POPLARVILLE - Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, Pearl River Community College vice president for economic and community development, recently completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program. The program gives emerging leaders in education the knowledge and networks to advance the core of education policy. “It’s a group of community college people, put together by the Stennis Institute of Government,” Alsobrooks said. “We get together and look at current policy issues that affect community colleges, primarily on the federal level.” The nine-month program consists of three major components - monthly meetings that provide a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to learning; a national forum that convenes Fellows from across the nation; and additional opportunities to experience and reflect on education policy. The final project to become a Fellow was a trip to Washington, D.C. “We visited all four of our Congressional members and our two Senate members,” Alsobrooks said. After completion of the program, Fellows remain in their full-time positions and use their work environment as the context for examining leadership and policy issues in the state. “The whole program was very good,” Alsobrooks said. “I really enjoyed it.” Alsobrooks holds an engineering degree from Mississippi State University and the master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. He received the PhD from USM in 2010. He came to PRCC in July 2005 as director of workforce education and was named a vice president in 2011.
POPLARVILLE - Pearl River Community College will hold tryouts for male cheerleaders at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 13, in Shivers Gym. Scholarships are available for those selected for the cheerleading squad. For information on tryout requirements and to sign up, contact Candace Harper at 601-403-1193 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
POPLARVILLE - The JazzCats of Pearl River Community College will perform Saturday, June 14, at the Blueberry Jubilee in downtown Poplarville. The jazz band is scheduled to play at 11:20 a.m. on the stage in the parking lot of the Poplarville School District office on Julia Street. Archie Rawls is director of The JazzCats and Mike Bass is assistant director. New PRCC students interested in jazz band should contact Rawls at 601 403-1271 or at email@example.com.
POPLARVILLE - Pearl River Community College ranks among the country’s top 20 in providing students a solid academic foundation on which to build continued education, CNN Money recently reported. The report shows 68 percent of PRCC students transfer to a four-year college or university. PRCC is tied at number 17 with Rend Lake College in Illinois and Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. “The focus for all of our efforts at Pearl River Community College is to ensure the success of our students,” said Dr. William Lewis, president. “There are many indicators that suggest we are succeeding in this pursuit. One of the foundational building blocks of our institutional philosophy is to focus on the success of every student.” The CNN ranking is the latest in a series of accolades for PRCC: • The college is again in the running for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. PRCC officials took part in a telephone interview with judges earlier this month, a step that indicates the college is being considered for the finalist list to be selected in the fall. • Create A Career website ranks PRCC as the 23 best community college nationally. • The BestSchools.org website lists PRCC as 28th best in the country. • PRCC also is consistently on the Military Friendly list of colleges. Dr. Martha Lou Smith, vice president for general education and technology services, credits faculty with much of the success achieved by PRCC students. “The key to student success is dedicated, qualified instructors,” she said. “Pearl River Community College has made a commitment to provide opportunities for success to all students in both the academic and career/technical arenas by working to meet the needs of students where they are. Instructors create an environment in which students feel confident in their ability to succeed.” The college provides multiple tutoring options for students who need extra instruction through Student Success Centers, Student Support Services, supplemental instruction and peer tutoring. Trevor Creighton of Hattiesburg first came to PRCC as a GED student because he completed high school in his native Ireland. An initial struggle with algebra could have derailed his academic career but help and encouragement from the instructor kept him in school. “The faculty interaction makes the difference,” he said. “It’s not just in the classroom but in their whole lives.” Creighton graduated in May with highest honors and a prestigious scholarship that will pay up to $30,000 a year for three years as he continues his education at Columbia University in New York. “I am a product of PRCC and the foundation I have received here is integral to any academic success that I might realize,” Creighton said. Of the 4,025 students enrolled at PRCC for the spring 2014 semester, 254 joined Creighton on the President’s List with 4.0 grade point averages; another 456 were on the Dean’s List with a GPA of 3.4 or higher. The CNN Money report shows PRCC with the highest transfer rate of any of Mississippi’s 15 community colleges. Closest on the list are Holmes at 56 percent, Northeast Mississippi at 55 percent and Itawamba and Southwest Mississippi at 54 percent. The report is based on information compiled by College Measures, a joint venture of the American Institutes of Research and Matrix Knowledge Group.
