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Hinds CC places 11 students on All-Mississippi Community College Academic Team
Posted by
24 March

Hinds CC places 11 students on All-Mississippi Community College Academic Team

JACKSON – Eleven Hinds Community College students were named to the 2016 All-Mississippi Community College Academic Team, tops among the state’s 15 two-year colleges.

Honored among 15 students statewide named Academic First Team at a ceremony March 22 at the Jackson Convention Complex was Julia McKinney, of Brandon, a student at the Rankin Campus. She is a nursing major and a member of the Alpha Omicron Omega chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Julia McKinney, Academic First Team

Julia McKinney, Academic First Team

Ten students named to the Academic Second Team were:

  • Terrece Dotson, of Carthage, a student at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center, Academic Second Team, general studies/pre-law track major
  • Breanna Gillard, of Falkner, a student at the Utica Campus, Academic Second Team, English literature/linguistics major
  • Mary-Saphrona Grey, of Yazoo City, a student at the Raymond Campus, Academic Second Team, fine arts major
  • Kayla Powell, of Vicksburg, a student at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, Academic Second Team, pre-med track major
  • Jennifer Renaldo, of Brandon, a student at the Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center, Academic Second Team, respiratory care technology major
  • Caitlyn Richmond, of Clinton, a student at the Utica Campus, Academic Second Team, biology major
  • Summer Rodrigue, of Lindenhurst, Ill., a student at the Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center, Academic Second Team, nursing major
  • Brittany Vargas, of Pearl, a student at the Rankin Campus, Academic Second Team, pre-med major
  • Jabari Williams, of Jackson, a student at the Raymond Campus, Academic Second Team, biology major
  • Shelby Wilson, of Vicksburg, a student at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, Academic Second Team, elementary education major
Terrece Dotson, Academic Second Team

Terrece Dotson, Academic Second Team

Mary-Saphrona Grey, Academic Second Team

Mary-Saphrona Grey, Academic Second Team

Breanna Gillard, Academic Second Team

Breanna Gillard, Academic Second Team

 

The All-Mississippi Academic Team, begun in 1994 as the first state-level academic recognition program for community and junior college students, recognizes the scholarly achievements and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in community and junior colleges across the state. This year’s 63 team members were selected following several rounds of judging from education officials, business leaders from across the United States and a distinguished panel of representatives from federal agencies and national education associations based in Washington D.C.

Kayla Powell, Academic Second Team

Kayla Powell, Academic Second Team

Caitlin Richmond, Academic Second Team

Caitlin Richmond, Academic Second Team

Jennifer Renaldo, Academic Second Team

Jennifer Renaldo, Academic Second Team

 

Students named to the First Team received $1,000 scholarships. First and Second Team members receive special medallions, certificates and printed resolutions from each chamber of the Mississippi Legislature. They are also eligible for scholarships at many four-year universities designed exclusively for All-Mississippi Academic Team members.

Summer Rodrigue, Academic Second Team

Summer Rodrigue, Academic Second Team

Jabari Williams, Academic Second Team

Jabari Williams, Academic Second Team

Brittany Vargas, Academic Second Team

Brittany Vargas, Academic Second Team

 

The All-State team is coordinated by the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College, the Mississippi Community College Board and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Dr. Gary Spears, president of Northwest Mississippi Community College, is the program chair.

Shelby Wilson, Academic Second Team

Shelby Wilson, Academic Second Team

The All-State Academic Team recognition program is an outgrowth of the All-USA Community College Academic Team, administered by Phi Theta Kappa. Twenty students named to the team will receive $100,000 in scholarships.

11 from Hinds CC named to state all-star academic team
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Hinds CC Phi Theta Kappa chapters, members honored at regional convention
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24 March

Hinds CC Phi Theta Kappa chapters, members honored at regional convention

RAYMOND – Three chapters of Phi Theta Kappa organizations at Hinds Community College have earned Five-Star Chapter distinctions.

