Pearl River Community College

February 2021

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PRCC CNA graduation

PRCC CNA graduation

The following students graduated Friday (Jan. 29) from the Certified Nurse Aide course offered by Pearl River Community College at the Lowery Woodall Advanced Technology Center in Hattiesburg.

They are from left: First row - Marisol Perez-Arroyo of Hattiesburg and Haylee Rouse of Purvis. Second row - Wilena Childs of Hattiesburg and Karmen Rouser of Hattiesburg. Third row - Sakeena Gregory of Laurel and Colbie Lee of Picayune. Top row - Sha’lindrea Mann of Richton and Flynn Quest Lubin of Laurel. Not pictured: Baja Love of Hattiesburg and Keyunta Nelson of Columbia. Program instructor is Adison King. Enrollment is currently underway for March 2021 classes. For information, call 601-554-4646 or visit the Woodall Advanced Technology Center.

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats)  Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

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Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities.  The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability.  For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.

February 1, 2021 - 12:12pm
 
 
Pearl River and City of Hattiesburg enter into historic agreement

Pearl River and City of Hattiesburg enter into historic agreement

Pearl River Community College, the City of Hattiesburg and Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District, Inc. entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Wednesday to offer tuition assistance to Hattiesburg residents. 

“Financial challenges often provide insurmountable obstacles for many of our potential students,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. "The Memorandum of Understanding that we've finalized this morning will assist in alleviating those obstacles. This opportunity will turn walls into windows for our students. While our nation recovers from the enormity of a global pandemic and economic turmoil, Mayor Barker and the Hattiesburg City Council have recognized in the midst of difficulty lies remarkable opportunity."

The MOU promotes higher education opportunities at Pearl River for eligible participants who reside in the City of Hattiesburg. It will be paid for from the city’s CARES Act reimbursement and continues the 2018 City Tuition Assistance Program (CTAP) for recent high school graduates. The 2021 annual allocation also contains funding for an Outstanding Balance Assistance Program, Career Technology Education Tuition Assistance Allied Health Tuition Assistance and Pine Belt Works Basic Manufacturing Tuition Assistance. It also will provide Work Keys Testing (NCRT) for Hattiesburg High students.

“We know COVID-19 has dealt economic hardship to many in our community,” Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said. “It makes sense for us to use some of the city’s pandemic-related reimbursements to invest in our citizens who are making the effort to retool, acquire new skills and begin new careers to provide for themselves and their families. We’re grateful to the efforts and leadership of PRCC to continue this partnership and look forward to the opportunities it will provide for our residents.”

The PRCC CTAP will provide tuition for four consecutive semesters of higher education at Pearl River. Through the CTAP program, applicants may pursue any degree or certificate offered at PRCC. 

High School Equivalency (HSE) certificate recipients that are residents of the City of Hattiesburg are also eligible. These students must matriculate into the credit bearing classes during the semester immediately following the completion of the HSE certificate or the very next semester when the desired program is scheduled to begin.

“We are grateful to Mayor Toby Barker and the Hattiesburg City Council for providing this opportunity to Pearl River Students who reside in the City of Hattiesburg,” Vice President for Forrest County Center, Allied Health, and Nursing Programs Dr. Jana Causey said. ”Financial barriers are the most common challenges facing our students and this money will reduce or remove that obstacle for many.  As a result, the city of Hattiesburg will reap the benefit of increasing the skilled workforce pertaining to many underserved employment areas.”

Non-tuition related expenses such as supplies, books, fees and room and board are not included in the tuition assistance program.

OUTSTANDING BALANCE ASSISTANCE 

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the Hattiesburg community, the Tuition Assistance Program will be expanded to include assistance for outstanding tuition balance created by the impacts of COVID-19. This initiative will give students the ability to move forward with their education unencumbered by additional financial burdens.

ALLIED HEALTH 

COVID-19 has created an enormous need for medical professionals such as nurses and respiratory technicians. This tuition assistance is intended to relieve both financial burden from students interested in pursuing a career in this field and alleviate a deficit in qualified caregivers.

Pearl River’s Forrest County Campus houses nine medical programs. These include practical nursing, surgical technician, respiratory therapy, occupational therapy assistants, physical therapy assistants, dental assistant, dental hygiene, medical lab technology, and medical radiology. 

