Alexandria welding director earns master of business administration


Don Sanders, director of welding technology for Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC), is accustomed to watching students walk across the stage to accept their degrees. On Saturday, it was his turn to walk across the stage as he received his Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.

“After 18 months and 13,464 miles of commuting, two hurricanes, two ice storms and COVID, I am very happily looking forward to having a weekend to myself. It felt odd over the weekend not having to study. You get into that habit,” Sanders said.

“We are all so very proud of Don for his accomplishments,” said CLTCC Chancellor Dr. Jimmy Sawtelle. “This is tremendous for everyone – this benefits Don as it adds to his already considerable skill set, it enhances the learning experience his students will receive, and it benefits CLTCC to have highly educated administrators. We are truly grateful to Don for his commitment to excellence and his professional development and to his family for their support. We are also grateful to the Rapides Foundation and Louisiana Central for their support in establishing the position of Director of Welding Technology at CLTCC.”

Sanders was aided in his pursuit of an MBA when he was named the recipient of the 2020-2021 William Kielhorn Educator Scholarship, a national scholarship from the American Welding Society Foundation designed to assist current welding educators improve their knowledge and training skills through continuing education or professional development.

Ray Peters, formerly with RoyOMartin in Alexandria, is MBA Director at Nicholls State. “It was an absolute pleasure having someone of Don’s dedication and commitment participate in our Executive MBA program. His many years of manufacturing experience added an insightful perspective to class discussions. Included in his final program paper, Don quoted Abraham Maslow, who said, ‘If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy for the rest of your life.’ It’s clear that Don’s vision is to be the best version of himself,” Peters said.

Sanders, who also has a BS in Business Administration from Louisiana Christian University, said the experience being a student again has affected how he interacts with his own students. “The most difficult part was separating time for study and family time,” he said. “Now, when my students come and say they have those kinds of challenges I totally understand.”

While his experience has made him more sympathetic to the challenges his students face of managing family life and studies, it has also made him more focused on encouraging others to make that commitment. “When I see an older student come in, I can tell them you are never too old to learn,” he said. “I believe in lifetime learning. This (MBA program) was a great experience I can relate to my students and my co-workers. If I can do it, they can too!”

“The most rewarding part of teaching is seeing the impact we have on students,” Sanders continued. “One of my favorite moments here at CLTCC is when I see the light come on for the student. It’s a transformational moment for both the student and the instructor. It’s realizing we are going to change their life and lifestyle for the better with a high-paying, high demand career and knowing I have my fingerprint on that student’s success.”

Enrollment for Spring and Summer sessions is ongoing. To enroll and register, visit For more information, contact the school via email at [email protected] or call 800-278-9855.