Honored with the distinctions March 3-4 at the organization’s Mississippi/Louisiana Regional Conference at the University of Mississippi were:

  • Gamma Lambda chapter, at the Raymond Campus. The chapter also awards for Most Distinguished Chapter Officer and Advisor teams, for Outstanding Newsletter, for Regional Project Exhibit, placed in the top 10 for the Honors in Action and College Project categories and the top three for Distinguished Chapter. The chapter was a runner-up for its Honors Study Theme, Natural & Engineered.
  • Alpha Omicron Omega chapter, at the Rankin Campus. The chapter also won an Outstanding Award for Honors Study Theme, Beauty and Vulgarity, and was elected Southern District Representative.
  • Alpha Beta Xi chapter, at the Utica Campus. The chapter was a runner-up for the Chapter Officer Team award. A Horizon Award for Advisors went to Apryl Trimble, for her work with the chapter.
From left, Johannah Williams, faculty advisor, of Byram, Tyler Tatum, of Clinton, Reginald Pickering, of Clinton, Kaitlyn O'Keefe, of Terry, Tim Krason, faculty advisor, of Clinton; back row, from left, Jabari Williams, of Jackson, Victoria Mulqueen, of Clinton, Audra Canoy, of Terry (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

From left, Johannah Williams, faculty advisor, of Byram, Tyler Tatum, of Clinton, Reginald Pickering, of Clinton, Kaitlyn O’Keefe, of Terry, Tim Krason, faculty advisor, of Clinton; back row, from left, Jabari Williams, of Jackson, Victoria Mulqueen, of Clinton, Audra Canoy, of Terry (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

Chapters operating at Hinds’ Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center, Alpha Iota Kappa, and Vicksburg-Warren Campus, Alpha Omega Chi, won 2-star and 1-star awards, respectively. A Horizon Award for Advisors went to NAHC chapter advisor Joycelyn Washington.

Hinds’ six PTK chapters “did us proud,” said Honors Institute Dean Deborah McCollum, faculty advisor for Gamma Lambda chapter. “These hard working young men and women are the future leaders of our communities, and the skills they learn through PTK not only enhance their professionalism but also help promote their engagement in their communities.”

Five-Star designations show chapter engagement in PTK activities.

From left, James Flickner, of Pelahatchie, Lindsey Bowen, of Camarillo, Calif., Brittany Barnes, of Pearl, Win Winstead, of Pelahatchie. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

From left, James Flickner, of Pelahatchie, Lindsey Bowen, of Camarillo, Calif., Brittany Barnes, of Pearl, Win Winstead, of Pelahatchie. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“Certainly, we are proud of Alpha Omicron Omega Chapter’s success at the regional conference and look forward to bringing home even more awards at the next,” said Joy Rhoads, faculty advisor for the Rankin Campus chapter and coordinator of the campus’ Honors Program.

Students honored individually at the regional competition were:

  • Erin Harrison, Most Distinguished Chapter Officer, Alpha Omicron Omega
  • Kaitlyn O’Keefe, Most Distinguished Chapter Member runner-up, Gamma Lambda

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs. It is based in Jackson and has more than 2 million members in more than 1,250 chapters worldwide.

Three PTK chapter at Hinds earn Five-Star ratings
Front row, from left, Beverly Trimble, faculty advisor, Jorene' Evans, of Clinton, Daphine Ndishabandi, of Jackson, Ra'Shay Watts, of Port Gibson, Marion Brooks, of Canton, Artasia Stewart, of Fayette; back row, from left, Jeffery Fairley, of Jackson, Apryl Trimble, faculty advisor (Hinds Community College)

Front row, from left, Beverly Trimble, faculty advisor, Jorene’ Evans, of Clinton, Daphine Ndishabandi, of Jackson, Ra’Shay Watts, of Port Gibson, Marion Brooks, of Canton, Artasia Stewart, of Fayette; back row, from left, Jeffery Fairley, of Jackson, Apryl Trimble, faculty advisor (Hinds Community College)

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Hinds CC Jackson Campus College Carnival offers fun, information
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22 March

Hinds CC Jackson Campus College Carnival offers fun, information

JACKSON – Prospective college students from local high schools and adults who want to continue their education are invited to Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center for College Carnival on April 7.

The come-and-go event is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It gives all who want to attend the Jackson Campus a chance to find out about everything they need to enroll at the college. At College Carnival, prospective students can meet with Jackson Campus faculty and staff, learn about admissions, majors, financial aid and registration – all while enjoying free food and prizes.