To support these programs, the college has recently built a state-of-the-art simulations lab. The lab is to be utilized by all Allied Health programs and offer environments that realistically mimic hospitals and clinics. Programs that work together in medical environments now have the ability to experience that integrated workspace in a simulated space, better preparing them for the expectations of their future employers. 

CAREER TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION 

In addition to medical programs, the FCC offers several manufacturing and technology-based programs. These include biomedical equipment repair, electronic engineering technology, industrial technology, precision machining and manufacturing, welding, and HVAC. These programs work closely with local industries to design their labs and align the curriculums to ensure that students will have the skills needed to be placed into a career with high earning potential. 

Providing tuition assistance for students entering these career fields allows for local industry to benefit from an emerging qualified workforce.

In addition to the hands-on experience students receive in these classes and labs, many students have the opportunity to put their skills to practice by participating in paid internships with local manufacturers. 

PINE BELT WORKS BASIC MANUFACTURING 

Pine Belt Works, offered at the PRCC Woodall Center, provides students with a 96-hour foundation in Basic Manufacturing Skills, allowing graduates to enter a sustainable-wage career pathway in Manufacturing. They earn credentials in First Aid/CPR, OSHA 10-hour safety, a Career Readiness Certificate, the Basic Manufacturing credential, and learn key concepts like precision measurement, lean manufacturing processes, quality, problem-solving, and work-ready skills.  Employers looking to hire Pine Belt Works graduates include Sofidel, Kohler Engines, Hood Industries, Super Stud Steel Building Products, Western Container, Wis Pak, Dews Foundry, Johnson Controls, and many others. 

Those interested should complete the interest form at www.prcc.edu/pinebeltworks.

WORKKEYS TESTING

Individuals interested in earning the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) may register to take the three-part ACT Workkeys exam through PRCC’s workforce education department. The assessment includes three areas of focus including Graphic Literacy, Applied Math, and Workplace Documents. Several local employers, including Berry Global, Sofidel, and others, utilize the career readiness measure as a pre-employment tool.  A great boost to professional resumes, test-takers may earn a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum level NCRC.

This MOU will be the third partnership between PRCC and the City of Hattiesburg in three and a half years. In July 2018 an MOU was signed to provide city workforce with CDL training at no cost to the employee. In November 2018 another was signed between the city and the county to help full tuition assistance needs for all city residents. 

The city’s total investment for 2021 will be $103,500.

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats)  Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

 

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Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities.  The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability.  For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.

February 3, 2021 - 1:33pm
 
New behaviorism class offered at PRCC

New behaviorism class offered at PRCC

A new class, Applied Behavior Analysis, recently launched at Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County Center.  

The course is the first of three steps towards a Registered Behavior Technician Certification and is geared specifically for training teachers the basics of behavior analysis and how to use it with children on the Autism Spectrum.

Twenty-six students are enrolled in the mostly-online class, which began in the 2020 spring semester. Many of them are teachers or teacher assistants, some are parents of children with Autism.

“The course is a great opportunity because the profession is so new and underserved in this area,” said Dr. Dannell Roberts, the class instructor.

“Most teachers aren’t given specific training in behaviorism or Autism Spectrum Disorder within their undergraduate degrees and will hopefully be able to use this knowledge to better serve the children in their classrooms.”

The course is a three-step process: The coursework, a competency assessment and a national exam given by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.

Dr. Roberts, a former Psychology instructor at PRCC, offered this course description:

The course provides a basic introduction to the principles of applied behavior analysis with specific emphasis on applying the principals to teaching individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. 

She says the purpose of the course is to provide the necessary and required training to become a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). The coursework is considered the basic information a person needs to work in the field with supervision. 

“As an employer who hires RBTs (who are hard to find), this course will provide a portion of the necessary steps for that certification and grow the profession as a viable career choice for individuals wanting to work with children with special needs.”

Dr. Roberts worked for PRCC from 2006-2013, beginning as an academic counselor and transitioning to a Psychology Instructor in 2009. In 2012, she transitioned to the Forrest County Center on a part-time basis while building a private practice. She currently co-owns Will’s Way, LLC, with Dr. Kimberly Bellipanni, providing psychological services, school consultation, and ABA therapy for children on the Autism Spectrum. 

Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for the Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing programs, says PRCC is committed to serving local community needs.

