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The Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, attended the Bayou Region Stakeholder’s Engagement Luncheon on Nicholls campus in October.

After a welcome by Nicholls president, Dr. Jay Clune, Grant Henry, the Nicholls Student Government Association (SGA) President, introduced Dr. Reed. Henry gave a brief history and list of accomplishments on Dr. Reed that included being the executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, serving in the President Obama’s administration as the deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education, leading the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and various other noteworthy achievements.

Dr. Reed touched on several topics during her speech in front of Nicholls students and faculty members, local school board members, Board of Regents members, local legislators—among other leaders in the community.

She spoke on the importance of making sure education is more accessible to the higher-education hopefuls.

“Certainly as we think about this…economy and what’s happening, we know that more and more students—young or young at heart—need access to education and training more than ever before,” said Dr. Reed, who has been the commissioner since April of this year. “We know that the high school diploma is now the floor, not the ceiling.”

The Lake Charles-native also acknowledged the “amazing” partnership between Nicholls and Fletcher Technical Community College.

“We have to make sure that we are talking about why honoring all pathways matters for the Louisiana residents,” she said. “We know that everyone will not get that four-year degree; so, the student’s aspiration and interests may be to do something with a technical certificate, an associate degree, industry based credential or a four-year degree. And we have to say to all of our students, ‘There is honor in every pathway.’”

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