For more information or to register, visit hub.hindscc.edu/jacksoncarnival or call 601.987.8758. Activities will be centered inside Bivins Hall on campus, as well as outside, weather permitting. The campus is located at 3925 Sunset Drive, just off Interstate 220.

College Carnival at Hinds CC Jackson Campus set for April 7
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Hinds CC students to participate in inaugural Mississippi Intercollegiate Honor Band
Posted by
20 March

Hinds CC students to participate in inaugural Mississippi Intercollegiate Honor Band

RAYMOND – Sixteen members of the Hinds Community College band are among students from a dozen state institutions of higher learning who have been selected to participate in the inaugural Mississippi Intercollegiate Honor Band.

French horn players play their parts during a concert of the Hinds Community College Wind Ensemble. (Hinds Community College/File)

French horn players play their parts during a concert of the Hinds Community College Wind Ensemble. (Hinds Community College/File)

The event is March 23-25 at Hinds’ Raymond Campus and includes three days of rehearsal culminating with a concert 1 p.m. Saturday, March 25 in Hogg Auditorium at Cain-Cochran Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

Participating students were selected by audition earlier this year. Hinds students in the band are:

  • Kaleel Brown, of Jackson, trumpet
  • Reid Browning, of Pearl, percussion
  • Sean Collins, of Florence, percussion
  • Lindsey Garcia, of Pearl, clarinet
  • Cody Gardner, of Vicksburg, percussion
  • Tanner Gardner, of Vicksburg, trumpet
  • Madalyn Harkness, of Ecru, alto saxophone
  • Riley Irwin, of Florence, trombone
  • Jennifer Keeter, of Jackson, clarinet
  • Matthew Lewis, of Silver Creek, percussion
  • Blake Lowman, of Brandon, French horn
  • Patricia Nance, of Florence, trumpet
  • Hudson Poole, of Crystal Springs, percussion
  • Cole Smith, of Florence, percussion
  • Raven Turbeville, of Pearl, French horn
  • Destinee Waldrep, of Vicksburg, flute

In addition to Hinds, the state collegiate honor band participants represent Blue Mountain College, Delta State University, Itawamba Community College, Jones County Junior College, Mississippi College, Mississippi State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Pearl River Community College, University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University.

Over the course of the clinic, the students will receive instruction from guest clinician Ray Cramer, Indiana University professor and director of bands emeritus.

“We’re honored to host this inaugural event on the Raymond Campus,” said Shane Sprayberry, chair of the Music Department and Director of Bands at Hinds. “Our students will benefit greatly from rehearsing and performing with other musicians from colleges all over the state. It’s equally exciting to have Ray Cramer visit our campus. He is such a wonderful teacher and mentor to many band directors and students all over the United States.”

For additional concert information, call 601.857.3273 or visit www.hindscc.edu/band.

16 Hinds CC band members to play in first state honor band
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Hinds Connection reunion at Hinds CC set for March 25
Posted by
08 March

Hinds Connection reunion at Hinds CC set for March 25

RAYMOND – In 1978, not long after her husband began his presidency of Hinds Community College, the late Vashti Muse envisioned a student group to represent the college at special events or for guests on campus.

Much has changed on campus in nearly 40 years, but the overall purpose of the organization hasn’t changed. Commonly referred to on campus simply as “Connection”, the group is the student-based arm of the college’s recruiting effort and represents the school as student hosts/hostesses, recruiters, and overall ambassadors on and off campus.

As part of Centennial festivities this year at Hinds, former Hinds Connection students are invited to return to their alma mater Saturday, March 25 for an afternoon and evening of reminiscing, renewing friendships and seeing the many changes at the college.

The event starts with registration at 3 p.m. in Fountain Hall on the Raymond Campus. Included is a dinner and program featuring Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse and put together by current and past sponsors of Connection. Cost for the dinner is $15. Past connection members are asked to send their contact information to Hinds Community College Foundation Executive Director Jackie Granberry at jgranberry@hindscc.edu. Please include specific years in Hinds Connection and, if applicable, maiden names.

Jackie Granberry

Jackie Granberry

After serving at Muse’s investiture as president, the organization quickly transitioned to include recruiting duties when Jackie Granberry was hired as the school’s first recruiter in 1979.