“Our local school districts need individuals with this knowledge to provide an educational environment that meets the needs of a variety of learners, including those on the Autism Spectrum. This semester, we offered this class tuition free to educators employed in our district.

“Our hope is that the students in this class will gain important skills and knowledge to assess the needs of students and make diverse learning environments that meet their needs.”

 

 For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats) and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG).

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Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities.  The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability.  For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.

February 4, 2021 - 8:39am
 
Getting started just got easier at Pearl River

Getting started just got easier at Pearl River

Getting started just got easier.

Pearl River Community College is making it easier than ever to start your education on your timeline. With multiple start dates and flexible class offerings throughout the semester, it’s never too late to start an educational journey at The River. 

Online four-week classes beginning Feb. 15 allow students to get a head start on required courses. On campus second eight week courses begin March 4 and online second eight week courses start March 15. Online four week courses starting April 12 also offer students the opportunity to finish a course in a shorter period of time and two week on campus classes starting May 3 give an even quicker option. 

Pearl River’s commitment to educate students on their time makes an education accessible to a wide range of students. Academic and Career and Technical degree plans open a variety of post-graduation career opportunities for both traditional and non-traditional Pearl River students. Whether you are looking to go back to school after a long hiatus, wanting to change career paths or are just starting your educational career, Pearl River has a schedule that fits those needs.

CLASS OFFERINGS

In person classes beginning in March include Art Appreciation, English Composition II, Film as Literature, Public Speaking, World Civilization II, General Psychology and more. In person classes beginning in May include English Composition II, World Literature, Film as Literature, Human Growth and Development and First Aid/CPR. 

Online four-week courses beginning Feb. 15 include Computer Concepts and Orientation. Online Classes beginning in March Include Principles of A&P I and Lab, A&P I and Lab, English Composition I, World Geography, World Civilization I, College Life, Orientation, Intermediate Algebra, Algebra, and much more.

To see a complete list of classes available visit this link. To start the process of becoming a member of the Wildcat Family visit prcc.edu/admissions.

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats)  Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

 

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Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities.  The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability.  For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.

February 5, 2021 - 8:56am
 
Pearl River CTE recognized statewide

Pearl River CTE recognized statewide

Pearl River Community College has been named “#1 Best” Associates Degree Trade School in Mississippi for Electronics Engineering Technology and Industrial Production Technology according to tradecollege.org.

“These programs are examples of what happens when the right partnerships are in place,” Dean of Career and Technical Instruction FCC Dr. James David Collum said. “The students' success from our Electronics and Industrial programs is a direct result of the combination of outstanding faculty, supportive administration, state of the art laboratories, and local industry support.  I am proud that PRCC can provide the training needed to place students into high-earning careers. 

“I am equally proud that PRCC can provide a trained workforce that attracts new businesses and industries to Mississippi.”

TradeCollege.org is a free resource for students seeking a career in the trades. They research and compile trade skills, study area information, career overviews, and more to compile rankings for institutions across the US to help students make a smart decision when considering their higher education.

“At Pearl River Community College our Career and Technical Education programs strive to be leaders in the industry,” Dean of Career and Technical Education Programs Dr. Edward Pinero said. “Education programs strive to be leaders in the industry. Our Electronics program is world class. Our faculty has the expertise and backgrounds to educate our students to a level that is second to none. This provides excellent career opportunities for our graduates.

"We are honored to receive this recognition.”

This ranking of the best associate’s degrees considers quality metrics such as time to graduate, average salary and debt levels of graduates.

ELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY 

Electronics Technology prepares individuals to support electrical engineers and other professionals in the design, development and testing of electrical circuits, devices and systems. Included is instruction in model and prototype development and testing; systems analysis and integration, including design, development of corrective and preventive maintenance techniques; application of engineering data; and the preparation of reports and test results.

INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS 

Industrial Electronics Technology is a two-year program designed to prepare students for a wide range of technical positions within the industrial manufacturing industry. The Industrial Electronics program is designed to prepare graduates for a career in the installation, maintenance, testing, and repair of industrial electrical and electronic equipment and systems. This program introduces the fundamentals of electricity, electronics, digital techniques, electrical power distribution, motor controls, fluid systems controls, programmable logic controllers, and instrumentation. Graduates will possess the skills necessary to enter the workforce as technicians in the fields of telephone service, industrial electronic and electrical servicing, plc and process control, industrial automation, and power distribution and as general electronic technicians. An Associate of Applied Science Degree is awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 60 semester credit hours of approved course work. 

