Northwest Louisiana Technical College has a new director and he has hit the ground running.
Earl Meador assumed the role Monday bringing with him nearly 20 years of technical college experience to the Minden campus. Before taking the helm, he was the director of the South Central Louisiana Technical College. He has also been an instructor, campus dean and chancellor. Although he has only been in Minden for four days, he has spent much time getting to know the students and staff as well as familiarizing himself with the community.
“Each community is unique in what they need,” he said. “As a college leader, it is my job to be very sensitive to that – not try to give them what I think they want, but give them what they really want in terms of education and opportunities.”
NWLTC has strong instrumentation and nursing programs, and there are others that have a waiting list. He wants to expand those programs and offer more class time to allow more students to participate in those programs.
“We need to have curriculums that get students to work quickly,” he said. “Success is focused on the number of students who go to work, not just how many diplomas we hand out.”
In the instrumentation program, some students are driving from 30 and 40 miles away for classes.
“That tells me about the quality of the program we have here,” he said. “Every campus needs a signature program, and I thought this was very interesting. We have a beautiful facility here and a lot of room to do some very special things.”
His number one goal is to take the resources they have and make it better. With funding cuts for the last several years, technical colleges all over the state have become lean. NWLTC falls into that category, but the difference is the many resources in which to draw from, he said.
One of those is the scholarship foundation. He’s already been in discussion with businesses and others who can help with fundraising efforts. The scholarship foundation was formed last year in order to help students get a hand up in keeping their education costs down. Meador said with college tuition always on the increase, they have to figure out how to keep costs to the students down.
He is interested in the Minden community, saying the downtown area appears to be “revitalized,” and “that tells me this community cares about themselves. People have invested in their community and it’s inspiring.”
Meador has been married for 20 years to his wife Lori, and between them, they have four grown children and seven great-grandchildren.