“Working with Hinds Connection has always been my favorite part of my job, no matter my role,” Granberry said. “When we first started, I was just their older sister. Now, I am old enough to be their grandmother. I very much treasure the friendships that I have made with Hinds Connection members. I am so excited about seeing many of them at the reunion.”

Lisa Bell Davis

Lisa Bell Davis

Lisa Bell Davis, who grew up in Raymond and whose father taught chemistry at the Raymond Campus, was among the group’s original members.

“I remember a friend’s mom talking to me and to some other friends about helping her with a new student group Dr. Muse wanted to start at Hinds,” she said. “We started out going to various special functions where we served food on campus.

Long-lasting friendships and, in some cases, marriages have developed through participation in Hinds Connection. For Davis, now a Hinds employee, at the Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center, credits her Connection experience for her own such friendships.

“It was an amazing time in my life,” she said. “I gained friends. I was able to make contacts that I would later treasure and count on.”

Donald Lindsey, a 2000 graduate of Hinds who now works as an academic counselor at the Rankin Campus, said it’s a reunion of sorts each time he sees a fellow former member in his daily life.

Donald Lindsey

Donald Lindsey

“There is a bond with this group, former and present, that is special and hard to describe,” Lindsey said. “When fellow Connection members see each other out in the community, it feels like reuniting with family.”

Group memorabilia will be on display and attendees are welcome to bring or share anything from their time in Connection. Current members will give tours of the campus and of Fountain Hall, where most Connection meetings and social events take place.

The 2016-17 Hinds Connection membership

The 2016-17 Hinds Connection membership

Hinds Connection members to re-connect at reunion March 25
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Hinds CC a perfect place to start nursing careers for young, older students
Posted by
03 March

Hinds CC a perfect place to start nursing careers for young, older students

JACKSON – A career in healthcare is what Megan Irby wanted to pursue since she worked as a hospital secretary more than 20 years ago.

Now a mother of two teenagers, Irby, 40, of Vicksburg, can’t get started soon enough.

Megan Irby, center, places a stethoscope on a manikin during a demonstration inside the Associate Degree Nursing laboratory at the Spring 2017 Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing Allied Health Center. At left is her daughter, Kaitlyn. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Megan Irby, center, places a stethoscope on a manikin during a demonstration inside the Associate Degree Nursing laboratory at the Spring 2017 Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing Allied Health Center. At left is her daughter, Kaitlyn. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“I can’t wait until I get into nursing school,” Irby said. “I’m in my second semester at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus taking pre-requisites and I hope to be in school next spring.”

Andrea Ellis, 18, of Jackson, plans to start a life of caring for others right away as well.

“I want to be a neonatal nurse,” said Ellis, a senior at Murrah High School whose desire to study nursing was formed by her experience as a patient. “I was in a car crash last summer and saw all the work they do.”

Both were among about 150 people who attended the Spring 2017 Nursing and Allied Health Showcase Thursday, March 2 at Hinds’ Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center.

Prospective students and others toured the campus’ learning labs, spoke with faculty, explored the college’s 13 health-related and two short-term programs and got the latest on requirements and deadlines.

Andrea Ellis, left, places a stethoscope on a manikin during a demonstration inside the Associate Degree Nursing laboratory at the Spring 2017 Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing Allied Health Center. At right is Rebecca Cockrell, a clinical placement coordinator in the lab. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Andrea Ellis, left, places a stethoscope on a manikin during a demonstration inside the Associate Degree Nursing laboratory at the Spring 2017 Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing Allied Health Center. At right is Rebecca Cockrell, a clinical placement coordinator in the lab. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“Guests spoke with our faculty one-on-one to learn about our programs of study and the promising careers in healthcare that Hinds graduates obtain,” said Kathryn Cole, district director of Enrollment Services.

Programs showcased included Associate Degree Nursing (RN), Dental Assisting Technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Emergency Medical Science, Health Information Technology, Health Care Assistant, Medical Assisting Technology, Medical Laboratory Technology, Physical Therapist Assistant, Practical Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care Technology, Surgical Technology, and two short-term programs, Nursing Assistant and Phlebotomy.

“Graduates of our programs are employed at rates of 90 to 100 percent within a year of graduation and consistently meet national benchmarks for licensure/registry pass rates,” said Dr. Libby Mahaffey, dean of Nursing and Allied Health.

The program’s solid reputation has Paula Palmertree, of Florence, back in school for a subject that’s all around her.

