February 16, 2022 - 9:05am
February is Career Technical Education Month and Pearl River Community College embraces this path to a new career for many students. Different certificate and degree options are available across the three campuses: Forrest County Campus, Hancock Campus, and Poplarville Campus.
CTE programs are growing with about 12.5 million United States high school and college students enrolled in one. These programs specialize in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. A key component of the programs is the use of equipment and tools students will use in their new careers.
Students interested in pursuing a CTE pathway have a wide range of options available. With the addition of Commercial and Residential Construction, Massage Therapy, Coding Technology, and Court Reporting, PRCC now offers more than 40 different CTE pathways across its locations. The current list of options can be found at prcc.edu/cte with links to each individual program’s information page.
Applying for admission to PRCC is the first step, by visiting PRCC.edu/admissions. Some pathways have additional admissions requirements as listed on the program’s page.
STEPPING INTO CAREERS AFTER GRADUATION
Across the different disciplines, CTE graduates have a high rate of employment after completing their training or associates degree. Job placement rates for PRCC graduates across all the CTE programs have hovered around 80-85 percent over the past few years.
Stepping straight into a career after graduation worked well for La’Mya LeFlore. She is currently working at Highland Community Hospital in Picayune and genuinely loves her job.
Originally from Hattiesburg, LeFlore sought out the Medical Laboratory Technology program on the Forrest County Campus as her entry into a medical field. Working more behind the scenes with a heavy reliance on science was appealing to her. PRCC was her choice of school given the smaller class sizes and more personal connections to the instructors.
Jasper Loftin feels similar to LeFlore. He completed the Biomedical Equipment Repair Technology program and went straight to work after graduation. He is currently an Imaging Specialist Engineer in radiology at Crothall HealthCare at Baptist Medical Center in Jackson.
CONTINUING THEIR EDUCATION
Some students find themselves stacking career technical degrees or certificates to further strengthen their marketability in the workforce.
For current dental assisting student Brienne Penton, completion of the program will lead to an application for the dental hygiene program at PRCC.
CTE Associates of Applied Science degrees can also lay the foundation for further studies at four-year institutions. Currently, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women (The W), and University of Southern Mississippi offer pathways for CTE graduates.
Lauren Lee of Carriere will graduate from the Business Marketing and Management program this May. The program was chosen to give her basic marketing knowledge that can be useful to open and operate her own business in the future. Before that happens, she plans to earn her bachelor's degree in marketing at Mississippi State University.
GROWTH IN ALLIED HEALTH PROGRAMS
In the last few years, more attention has been paid to the healthcare system and deficiencies in staffing across the country. Many of the allied health programs at PRCC are finding a high demand for their graduates with no end to the need in sight.
At the Forrest County Campus, an LPN to RN bridge program has been added to allow students to work while completing their education. Additionally, the Radiology and Surgical Technology programs have been expanded.
CONTACTS FOR CTE PROGRAMS
Questions about the programs can be directed to the CTE office of the campus where they will attend. For PRCC’s Forrest County Campus, call 601-554-5539, email email@example.com or visit the FCC on U.S. 49 South. Hancock Campus can be reached at 228-252-7000. The Poplarville Campus can be reached at 601-403-1101.