Nayla McClure had a productive summer attending SummerPrep at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus.
McClure, an eighth-grader at Utica Middle School, spent the month of June in the program instead of doing what she believes most other kids do.
“They’re sitting around watching television,” she said. “Attending this program is important because during the summer most kids are not really doing much with their time.”
And not only that, she had an opportunity to learn a few things in a different environment.
“SummerPrep is preparing us for our next grade. During the regular school year, classes are 18 to 20 kids deep. One-on-one time is unheard of; with SummerPrep, the classes are smaller so your teacher can help you individually if you’re struggling,” she said.
“This program is very rigorous and focused on raising seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders to a higher level,” said Pamela Williams, Director of Talent Search. “Our goal is to prepare them for what they will face in the upcoming school year. That age group sometimes face challenges. Kids often get lost in the shuffle. Our program gives them support and strengthens them for the challenges to come.”
The program is under the TRIO umbrella, which also includes Talent Search, Students Support Service and Upward Bound. Talent Search focus mainly on middle school and high school students, and the overall purpose of the program is to help students get to a post-secondary education.
The program is offered yearly on the Utica Campus and accepts around 40 students from surrounding schools.TRIO Programs (Teaching, Reaching and Inspiring Our Youths) are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.
Low-income, first-generation students take priority; they make up about two-thirds of their population. The focus is to get those students from middle school, to high school, to college and to complete college. The program incorporates a mixture of tutorial, workshops and motivational speakers to engage their middle school audience, Williams said.
Hinds Community College is celebrating its 100th year of Community Inspired Service in 2017. Hinds opened in September 1917 first as an agricultural high school and admitted college students for the first time in 1922, with the first class graduating in 1927. In 1982 Hinds Junior College and Utica Junior College merged, creating the Hinds Community College District. Today, as Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution with six locations. Hinds offers quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.
Hinds CC Utica Campus keeps middle-schoolers learning over summer.