Paula Palmertree, center foreground, visits with nursing program coordinators during the Spring 2017 Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing Allied Health Center. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Paula Palmertree, center foreground, visits with nursing program coordinators during the Spring 2017 Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing Allied Health Center. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“I want to go into pediatrics for sure,” Palmertree said. “I have friends and family with children who have special needs.”

Like Irby, whose first career she describes as simply being a mom, Yolanda Ellis, of Jackson, is anxious to build a healthcare career. In her case, it would be adding to her current credentials as a certified nursing assistant.

“I love working with patients, especially older people,” Ellis said. “I like to listen to them because they can teach us so much.”

Technical and associate degree programs at NAHC are nationally accredited by specialty accrediting organizations. The career programs meet state accreditation/approval guidelines. The Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center is at 1750 Chadwick Drive. For more information on individual programs, call 601.376.4807 or visit http://www.hindscc.edu. 

Hinds CC a perfect place to start nursing careers for young, older students
Yolanda Ellis, right foreground, visits with nursing program coordinators during the Spring 2017 Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing Allied Health Center. At right is her daughter, Janavia. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Yolanda Ellis, right foreground, visits with nursing program coordinators during the Spring 2017 Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing Allied Health Center. At right is her daughter, Janavia. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Corey Lilley, a senior at Terry High School, observes a demonstation in the Respiratory Care Technology laboratory during the 2017 Spring Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center. Tilley is flanked by his parents, Loretta and Marvin Lilley. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Corey Lilley, a senior at Terry High School, observes a demonstration in the Respiratory Care Technology laboratory during the 2017 Spring Nursing Showcase on March 2 at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center. Tilley is flanked by his parents, Loretta and Marvin Lilley. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

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Hinds CC Rankin College Day draws hundreds to Muse Center
Posted by
27 February

Hinds CC Rankin College Day draws hundreds to Muse Center

PEARL – Dwayne Draper was switched on to the idea of working with electrical systems while volunteering in the community and wants to hone his skills in college.

“I was around electrical work when I helped build churches with my church, and I just liked it,” said Draper, a junior at Puckett High School. “I’d like to get into some kind of electrical engineering.”

Casey Hudson, left, and Dwayne Draper, right, both Puckett High School juniors, check out the Information Systems Technology exhibit at Rankin College Day on Feb. 24 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Casey Hudson, left, and Dwayne Draper, right, both Puckett High School juniors, check out the Information Systems Technology exhibit at Rankin College Day on Feb. 24 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Draper was among about 300 high school juniors, seniors and others who attended Rankin College Day on Feb. 24 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus, which featured exhibits for all academic and career-tech programs, activities and organizations Hinds has to offer.

For those still studying for their high school diploma, it’s a time to find out how Hinds’ programs of study can build a successful career.

“My mom and grandmother are in the medical field,” said Ashlee Johnson, a senior at McLaurin High School, in Star, as she took part in an IV push demonstration at Hinds’ Associate Degree Nursing program table. She plans to pursue studies in pediatric nursing. “Plus, I’ve always enjoyed helping people.”

 

Ashlee Johnson, a senior at McLaurin High School, takes part in an IV push demonstration at the Associate Degree Nursing station during Rankin College Day on Feb. 24 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. At left, Katherine Robinson, an ADN student, looks on as Alicia Ishee, a Nursing instructor, oversees the demonstration. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Ashlee Johnson, a senior at McLaurin High School, takes part in an IV push demonstration at the Associate Degree Nursing station during Rankin College Day on Feb. 24 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. At left, Katherine Robinson, an ADN student, looks on as Alicia Ishee, a Nursing instructor, oversees the demonstration. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Prospective students interacted with faculty and Hinds students about admissions, scholarships, majors, student life and more.

“We look forward to many of the hundreds of juniors and seniors from Rankin County and the surrounding area enrolling at the Rankin Campus and taking advantage of what we have to offer.” said Dr. Norman Session, vice president of the Rankin Campus and the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center.

Brandon Theard, a Richland High School senior, has his sights set on helping people recover from injuries both on fields of play and off.

“I want to go into sports medicine,” Theard said. “If I can’t be part of the game, I want to help people in it.”