These programs work closely with local industries to design their labs and align the curriculums to ensure that students will have the skills needed to be placed into a career with high earning potential. 

In addition to the hands-on experience students receive in these classes and labs, many students have the opportunity to put their skills to practice by participating in paid internships with local manufacturers.

To see a complete list of classes available visit this link. To start the process of becoming a member of the Wildcat Family visit prcc.edu/admissions.

 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats)  Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

February 5, 2021 - 9:41am
 
 
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Pearl River begins Computer Coding program this fall

Pearl River begins Computer Coding program this fall

Starting in Fall 2021, Pearl River Community College will begin a new Computer Coding Technology program at the school’s Forrest County Center.

Coding skills are in demand across a broad range of careers, not just for programmers, so PRCC is looking to fill a need within the community by adding the new program.

“The computer coding program will provide students with skills that will be unique from any of Pearl River's current degree pathways,” said Dr. James David Collum, Dean of Career and Technical Education at the Forrest County Center. “The jobs that this program will prepare students for are the jobs of the future. The students will be critical to fill the current software development positions and they will also be a key component in attracting new high-tech companies to our state.”  

The Computer Coding Technology program is designed to prepare individuals to be software developers. Individuals will be given the opportunity to master skills such as the fundamentals of coding, app development, web applications, and life leadership skills as they relate to HTML and CSS, Database Fundamentals, Python, and JavaScript.

There will be a 30-hour certificate, 45-hour technical degree, and 60-hour associate of applied science degree options.

According to data from the State Workforce Investment Board, the software developers (applications and software) occupations are projected to grow at 26.46 percent statewide. 

Entry level pay starts at $45,000 and the median annual income for this occupation is $80,629 at a state level.

Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for the Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing programs, says Computer Coding Technology  is a skill that is in high demand.

“Pearl River Community College is committed to providing programs that prepare our students to enter high paying jobs as well as meet the needs of our local industry,” said Dr. Causey. “Implementing this program will help us provide a skilled workforce prepared to understand the language of computers and evolving technology.  

“Computers are involved in so many aspects of life so the need for this coursework is growing at a rapid pace. We are excited to offer this opportunity for our community.” 

For information about the Computer Coding Technology program, call 601-554-5539, email jcollum@prcc.edu  or visit the Forrest County Center on U.S. 49 South.

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats)  Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

February 9, 2021 - 12:37pm
 
Pearl River holds ribbon cutting for James Barnes STEM Center

Pearl River holds ribbon cutting for James Barnes STEM Center

Pearl River Community College held a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting Tuesday for the newly completed James Barnes STEM Center. 

“Today we bestow the honor of naming this building after a gentleman who was at the heart of this institution’s foundation,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. “His influence on Pearl River Community College and our students is immeasurable. This is a man that understood that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. We are honored and humbled to have your name cemented into the legacy of our college this morning.”

Barnes is originally from Oak Vale. He is an alum of PRCC and received his Associate in Arts degree before continuing on to  the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned his Bachelor of Science in General Science with a minor in Secondary Education. He also graduated from USM with both his Masters in Chemistry and his Doctorate of Education in Science Education respectively.

Barnes served at Pearl River Community College from 1962 until his retirement in 1999. He was a science instructor at PRCC and took on the role as Chairman of the Science Department. During that time he committed himself to the betterment of his students while pursuing a variety of educational and community endeavors. 

“I can’t even describe it,” Barnes said when asked what the dedication meant to him. “You do what you can and this is the result of it. The main achievement is seeing the students everywhere I go. I get to meet former students out working and many of them are here today.”

The $6 million project included renovating the current science and math building as well as the new 11,000-square foot annex. The construction was finished in time for students to utilize in August 2020. The new James Barnes STEM Center houses state-of-the-art labs for Pearl River’s Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, A&P and Microbiology classes. Renovations to the existing science building included the addition of new LED lighting, new ceilings, doors and elevator to access the second floor of the building.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT 

Barnes has continuously been involved in his community through various projects. He was a charter member of the Poplarville Lions Club, served as president of the organization and was on the Board of Directors for 10 years. He served on the Board of directors for the Pearl River Valley Country Club as well as the President of the board from 1977-78. 

