Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) is a four-year public university primarily situated in Natchitoches, Louisiana, United States, with a nursing campus in Shreveport and general campuses in Leesville/Fort Polk and Alexandria. It is a part of the University of Louisiana System.
NSU was founded in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School to train teachers. It was the first school in Louisiana to offer degree programs in nursing and business education. NSU, along with numerous other state colleges, gained university status in 1970 during the administration of President Arnold R. Kilpatrick, a Northwestern alumnus who served from 1966-1978. Kilpatrick succeeded the 12-year president, John S. Kyser, a native of El Paso, Illinois.
NSU was one of the first six colleges to enter into NASA's Joint Venture Program ("JOVE"). Students worked with NASA scientists to help analyze data and do research for the 1996 Space Shuttle Columbia shuttle mission.
NSU also hosts Louisiana's designated honors college in the liberal arts and sciences, called the Louisiana Scholars' College. The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, a state supported residential high school for sophomores, juniors and seniors, is also located on the campus. It was a brainchild of former State Representative Jimmy D. Long of Natchitoches, who also attended NSU.
NSU currently offers more than 50 degree programs and complete accreditation of all of its accreditable degree programs. Fall 2011 total enrollment was 9,191 (8,080 undergraduates), a decline from Fall 2004's record enrollment of 10,546. NSU also claims more than 70,000 alumni.
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