Lorron LaChance, and her mother, Regina, both of Madison, visited the come-and-go expo after finding out about it during a college fair for their homeschool group. The Biology program exhibit was an attraction for Lorron, who loves science and animals.

“I’ve worked with animals in a habitat, so I want to do something with animals, maybe even marine biology,” she said.

Hinds CC Rankin College Day draws hundreds
Brandon Theard, a Richland High School senior, drops a chip in a game of Plinko to win prizes at Rankin College Day on Feb. 24 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Theard wants to study exercise science and pursue a career in sports medicine. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Brandon Theard, a Richland High School senior, drops a chip in a game of Plinko to win prizes at Rankin College Day on Feb. 24 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Theard wants to study exercise science and pursue a career in sports medicine. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Regina LaChance, left, and Lorron LaChance, of Madison, talks to Biology program chair Daneice Williams at Rankin College Day on Feb. 24 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. The Biology program booth was outfitted with an "Under The Sea" theme, Williams said, with bubbles and balloons.

Regina LaChance, left, and Lorron LaChance, of Madison, talks to Biology program chair Daneice Williams at Rankin College Day on Feb. 24 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. The Biology program booth was outfitted with an “Under The Sea” theme, Williams said, with bubbles and balloons.

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Hinds CC MI-BEST program focus of hearing before lawmakers
Posted by
15 February

Hinds CC MI-BEST program focus of hearing before lawmakers

JACKSON – Napoleon Miller spent his childhood as a ward of the state of Mississippi, bouncing from home to home and school to school.

“I grew up in Mississippi’s foster care system,” Miller said. “I decided to stop going to high school and started Job Corps. When I got there, I started hanging out with the wrong people and I got kicked out.”

Napoleon Miller

Napoleon Miller

It’s a story with much happier present than past, however, thanks to an innovative program in Mississippi community colleges that’s creating more stories like Miller’s.

Miller, 35, of Jackson, worked odd jobs cutting yards and in foodservice before pursuing his GED at Hinds Community College. “When I was almost finished with my GED, my navigator told me about the MI-BEST program. This was an opportunity for me to continue working on my GED and start training for a career.”

Miller shared his story of success in the program with state lawmakers Tuesday, Feb. 14 during a hearing on the program before the House Workforce Development Committee.

“I found out that I would make more money and have more opportunity for work if I majored in Industrial Maintenance,” he told the committee, referring to the expansive program at Hinds which combines an array of disciplines to prepare students for modern-day manufacturing equipment. He graduated in December 2016 with a career certificate and is working toward an Associate of Applied Science degree from Hinds.

MI-BEST is Mississippi’s version of the nationally recognized Integrating Basic Education and Skills Training program, or I-BEST, and originated in Washington state. The program kicked off a few years ago with federal funds and allows adult students to train for a job skill while earning their GED high school equivalency certificate at the same time. In Mississippi, MI-BEST was implemented at each state community college back in the fall thanks to a $6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

David Creel, district Director of Manufacturing Training at Hinds Community College, at left, speaks to the House Workforce Development Committee during a hearing on the MI-BEST program on Feb. 14, 2017. Seated in the foreground is state Rep. Ashley Henley, R-Southaven. From center-right, Dr. Robin Parker, assistant dean of Career/Technical Education at the Raymond Campus; Napoleon Miller, MI-BEST student; and Beverly Trimble, MI-BEST coordinator at the Utica Campus. (Hinds Community College/Cathy Hayden)

David Creel, district director of Manufacturing Training at Hinds Community College, at left, speaks to the House Workforce Development Committee during a hearing on the MI-BEST program on Feb. 14, 2017. Seated in the foreground is state Rep. Ashley Henley, R-Southaven. From center-right, Dr. Robin Parker, assistant dean of Career/Technical Education at the Raymond Campus; Napoleon Miller, a Hinds student who completed the MI-BEST program; and Beverly Trimble, MI-BEST coordinator at the Utica Campus. (Hinds Community College/Cathy Hayden)

Students are prepared to be job-ready in six months to a year, train in high-demand areas and earn national certifications.

At Hinds, program coordinators have worked closely with those in the burgeoning Industrial Maintenance area of study, said David Creel, district director of Manufacturing Training.