Barnes served as an Alderman for the City of Poplarville and was elected Mayor in 1985. He also helped prepare and submit a Community Development Block Grant for 1.61 million. The grant was funded by the Governor’s office in 1985. 

He represented the City of Poplarville as a member of the Board of Directors for the Pearl River County Development Association from 1979-83 and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1984. Barnes is a former member and officer in the Chamber of Commerce, former Chairman of North Pearl River County Red Cross Blood Band and Rotary Club member. 

EDUCATIONAL INVOLVEMENT

Barnes served on visiting reaccreditation teams in the Southeastern United States through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He also served on the Steering Committee for PRCC’s self-study for reaccreditation. He assisted in the preparation of the Title II grant application for Pearl River that was initially funded the first year and was extended for two additional years. Barnes also developed and implemented a variety of laboratory and non-laboratory courses. He was a part of many professional organizations including the National Science Teachers Association, Mississippi Science Teachers Association and the Mississippi Academy of Sciences. He attended seminars and workshops related to science education as an observer and participant on national, state and local levels.Barnes also was a part of the Curriculum Committee, Recruiting Committee and Homecoming Committee at Pearl River. 

He was selected as an outstanding educator of America in 1971 and was Alumnus of the Year for PRCC in 1968. He was chosen as one of the 15 nationwide to attend a Computers in the Laboratory Workshop in 1982. He was selected as Pearl River Community College’s faculty representative for Higher Education Appreciation day in 1989. Barnes was also featured in Picayune Item Sunday magazine Profile in 1988. 

Barnes was approached by many former students during the celebration and was thanked for the support and encouragement he gave them during their time at Pearl River. Chairman of the PRCC Board of Trustees Tony Waits spoke about his experience being taught and mentored by Barnes. 

“If Dr. Barnes said you were ready to go into pharmacy school, you got accepted to pharmacy school,” Waits said. “He had that reputation with the school of pharmacy and all his fellow educators. He was really good at meeting the students where they were and making Chemistry understandable. He had a way of making Chemistry possible for people who otherwise might not have understood the concept. He was also encouraging you along the way that all of it was possible. 

“He was always encouraging his students and seeking a way to get them to study hard and at the same time embrace life and enjoy it.”

During the dedication Barnes told stories of his time at Pearl River including humorous classroom moments and student success stories. He also talked about how ingrained Pearl River was in his life and career. 

“It’s always been Pearl River for us,” Barnes said. “From the time I was old enough to know about it we were coming here. Our kids were coming here. Pearl River is number one.”

Barnes is still living in Poplarville with his wife Ramona; June 3 will mark their 60th wedding anniversary. Their children include Mike Barnes, a paramedic for AAA and Kimberly Saucier, an administrator for the Hancock County School District. Mike has a daughter, Bri Bounds, who is a registered nurse from PRCC; Her and her husband, Tanner, have a 3-month-old son, Conner. Mike’s son, Daulton, is currently a senior in high school. Kimberly and her husband, Brock, have one daughter, Savannah, who is a math teacher in the Hancock County School District. 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats)  Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

February 9, 2021 - 3:45pm
 
Pearl River receives donations from Poplarville Women's Club

Pearl River receives donations from Poplarville Women's Club

Pearl River Community College recently received two generous gifts from the Poplarville Women’s Club to help students in need. 

The Poplarville Women’s Club donated $200 to The Market, a free campus food pantry, and $400 to be used to purchase dorm necessities for students. 

“Thank you to everyone with the Poplarville Women’s Club for their donations,” The Market Manager Tina Smith said. “We are once again so grateful for the continued support we receive from our community.”

The Market first opened in 2018 and is a free food pantry for students, staff, and faculty with food insecurity. Students, both commuter and dorming, can access The Market with a current PRCC ID. It is completely free and its visitors are kept anonymous. The Market is housed within the Carol Williams Station, named after its founder. The Station houses both The Market and The Wildcat Career Closet, a place where students can get free clothing for speeches and job interviews. The Market is open Wednesday and Thursday of every week from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

“This is our community,” Poplarville Women’s Club representative Betina Dodd said. “These are our people too. Several of our members are alumni from PRCC or worked on the staff here. It’s a shame that we have to have a food pantry but it’s fantastic that it’s here.

