Pearl River Community College

March 2021

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Pearl River announces exciting opportunities for Forrest County residents

Pearl River announces exciting opportunities for Forrest County residents

Pearl River Community College announced two exciting initiatives March 1 at the Forrest County Board of Supervisors meeting set to benefit Forrest County residents. 

The board of supervisors gave $125,000 to continue the County Tuition Assistance Program (CTAP) which is in it’s the third year. Forrest Health also gave $90,000 in seed money to start a new LPN to RN bridge program at Pearl River’s Forrest County Center. 

“It’s a great day for Forrest County and a great day for Pearl River Community College,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. “What the Board of Supervisors has done over the last three years has provided an opportunity to achieve higher education. Everyone that lives in the area will have an opportunity to attend Pearl River Community College tuition free through this program. 

“That’s a testament to their work, a testament to the dedication to their constituents and a testament to really building better communities.”


Recently graduated students can take advantage of the tuition assistance program if they are residents of Forrest County. This program fills in the gap for any eligible student’s tuition need for four consecutive semesters after financial aid and scholarships are applied. This allows for Forrest County students to attend college at Pearl River without the financial burden of tuition cost. Students interested should apply to Pearl River Community College at PRCC.EDU/admissions and fill out a FAFSA application. 


While nursing professionals have been needed in the workforce for quite a while, Phyllis Chambers-Berry, Chief Nursing Officer at Forrest General Hospital says, the pandemic has exacerbated that need. This recognition of need is, in part, what led to the start of the partnership. 

“The ability to bring the RNs to the Pine Belt is a great opportunity for Forrest Health,” Chambers-Berry said. “This will also touch anyone that has a will and initiative to care for patients. It’s so important for the residents of Forrest County to have the opportunity to bridge into this program.”

Chambers-Berry and PRCC Vice President for Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing Programs Dr. Jana Causey worked together to bring about this partnership for the benefit of both parties and the county residents at large. 

“This partnership means so much for the Pine Belt,” Causey said.  “When a partner can come forward and can offer funding to start a new program and when entities like the Forrest County Supervisors can help with tuition, that makes it where our students can go to college. We can also start programs like this that can meet the needs of the workforce.”

This night and weekend RN program will allow already licensed Practical Nurses to continue their education close to home and while increasing the amount of RN’s available to the local workforce. 

“Forrest General has been a great partner to us over the last several years especially since the pandemic has hit,” Breerwood said. “They have worked with us on a variety of initiatives and when they came to us and stressed the importance of needing additional nurses in the area, we were happy to step up and they provided the seed money for us to get this program started. 

“The college is committed to the longevity of the program to continue to provide opportunities to put people to work in our healthcare industry.”

To learn more about the LPN to RN bridge program visit PRCC.EDU.


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

Pearl River will offer full college experience Fall 2021

Pearl River will offer full college experience Fall 2021

Pearl River Community College is looking forward to giving students the full college experience this fall.

Students will once again have access to a wide variety of daily student activities and sporting events. Pearl River’s Student Government Association and Student Activities Office have plans for an exciting student engagement calendar going into the fall. Traditional face-to-face coursework options will be available as well as a wealth of hybrid and online choices. Visit PRCC.EDU/Academics to learn more.  

“It’s time to offer students the full college experience this fall,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. “The interactions of faculty, staff, and students on campus contribute to a vibrant community. Being together brings with it much more than teaching a class or staffing an office. It allows faculty, staff and students to interact more frequently and get to know one another; it allows offices to collaborate on ideas for improvement and students to benefit from all that our campuses have to offer. 

“Join us as we gradually move in the direction of bringing everyone to a sense of togetherness.”


While still following safety guidelines and protocols, Pearl River has never slowed down showing that Wildcats Never Quit. 

An abundance of construction projects have continued through the pandemic, including the completed James W. Barnes STEM Center, expanding bookstore services to include the Wildcat Distribution Center, continuing construction on the new Wildcat Den and Mini Mart location, relocating the Verlene Cole Alumni House to expand the campus and welcome alumni to campus events and the new men’s and women’s dormitories which are rapidly approaching completion. Pearl River's Brownstone Center also plans to continue to build its calendar of cultural experiences with a full fall season. 