“I work with industry to understand what their needs are, with career-tech deans to understand what the program provided them, and with our MI-BEST and Adult Basic Education teams to get those students to get those basic skills, earn credentials, then go to work,” Creel said.

The program’s impact on the state’s workforce is borne out in data on the skill level of working-age adults. Middle-skill jobs, which require training beyond high school but not a four-year degree, account for 58 percent of Mississippi’s jobs. The MI-BEST program being implemented at all 15 community colleges in the state aims to close this skills gap.

“It’s not uncommon in other states to hear employers say they have job offers available but they don’t have workers to fill them,” said Brooke DeRenzis, state network director of Washington, D.C.-based National Skills Coalition. “Our organization is really focused on closing that skill gap.” DeRenzis told the committee Mississippi was one of 18 states with a version of I-BEST or a similar program in place to combat such gaps.

Industries looking into the program’s success rate to fill their job openings are diverse and span markets inside and outside the state, community college officials told committee members.

Napoleon Miller, left, a Hinds Community College student who completed the MI-BEST program, and Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse. (Hinds Community College/Cathy Hayden)

Napoleon Miller, left, a Hinds Community College student who completed the MI-BEST program, and Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse. (Hinds Community College/Cathy Hayden)

“We’re fortunate to be able to offer this to our Adult Education students early on,” said Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, vice president for Economic and Community Development at Pearl River Community College. “Our geographical location really helps us, situated in the Pine Belt but we also cater to the New Orleans and Gulf Coast markets. So, we have recruiters that are petro-based, we have them coming from the shipbuilding market, and we also have the metal trades. The selling point to our students is having a lot of career opportunities.”

“We’ve had enormous success with this program,” said Dr. Jesse Smith, president of Jones County Junior College, during the hearing. “The focus of which is to go to the underprepared student who doesn’t have a high school degree, and at the same time they’re getting their high school equivalency, help them earn a workforce credential.”

MI-BEST program a success in Mississippi
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Hinds CC Landscape Management program reunion set for Feb. 24-25
Posted by
08 February

Hinds CC Landscape Management program reunion set for Feb. 24-25

RAYMOND – For Eric Skipper of Brandon, Hinds Community College’s Landscape Management Technology program was the gateway to owning his own business, Blue Sky Landscaping.

“Through my internship with the program I was able to gain knowledge that can’t be taught in the classroom while also establishing a relationship with my biggest client today,” said Skipper, who started his own business in 2005 after earning a credential. “I’ve been able to recommend classmates of the program to jobs and have also received recommendations from those same classmates.”

The program is celebrating 30 years with a two-day reunion for all past graduates on Feb. 24-25. Hinds celebrates 100 Years of Community Inspired Service with a nearly a year’s worth of activities, of which the reunion is a part.

Martha Hill, director of the Landscape Management Technology program

Martha Hill, director of the Landscape Management Technology program

Events begin at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 with an afternoon of fishing and games. A reception and dinner program for adults only are planned Saturday, Feb. 25, starting at 4:30 p.m. Both events are at Eagle Ridge Conference Center on the Raymond Campus. Cost is $25 per adult for Friday and Saturday. For Saturday only, the cost is $20 for adults.

“I am looking forward to the 30th anniversary reunion of the Landscape Management program and catching up with former students, their families, and their careers,” said Martha Hill, of Clinton, director of the program. “Many of our former students are successful business owners, managers of landscape companies, employees of city public works departments, and more.”

Relationships made through the Landscape Management program have resulted in jobs and, for those who’ve become entrepreneurs with the degree earned, long-lasting business contacts. And, graduates of the program have gone on to successful careers after coming through a close-knit program that felt like family.

“Going to Hinds and being in Martha Hill’s program was one of the best decisions I had ever made,” said Mara Wood, a 2014 graduate who now works as a utility arborist for Alabama Power. “In the close-knit Landscape Management group we not only studied together, but did projects outside and learned a trade together.”

For more information, contact the alumni office at 601.857.3363 or 601.857.3290. Potential attendees are asked to register there by phone or online at hub.hindscc.edu/LMTreunion.

Lodging is available at Eagle Ridge and may be reserved by contacting the center, at 601.857.7100, and mentioning the Hinds Community College Landscape Management Reunion.

For up-to-date information about Hinds Community College’s Centennial celebration, see the  news and calendar section at www.hindscc.edu or 100years.hindscc.edu.