The club has made several monetary and non-perishable donations to these efforts throughout the years. Loads of sheets, towels and laundry detergent have been shuttled to the college on behalf of the Women’s Club to help students and they plan to continue supporting their community in various ways in the future. 

Donations can be made to The Market or dorm necessities by contacting Tina Smith at tjsmith@prcc.edu.

 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats)  Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

February 10, 2021 - 2:26pm
 
Positive vibes only at Pearl River

Positive vibes only at Pearl River

Pearl River Community College students lifted each other up this week during Project Positivity Week. 

“The reason I decided to have positivity week is because I love creating positive energy among the students,” Student Government Association President De’Miyah Hooker said. “I wanted to give them something positive to see and remember."

Monday students could draw or paint a positive message on a clothespin and then pin it on a friend’s belongings. Tuesday they had a chance to strike a pose with a positive message poster. Wednesday’s participants pinned balloon messages to the wall with positive sentiments written on them. Thursday was Positivity Rocks day during which students could paint a rock and place it around campus for another person to find potentially making their day. 

"It was really moving to see the student contribution to PRCC positivity week,” student Jolie Pervel said. “The SGA gave us creative ways to do so, painting positive words or images on rocks being my favorite."

The Student Activities Office and SGA also have several other events in the coming weeks including a Wildcat Feud, Play Day, Black History Program and a Campfire. To stay up to date on campus activities students should refer to RiverGuide and the digital signage around campus. 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats)  Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

February 11, 2021 - 2:55pm
 
 
 
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Pearl River grad finds rewarding job in CTE

Pearl River grad finds rewarding job in CTE

At 32-years-old, Jonathan Parks of Hattiesburg went in search of a career boost at Pearl River Community College and found it in one of the school’s many career-technical programs.

“My grandmother always told me I needed to find a job or get a career where I could apply my mind,” said Parks, an Oak Grove High School graduate. “I found that job, and I am learning more as I go along.”

Parks, 36 today, graduated from the Biomedical Equipment Repair Technology program at PRCC’s Forrest County Center and is about to celebrate his third anniversary as a biomedical engineering technician with GE Healthcare in Slidell, La. “We maintain all medical devices at the facilities, complete repairs and maintain compliance,” said Parks.

GE Healthcare is a subsidiary of General Electric Co., that focuses on new developments in health information technology (HIT) such as more advanced medical imaging technology and patient monitoring systems.

“I give a lot of credit to Dr. (James David) Collum,” said Parks. “He opened my eyes to this program.”

After high school, Parks attended PRCC for two years to get his basics. Through his 20’s he spent time working and trying to decide a career path.

“At first, I considered Aerospace electronics, and that was my plan,” he said. “But after talking to Dr. Collum, once he described the (BET) program to me, I knew I was hooked. This was something I wanted to pursue.”

Dr. Collum is Dean of Career and Technical Education at the FCC. He said Parks set his sights on a goal and spent four semesters chasing that degree. Along the way, he provided Parks with information about job opportunities after graduation.

“I try to motivate all of our students to pursue one of our many career-technical programs,” said Dr. Collum. “Jonathan was an outstanding student and was an All-Mississippi CTE student the first year the program was awarded.”

Biomedical Equipment Repair Technology is an instructional and field service program that provides the students with technical knowledge and skills necessary for gaining employment as a biomedical equipment technician. They are entry-level technicians who can install, set up, troubleshoot, integrate, program, test, operate, and repair biomedical equipment. Parks’ advice to students is to explore the many avenues available through the CTE programs at PRCC.

“If they are interested in the medical field or electronics through a technical career,” said Parks, “PRCC offers the perfect opportunity to reach that goal. You do not have to have a four-year degree to get there.”

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats) Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

February 19, 2021 - 9:27am
 
 
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PRCC: February is national CTE month

PRCC: February is national CTE month

February is Career and Technical Education Month across the United States and nowhere is it emphasized more than at Pearl River Community College.

CTE graduates have professional credentials and options for great careers, pathways to college and success in whatever they choose to do.

“CTE differs from our transfer pathways by preparing students with the skills needed to enter directly into the workforce,” said Dr. James David Collum, Dean of Career and Technical Education at PRCC’s Forrest County Center.

“Our CTE students can learn what they need and have the ability to obtain the necessary licensure, certifications, or other credentials to be successful. That is not to say that these programs are terminal. Many of the IHL’s in Mississippi accept the CTE credits toward specific degree pathways.”

