Nicholls Partners with National WWII Museum for Summer Programs

THIBODAUX — This summer Nicholls State University is partnering with the National World War II Museum in New Orleans to offer two unique opportunities to earn college credit while immersed in battlefield history.

The programs include a unique study abroad opportunity on the battlefields of Normandy, France, and a week delving into history at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

“The National World War II Museum is a top-rate institution, and we’re honored to be partnering with them to create a unique program that will benefit both students and the community,” said Dr. Laynie Barrilleaux, vice president for academic affairs. “Melding the quality of our own programs with the museum’s resources offers a powerful experience for all learners.”

At the Normandy Academy participants will have the opportunity to research the lessons of World War II while visiting famous European battlefields with experienced Nicholls history faculty. The trip will take place June 21-30 — during the 70th anniversary of D-Day — and is open to college students and history-loving travelers alike. Attendees will begin preparing for the trip in April by taking an online course through Nicholls to gain the knowledge needed for an in-depth tour of Normandy.

Nicholls will also partner with the National World War II Museum to offer the Student Leadership Academy, “Lessons in Leadership: Summer Residential Program” July 13-19. The five-night, six-day program aims to immerse high school and college students in the museum’s exhibits, artifacts, images and documents, while emphasizing New Orleans’ involvement in the war.

Dr. Paul Wilson, interim department head of history and geography, said that although several study abroad programs already visit these historic battlefield sites, Nicholls offers the only one in conjunction with the National World War II Museum. Students will have access to the museum’s world-class archives and primary source documents, enhancing expert instruction offered by accredited and qualified Nicholls faculty with a background in World War II history.

The National World War II Museum launched the two programs launched in 2013. But Chief Operating Officer Stephen Watson said museum officials knew adding a college credit component would make them more appealing to students. Watson, a Nicholls alum, knew the university would make the perfect partner.

“As a museum, we have a national footprint, drawing people from all over the country. The online course component, taught by Nicholls’ Department of History and Geography staff, allows students from all over the country to participate,” Watson said. “Nicholls is ideally positioned to offer it.”

Students and community members who participate in the Normandy Academy and the Student Leadership Academy are eligible to receive three credit hours per program from Nicholls.

For more information or to register for Normandy Academy, visit For the Student Leadership Academy visit

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