Hinds CC Centennial Celebration calendar for March-April

  • March 25, 3 pm. – Hinds Connection reunion, Fountain Hall; registration and visiting from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with dinner at 5; dinner tickets are $15. For more information, please contact Mark Stanton at stanton@hindscc.edu or 601.857.3388.
  • March 31, 2 p.m. – Naming of Mary Ann Greene Building at Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center
  • April 4, 7 p.m. – Hinds Concert Band and Steel Drum Band Spring Concert; Cain-Cochran Hall, Hogg Auditorium; admission is free
  • April 6, 7 p.m. – Hinds Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble, Delta State University Wind Ensemble and Hinds/DSU combined brass Spring Concert; Cain-Cochran Hall, Hogg Auditorium; admission is free.
  • April 8 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Softball and Baseball Reunion; attendees can play golf at Eagle Ridge Golf Course in the morning; tee time is 8 a.m. Food and visiting are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. before games get started; Joe G. Moss Baseball Field and Rene’ Warren Softball Field
Hinds CC Landscape Management program reunion set for Feb. 24-25

 

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Hinds CC Raymond Campus Preview Day draws crowd
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06 February

Hinds CC Raymond Campus Preview Day draws crowd

RAYMOND – Aqueasha Rimmer has more than one career option in mind, and Hinds faculty from multiple programs helped her line up several choices.

Colla Chapman, left, a Business Technology instructor at Hinds Community College, shares details of the program with Aqueasha Chapman, a senior at Callaway High School, during Preview Day at the Raymond Campus on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Colla Chapman, left, a Business Technology instructor at Hinds Community College, shares details of the program with Aqueasha Chapman, a senior at Callaway High School, during Preview Day at the Raymond Campus on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“I just need to get my tests score up and I can start here in the fall,” Rimmer said. “I’m looking at things like dental assisting and digital imaging, just seeing what kinds of jobs I can get.”

Rimmer, a senior at Callaway High School in Jackson, was among nearly 700 high school seniors and their parents who attended Preview Day on Feb. 3 at Mayo Gym on the Raymond Campus, which featured exhibits for all academic and career-tech programs, activities and organizations Hinds has to offer. Prospective students from high schools in from all over the state toured the campus and interacted with students and faculty about admissions, scholarships, majors, housing, student life and more.

For high schoolers, it’s a time to find out how Hinds’ programs of study can build a successful career.

Parker Goff, a senior at Ridgeland High School, listens with his mother, Sandra, as Jacob Wright, an Electronics/Biomedical Engineering instructor on the Raymond Campus, explains the program during Preview Day on campus Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Parker Goff, a senior at Ridgeland High School, listens with his mother, Sandra, as Jacob Wright, an Electronics/Biomedical Engineering instructor at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus, explains the program during Preview Day on campus Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“It’s easy for me to work with numbers, as opposed to with words,” said Parker Goff, a Ridgeland High School senior, who met with Electrical Technology program instructors with his mother, Sandra, herself a Hinds alum. “I’m strongest in math and science.”

Singing is not just a talent but a unique form of self-expression for Alicia Foster, a senior at Warren Central High School.

“It’s an escape and an outlet for me,” said Foster, who along with her parents, Dr. Johnnie and Andrea Foster, of Vicksburg, found out about the college’s varied music and voice programs from Hinds’ Music and Choir instructors.

Alicia Foster, foreground right, a senior at Warren Central High School, listens to Simonee Miller and Bryan McCachren, both counselors at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus, during Preview Day on campus Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. With Foster are her parents, Dr. Johnnie Foster and Andrea Foster, of Vicksburg. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Alicia Foster, foreground right, a senior at Warren Central High School, listens to Simonee Miller and Bryan McCachren, both counselors at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus, during Preview Day on campus Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. With Foster are her parents, Dr. Johnnie Foster and Andrea Foster, of Vicksburg. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“I like the vibe here,” Andrea Foster said. “It’s not too big, and it’s close knit. It will be a good fit to get her feet wet in college.”

Upcoming similar events at Hinds include Rankin College Day, at the Rankin Campus; The Visit, at the Utica Campus, both on Feb. 24; and Vicksburg College Night, at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, on April 17.

Preview Day at Hinds CC helps high schoolers start building their careers
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