industry certificates, and customized training in more than 20 disciplines to support local workforce development and prepare students for high-demand and high-wage careers. CLTCC serves seven parishes in Central Louisiana through its eight campuses and provides instruction in one state prison and one federal correctional institution. For more information, visit