Offering public and private elementary and high schools, as well as noteworthy institutions of higher learning, Natchitoches has ready access to high-quality education at all levels.
The Natchitoches Parish School Board (NPSB) is dedicated to preparing every student for life beyond the classroom, instilling in them the skills and experiences necessary to be active, 21st century citizens. The NPSB offers 15 schools throughout the parish, including unique K-5 and 6-8 lab schools operated in conjunction with Northwestern State University, and Natchitoches Magnet, a grade 1-8 school featuring the 2012 Louisiana Teacher of the Year. NPSB schools also present opportunities for special education, gifted programming, after-school offerings and Adult GED instruction. For more information, visit www.nat.k12.la.us or call (318) 352-2358.
The Louisiana School of Math, Science and the Arts (LSMSA) provides high-quality education for the state’s most gifted high school students. Current enrollment for LSMSA is approximately 400 junior and seniors. For a fourth time since 2006, the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts has been named one of the nation’s “Public Elite” high schools by the Washington Post. For more information, visit www.lsmsa.edu.
For families in search of a parochial alternative to the parish’s public schools, St. Mary’s Catholic School in Natchitoches is a great choice. Offering open enrollment, St. Mary’s is a comprehensive Catholic school providing instruction from grades Pre-K-12. The school is owned by the Church of the Immaculate Conception and has been a part of the community since 1888. For more information, visit www.smstigers.com or call (318) 352-8394. Natchitoches offers other faith-based educational opportunities as well.
Graduating high school students and adults looking to enhance their skill set have the choice of two outstanding post-secondary facilities in Natchitoches.
Excellent technical training and highly qualified faculty are available at Northwest Louisiana Technical College – Natchitoches Campus (NWLTC). The NWLTC works closely with local industry to align curriculum with demand and recently acquired a manufacturing line simulator to ensure hands-on training fits our area needs. Whether you are completing high school, employed and looking for improved skills, or retired and searching for a hobby, the Natchitoches Campus can provide lifelong learning experiences to improve your quality of life. www.nwltc.edu. NWLTC is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education – www.council.org.
Northwestern State University was established in 1884 as a normal school for the training of teachers. After several changes in name and purpose, it officially became a university in 1970. NSU currently offers more than 60 accredited degree programs, both graduate and undergraduate programs of study, along with general opportunities for research and individual study in a variety of fields. www.nsula.edu
The Northwestern Campus is also home to the Louisiana Scholar’s College, Louisiana’s designated honors college for the study of the liberal arts and sciences.
If you would like to return to the classroom to complete a degree or just for enjoyment, Northwestern has many options for senior citizens. Those 60 and over can take one three-hour course, tuition-free. If you would like to take classes at a faster pace to finish a degree, several programs are in place to help you reach that goal. If you are looking for online classes, NSU has the oldest and largest program among Louisiana universities, eNSU, with 35 fully accredited degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and specialist levels. NSU’s online bachelor’s program in CIS has been rated as the top information technology program in the nation and the online bachelor’s program in Accounting has been named #2 in the nation by Nonprofit Colleges Online. Also, Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Education Programs for 2015 by Grad School Hub. Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, a leading organization in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds. Learn more about your options at ensu.nsula.edu/online-degrees.
The Demons Unlimited Foundation serves the Northwestern State University Athletics Department, providing financial support to ALL 14 NCAA Division I programs at NSU.
Over the last 26 months, NSU teams have won 10 Southland regular-season or tournament championships while five sports – men’s and women’s basketball, softball, women’s tennis and volleyball – have reached a combined eight NCAA Tournaments. Meanwhile, NSU’s track and field program has won 10 All-America awards for individual top 16 finishes at NCAA national meets and the Demons finished tied for 20th at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Natchitoches Parish Library
An exceptional parish-supported public library system is available for lifelong learners. The Natchitoches Parish Library, 450 2nd St., provides patrons of the parish access to thousands of titles in book, audio book and downloadable formats. Patrons can also check out movies, access the Internet from the computer lab or from free Wi-Fi, or just sit and read in their comfortable seating areas.
Keep up to date on programs and upcoming events, as well as the progress of the newest branch, by visiting the website at www.youseemore.com/natchitoches. The community also has access to the Watson Library on NSU’s campus (home to the Cammie G. Henry Research Room) and the Natchitoches Genealogical & Historical Association-operated research library in the Old Courthouse building at Church and Second streets.