1.2. Mission

1.2.1 Institutional History and Purpose

Nicholls State University, located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, is a comprehensive, regional institution serving south central Louisiana. Tax supported and coeducational, it first opened its doors September 23, 1948, as Francis T. Nicholls Junior College of Louisiana State University.

In 1956, the Louisiana Legislature separated Nicholls from LSU and authorized it to develop a four–year curriculum. Thus, in September 1956, the former junior college began operation as Francis T. Nicholls State College. It granted its first degrees in May 1958. The University’s name was changed by Act 93 of the State Legislature in 1970 to Nicholls State University.

Nicholls is located in the heart of “Cajun Country,” an area rich in tradition and culture. Its location in the Mississippi River delta allows easy access to the river, its tributaries, coastal wetlands, and the Gulf of Mexico. The 287–acre campus is approximately 50 miles southwest of New Orleans and 60 miles southeast of Baton Rouge.

For more than half a century, Nicholls State University has been the sole provider of higher education in a region with abundant cultural and natural resources. The University’s strong General Education Program prepares students to exercise leadership in a global society and enhances their ability to create a vision for the future. By maintaining a major partnership with local businesses, school systems, community agencies, and other institutions, Nicholls actively participates in the development of the region.

Today, Nicholls’ family-oriented campus offers more than 40 bachelors and masters degree programs with over 60 concentrations, over 90 student organizations, and 17 Division I athletics teams. Nicholls capitalizes on its prime location and rich culture by offering distinctive programs in culinary arts, geomatics, maritime management, marine and environmental science, petroleum services, and safety management. Additionally, Nicholls supports strong traditional programs in nursing, teacher education, business, liberal arts, and the sciences. The University serves a large population of first-generation college students, and has consistently been designated as a Governor’s Military Friendly School. Nicholls is dedicated to fostering intellectual achievement, personal development, and social responsibility; and is committed to the human dignity and worth of every person. 

1.2.2 Vision Statement

To be the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Bayou Region.

1.2.3 Mission Statement

Nicholls State University delivers accredited degree programs and comprehensive learning experiences to prepare students for regional and global professions within a spirited campus environment immersed in Bayou Region culture.

1.2.4 Values

Nicholls State University supports values that promote citizenship, concern for self and others, and the desire for a better world by embracing as its core values:

CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY: We use our time and talents to serve our community.

DIVERSITY: We embrace unique perspectives that all individuals bring to the learning environment.

EXCELLENCE: We reach for the highest level of achievement in all activities.

INTEGRITY: We expect fairness and truthfulness in all instances.

LEADERSHIP: As representatives of the university, we embrace our role as leaders.

RESPECTFULNESS:  We respect the rights of others and are responsive to the needs of others.

RESPONSIBILITY:  We are accountable for our actions.

1.2.5 Clientele

Nicholls State University serves a diverse population of traditional and non–traditional students, as well as professional, social, and cultural groups who contribute to the University and benefit from our quality educational services.

1.2.6 Comparative Advantage

Nicholls strives to cultivate relationships with all constituencies to add value to our mission to become the heart of the bayou region. Nicholls promotes an academic and social environment where students engage with caring faculty and staff and receive individualized attention.

1.2.7  Strategic Plan Focus Areas:

Strategic Focus 1: Student Success and Educational Attainment

The goals below are focused on improving the focus area of educational attainment at Nicholls:

1.1 Grow enrollment in all populations
1.2 Improve student success
1.3 Provide high-quality academic programs that meet the needs of the student and the region
1.4 Maintain high student satisfaction

Education should improve the quality of a person’s life, by expanding their possibilities and giving them the tools to succeed professionally and personally.

Educational attainment refers to the highest level of education an individual has completed. Research shows that a higher level of educational attainment has many benefits to society, the economy and the individual’s quality of life. Nicholls State University is committed to providing a quality education to its diverse student populations to prepare them to adapt to the changing needs of industry and to be engaged, productive citizens.

Nicholls is also committed to increasing the number of students served by the institution, especially reaching out to more non-traditional populations. Increasing the success rates among all populations of students will be achieved through support programs to provide everyone the best possible learning experience. Nicholls strives to give all of its students a sense of belonging and a foundation to achieve their goals and serve the needs of the region.

Strategic Focus 2: Economic Development through Workforce Development and Applicable Research

The goals below are focused on improving the focus area of workforce development and applicable research:

2.1 Enhance external relationships
2.2 Maintain high alumni satisfaction and engagement
2.3 Produce quality graduates to fill workforce needs and be engaged citizens
2.4 Promote achievements of the university
2.5 Support a climate of research and scholarly activity

Economic development is the process by which a region improves the socioeconomic well-being of its people.

Nicholls is focused on providing programs that meet the needs of the region and prepares students to be competitive in the global job market. Nicholls works closely with regional businesses to provide a workforce that is ready to meet the industry’s current needs and to adapt to a changing world.

Nicholls will support research and scholarly activities that increase knowledge in academic disciplines that benefit the region.

Strategic Focus 3: Stewardship of Resources

The goals below are focused on improving the focus area of stewardship of resources:

3.1 Grow financial resources
3.2 Continuously improve workflow
3.3 Maintain highly qualified faculty and staff
3.4 Develop facilities that support student success and economic development

Nicholls State University strives to be a good steward of its resources. Its greatest resource is people, therefore retaining high quality faculty and staff through the creation of an environment of support and a sense of belonging in the institution will be a focus. Nicholls is aware of the cost of higher education and is committed to remaining affordable while also supporting students financially.

Financial resources are also critical to the operation of the university. Making sound financial decisions and improving processes are essential. Optimizing facilities to better serve students and providing more resources for faculty are keys to being good stewards.

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