Beginning Wednesday, March 3, capacity guidelines will be lifted for all outdoor venues for athletic events, including Dub Herring Park, Wildcat Stadium and the Pearl River Soccer Complex. Additionally, attendance at Marvin R. White Coliseum and Shivers Gymnasium will be increased to 50 percent. Admissions for those games will be granted on a first come, first serve basis until capacity is reached. 

“We are extremely grateful to our faculty, staff, and students for the tremendous job they have done to excel during the past year with the challenges we have faced,” Vice President for Poplarville Campus and Student Activities Jeff Long said. “I know we have made great improvements in certain areas brought about by the adjustments needed during this unprecedented time. We also believe the overall college experience is vital for student success, and we look forward to providing that to our students and faculty this coming Fall.”


The adjustments made during COVID-19 have made it easier than ever before for students to have access to a quality education no matter their circumstance. Students can secure their future at The River by following four easy steps to become a Wildcat.

1. Apply for Admissions

2. Apply for Financial Aid

3. Apply for Housing 

4. Sign up for ROAR 

Visit to become a Wildcat today.

While the adaptation to insurmountable roadblocks has created an environment for students to continue to learn and thrive during a strange time, Pearl River recognizes and is seizing the opportunity to allow for students to return to a sense of normalcy. 

Pearl River will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and conduct campus life in line with safety protocols while offering our Wildcats the college experience they deserve.

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

PRCC a major factor in Idaho Forest decision

PRCC a major factor in Idaho Forest decision

Pearl River Community College was a factor in lumber producer Idaho Forest Group’s decision to invest $120 million to set up a sawmill operation in Lumberton.

Lumberton’s first new sawmill since the 1920s will create some 135 jobs and that’s where PRCC’s workforce training comes into play. 

“PRCC is one of the reasons we chose Lumberton,” said Julie Shiflett, Chief Financial Officer, Idaho Forest Group. “We look forward to an active partnership to be able to hire and train a skilled workforce. We want to be a good community partner.”

Idaho Forest will manufacture a variety of wood products at the mill, which is scheduled to start operations in late 2021, with full operational ramp-up by mid 2022.  Site work has already begun.

Shiflett said the company’s goal is to hire local residents from the regional area.

“We are not planning to relocate Idaho to Lumberton,” she said. “Our target is to match the diversity of the community in our workforce.”

And PRCC stands ready to help Idaho Forest Group reach its goals.

“At the River, we train students to go to work, advance in work, and connect to long-term sustainable wage careers,” said Rebecca Brown, PRCC’s Dean of Workforce and Community Development.

“We are eager to partner with Idaho Forest Group to develop a highly-skilled technical workforce. The manufacturing industry is flourishing within the great Pine Belt area, and this investment will bring that growth to a site situated conveniently between the Poplarville and Hattiesburg campuses.”

PRCC already has relevant two-year associate degree programs in place to prepare technicians for positions in the highly-automated sawmill. 

“We will work with IFG to provide skills assessments and then additional training to employees once they are hired,” said Brown.           

 When asked what the most important things that Idaho Forest Group is looking for in applicants, Jamie Major, Human Resources Director, said the company wants to draw a skilled employee base.

“We want employees with an appetite to learn, possess a strong work ethic and an ability to reason,” he said. “We envision our partnership with PRCC to help set the standard for hiring skilled trades and supplement training to sustain an adaptive and highly-skilled workforce.”

Major said jobs will be highly skilled. “Jobs will be technically focused such as electrical and industrial technicians, engineering, computer scientists and other technology centric roles that support efficient fiber conversion to high quality lumber,” he said.

He also said this mill will differ from their other existing mills.

“This will be a green-field mill with innovative technology including advanced equipment, software and automation,” said Major. “This sawmill will focus on safety and efficiency, as well as be highly automated.”

Shiflett said when fully operational the plant will see 75 to 100 log trucks a day and as many as 150 total trucks worth of traffic going through daily.

The company, based on Coeur d’Alene Idaho, currently operates six sawmills throughout Idaho and Montana and one Finger Joint mill, outputting more than 1 billion board feet of lumber per year. This marks the company's first expansion into the South.

For information about the Lumberton IFG plant, go to  

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

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