Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus recently added two new positions: Kanisha Shelton accepted the title of Dean of Career and Technical Education, and Dr. Mitchell Shears accepted the title of dean of academics.

Shelton is an Alcorn State University graduate, with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, bringing years of career experience in the educational field to the college.

Shelton has her specialist degree in educational leadership from Mississippi State University and is currently working on her doctorate in school administration, also from MSU.

She has worked as a classroom teacher for Leland public schools, an academic and vocational counselor at Coahoma AHS, a curriculum coordinator and professional development coordinator for schools, director of career technical education at Clarksdale schools, adjunct instructor at Coahoma Community College, and has her own educational consulting business.

“It has long been a dream of mine to serve as a dean of career and technical education,” she said. “I want to prepare students for the workforce.”

Some of Shelton’s current day-to-day duties include data analysis, coordinating professional development for faculty and staff, coordinating student activities, recruitment and retention, and developing relationships within the community.

“My main focus is to prepare hopeful, committed and competent students that are ready to go into the workforce,” she said. “I also want to increase our enrollment and see 100 percent job placement.”

Shelton resides in Clarksdale.

Shears is no stranger to the Utica Campus. In fact, his first job was a part-time gig as a Utica Campus custodian.

“It’s so neat to be back here again – going from custodian to dean,” he said. “That custodial job meant so much to me. It was my very first job and taught me so much.”

Shears received his bachelor’s degree in mass communications and master’s degree in elementary education from Alcorn State University. He also has a specialist degree in educational leadership and his educational doctorate from Mississippi College.

After receiving his first degree, Shears spent two years working public relations for Alcorn State, taught fourth and fifth grade in the Jackson school district, then moved to the central office as an instructional specialist. He served as principal of two elementary schools in Jackson before moving to executive director of 19 schools.

As dean of academics, Shears will begin his new position working to make sure each student gets the most out of their time at Hinds.

“I am so happy to be here,” he said. “I want to spend my time making sure every student gets a quality education.”

Shears was born in Jackson and raised in Utica. He currently resides in Pearl.

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