POPLARVILLE - A new degree program at Pearl River Community College is designed to meet the needs of the healthcare labor market. Students can enroll now for the health information technology program that begins in August with the fall 2014 semester. HIT professionals collect, maintain and analyze the data the doctors and other health care professionals use. “We need people that can actually work in information technology and health information,” program director Amy Branch said. “We’re trying to retrain our workforce, moving away from papers and pencils.” Graduates of the program will be able to work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and clinics and can also find jobs in the legal field as well. “It’s being driven by the federal government’s push toward electronic medical records,” said Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, PRCC vice president for economic and community development. “It takes a pretty distinct skill set beyond the paper and pencils we used to use.” The program, funded by a Department of Labor grant aimed at retraining of underemployed workers, will include medical billing and coding, medical terminology, computer application and electronic file storage. Some of the courses are already offered at PRCC and are being folded into the new program, Alsobrooks said. Students can enroll in the program at the Poplarville campus or the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg. Prerequisites are an ACT score of 18 and completion of anatomy and physiology. For information, contact Branch at 601 403-1119 or Tina Coleman at 601 403-1105 or firstname.lastname@example.org in Poplarville or Carol Byrd-Brown at 601 554-4694 or email@example.com in Hattiesburg.
POPLARVILLE - Applications will be accepted from July 1 to July 18 for a certified nursing assistant course at Pearl River Community College. The course will meet from 5 to 9 p.m on Monday and Thursday, beginning Aug. 11 and ending Oct. 16, in the Nursing Building in Poplarville. The cost of $600 includes the workbook and the fee for the state credentials examination; students must provide their own maroon uniform. To receive an application, call Cheryl Frierson at 601 403-1113. Prospective students must be 18 years old before the class begins, have a high school diploma or GED and pass a drug screen and one-step TB skin test at the student’s expense and a background check. Applicants will also be interviewed and must pay in full at the PRCC business office before class begins. For more information, telephone Frierson at 601 403-1113.
The 2014 cosmetology class at Pearl River Community College received Certificates of Proficiency Thursday, June 26, in a ceremony at Malone Chapel. They are, front row from left, Brittany Black of Picayune, Stephanie Bond of Purvis, Brianne Burge of Poplarville with honors, Julie Chambliss of Purvis, Tarah Codington of Poplarville; second row, Colleen Necaise of Kiln, Marlonie Johnson of Columbia, Tiffany Cuevas of Kiln with high honors, Christine Collier of Picayune; third row, Julie Rester of Picayune, Kayle Spears of Hattiesburg, Jennifer Tatman of Picayune, Jessica “PJ” Thompson of Picayune with high honors; and Cheyenne Turnage of Sandy Hook. Not pictured is Victoria Lott of Wiggins. Instructor is Michelle Patterson. PRCC Public Relations photo
The 2014 barbering class at Pearl River Community College received Certificates of Proficiency Thursday, June 26, in a ceremony at Malone Chapel. They are, first row from left, Terrionce Aultman of Columbia, Ramona Backman of Hattiesburg with honors, Malik Belton of Columbia; second row, Ricky McCloud of Slidell, La., Daymond Johnson of Columbia, Joseph Holloway of Picayune with honors, Wayne Cavalier of Covington, La. with high honors; third row, Reuben McInnis of Taylorsville with high honors, Ralonda Moon of Poplarville with honors, Magan Parker of New Orleans with high honors and Larry Pickens Jr. of Port Gibson. Instructor is Ola Carpenter. PRCC Public Relations photo