CTE is so much more than the vocational classes of the past.

“Today’s CTE programs integrate the latest pedagogical theories and latest educational technologies to ensure that our students learn effectively,” said Dr. Collum. “Many of our students also can take part in work-based learning opportunities, including clinical rotations and internships.”

Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for the Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing programs, agrees.

          “The difference is three major movements, the education of the public about the value of these programs, the expansion of these programs, and the emphasis on higher education to open up more opportunities for career-technical graduates to move forward, expand their knowledge, and achieve higher degrees,” she said.  

       “Once upon a time, these degrees were terminal. The coursework didn’t matriculate into higher degrees. Now, colleges and universities understand how valuable these degrees are to our society, economy, and advancement.”    

By definition, Career and Technical Education is a term applied to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.

CTE students learn using the equipment and tools they will use in their career field. 

PRCC offers 42 unique CTE programs at all campuses to meet the needs of students and local businesses. Seventeen of those programs are at the Forrest County Center and serve nearly 600 students.

Research shows that CTE leads to reduced dropout rates and higher rates of on-time graduation.

Said Dr. Collum, “I believe the nature of how our CTE programs are structured leads to higher retention and on-time graduation rates. Most of our programs accept students as a charity, and they are put on a clear pathway to graduation.”

Dr. Causey adds that Career and Technical Education is a pathway that a student can take to find a rewarding career and have opportunities to further their education. 

“There is a critical skills gap and workforce challenge in the United States and Career and Technical Education answers the call of this need,” said Dr. Causey.

“CTE students persist at a higher rate and make higher wages because they experience an immediate practical application in their coursework making their education relevant.” 

For information about the Career and Technical Education programs at PRCC’s Forrest County Center, call 601-554-5539, email jcollum@prcc.edu or visit the FCC on U.S. 49 South.

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats) Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

February 22, 2021 - 1:13pm
 
 
 
PRCC offering Commercial Truck Driving classes

PRCC offering Commercial Truck Driving classes

Pearl River Community College has implemented a new Commercial Truck Driving (CDL) program designed to prepare individuals to drive trucks and other commercial vehicles.

CDL is a four-week program based at the Lowery Woodall Advanced Technology Center in Hattiesburg.

Instruction includes operating diesel-powered vehicles, loading and unloading cargo, reporting delays or accidents on the road, verifying loads against shipping records, and maintaining necessary records. Applicants may earn a Certificate of Completion from workforce training and have the opportunity to receive a Class A CDL license. 

“This is an opportunity for someone to learn a skill they enjoy and they can earn above-average wages,” said Paul Shelby, the program instructor. “There is a demand for drivers with a CDL. With experience and a good driving record, the pay potential is above average.”

Shelby spent 34 years driving for Georgia Pacific Chemical, and some 40 years overall, where he logged more than three million miles driving mostly in the southeast United States.

Requirements for the PRCC program include a Department of Transportation physical and drug screen, a Class A learner’s permit, a valid driver’s license, driving history report and take the WorkKeys test.

Rebecca Brown, PRCC’s Dean of Workforce and Community Development, said the truck-driving program fulfills a much-needed demand for moving products, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is a vital need for truck drivers as essential workers at the heart of our national supply chain,” said Brown. “This program prepares drivers to connect with opportunities in both local and over-the-road driving careers at better-than-average wages.”

Shelby, a Taylorsville native, said he got hooked on truck driving when he was in a transportation unit of the National Guard. He is currently teaching the second class of students at PRCC. 

“I went through truck-driving school at Fort Polk (La.),” he said. “I was hooked. This job is a great opportunity to teach people a skill that I always enjoyed.”

PRCC was able to purchase the truck and trailer using federal CARES Act funding allocated to community colleges by the Mississippi state legislature. 

PRCC’s main campus in Poplarville also offers Commercial Truck Driving. It’s a four-week instructional program that prepares individuals to drive trucks and other commercial vehicles. 

The PRCC Workforce Education Department is located at the Woodall Advanced Technology Center, 906 Sullivan Drive, Hattiesburg. To learn more about the CDL program, and other Wildcat Workforce opportunities, call 601-554-4646 or email us at workforce@prcc.edu.

 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats) Instagram](PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

February 25, 2021 - 12:31pm
 
 
 
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