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2022 Summer Bridge-to-College program at PRCC accepting applications

2022 Summer Bridge-to-College program at PRCC accepting applications

Young adult male wearing grey tshirt with wildcat head smiles with other students in the background. Text Reads: 2022 Summer Bridget (SMART) Program; June 29 2022 to July 29 2022 Register Now

First-time students planning to attend Pearl River Community College in the fall can start the transition to college this summer. The Student Support Services (SSS) department is offering the opportunity for qualifying students to earn up to nine college credits and pay no tuition as part of the 15th Annual Summer Bridge-to-College (START) program. 

The START program is offered on the Poplarville campus. Eligible students take three courses: Basic Communication Skills (Reading/English), Basic Computation Skills (Pre-Algebra), and Community College Survival Skills. These courses will count towards the student’s overall grade point average at PRCC but will not count toward graduation.  

The goal of the START program is to ensure that students have a successful first semester in college, stay in school, maintain a good academic standing, and graduate from PRCC before transferring to a four-year college. It helps academically underprepared students increase their academic skills and prepare for college.  

Students with ACT scores below 18 in English, Reading or Math find it especially helpful. The bridge program can also give confidence to non-traditional students who have been out of school for five years or more.  

Classes are held Monday through Thursday plus one Friday from June 29 - July 28. Applications are accepted until June 15 with a limit of 30 participants.  

Interested students should contact Student Support Services at (601) 403-1356 or (601) 403-1043 for more information.  


Students must complete the following requirements in order to participate:  

  • Be accepted into PRCC from the admissions department 

  • Be eligible for Student Support Services (must meet at least one of the three listed below): 
  • Neither of your parents graduated from a four-year college 
  • You have a financial need (considered low income by the federal guidelines) 
  • You have a documented disability 
  • Have an academic need (need to increase academic skills), especially for students with an ACT of 18 or less or students who have been out of school for several years 


If eligible, the program is tuition free. However, there are some costs the student is responsible for paying such as books, online fees, course fees, and housing if living on campus. Students may qualify for a Pell Grant that could cover these costs. To receive a Pell Grant, a student must complete the 2021-22 Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) before beginning the program. SSS employees are available to help with filling out the FAFSA if needed.   


The SSS department also provides other services at no charge to its students: one-on-one tutoring; academic, career and financial advising; success workshops; cultural and transfer field trips; transfer assistance; free printing and more.   

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

June 7, 2022 - 10:51am
PRCC Chief of Police continues family legacy

PRCC Chief of Police continues family legacy

Gene Keith PRCC Chief of Police stands by a golf cart outside the Poplarville Campus Police Station

When Charles Kindja arrived at Pearl River Community College in 1984, he joined what was then a campus “security” team. During his tenure, a full police department was formed for the campus thanks to his efforts. Today, his grandson-in-law, Albert Eugene (Gene) Keith III serves as the PRCC Chief of Campus Police in Poplarville. 

Like police departments for cities and towns, the men and women who work in Public Safety at PRCC wear many hats. They not only enforce local laws and regulations, but they are trained to be first responders for other emergency situations. Crisis intervention is another hat they wear with regular training to help them meet that need on campus.  

“Today's society and how we manage the campus is different than it was even in the 1980s when security teams were the norm,” said Director of Public Safety Butch Raby. “PRCC is like a little city inside Poplarville with us observing all the same laws the local communities follow.” 

There are two campus police stations with certified staff to keep our students and employees safe; one located on the Poplarville Campus and one on our Forrest County Campus. The Hancock Campus has a security guard on site. 

“We see people in the worst and the best of times,” said Keith. “We wear many hats, some of which people do not see but make a difference. Our sole purpose is to make this campus a safe place for everybody.” 

To get grants, officers need to be certified through the state to standards. This includes training hours plus going through the police academy. Additionally, the department has annual training to keep their skills current.  

“It’s been said this is the best kept secret in law enforcement — working for a college,” said Keith. “You still deal with a lot of the same stuff you do on the street, but you can help guide students making the transition from childhood to adulthood.  

“We can help them learn that with every action comes a consequence and that everywhere has rules and regulations. You get to watch students grow and then some come back to PRCC.” 


Chief Charlie Kindja stands by new cruiser outside Campus Police station on the Poplarville Campus

From 1958-1962, Kindja joined the United States Navy, serving as a SOG3 (Special Operations Group), a precursor to the Navy Seals. He then joined the New Orleans Police Department where he worked his way up the ranks to Sergeant before retiring in 1984.  

He then began his new career at PRCC in the security office to start. During his tenure, he attended training at USM so that the college could have a police department. After all officers were trained and passed the tests to become police officers, the college sought and received certification from the state. Kindja then became the first Chief, a role he had until his retirement in 2009. 

Law enforcement runs in the family. Kindja’s granddaughter Casey McInnis serves as the director of the 15th Circuit Intervention Court program for MDOC. His other granddaughter Brittney Keith served as a dispatcher for the Picayune Police Department and as a corrections officer for the Pearl River Sheriff Department. Both of his grandson-in-laws are committed law enforcement professionals including Keith at PRCC and Chris McInnis currently with the Poplarville School District.  


Keith graduated from Picayune High School and initially became a preacher with a desire to help others. After being a volunteer fireman with the Carriere and Pinegrove Fire Departments for six years, he joined the Picayune Police Department in 2004 as a Reserve officer. In 2006, he was hired as a full-time officer and attended the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy. Shortly after his training, he was promoted to Patrol Sergeant. He also served as the head of the Field Training Officer Program.  

He came to PRCC in 2012 with a quick promotion to Patrol Sergeant. He was promoted to Chief of Police in 2021.  

Keith is also a founding member and former Vice President of the Mississippi Chapter IX Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club. He lives in Poplarville with his wife Brittney. Together they have five children and one grandchild. 

“Gene has been in law enforcement for 18 years, 10 of which have been here,” said Raby. “He’s continued to do an excellent job and is an asset to this institution.” 

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

June 7, 2022 - 3:22pm
Rising star Adam Doleac to take the stage at PRCC for memorable concert

Rising star Adam Doleac to take the stage at PRCC for memorable concert

Fans of upbeat music with a country flair can help kickoff the fall semester at Pearl River Community College as Adam Doleac comes to campus. The South Mississippi native and former Southern Miss baseball fan favorite is a quick rising star in the music industry. The concert will be held on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. inside the state-of-the-art Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts in Poplarville. 

Sponsored by the Pearl River County Chapter of the PRCC Alumni Association, funds raised from the concert will go to the chapter and the PRCC Development Foundation. Scholarships will be the primary beneficiary with some proceeds being designated for supporting the overall efforts of the College in areas like enrollment, retention, and graduation of students. 

“Having a local artist come to Poplarville to join the efforts to help raise money for students to attend college is an exciting opportunity,” said Traci Spence, member of the Pearl River County Alumni Chapter and PRCC Foundation Board Member. “We are happy to have Adam Doleac bring his talent to the stage and we expect to have a great crowd.” 

Tickets for the concert are $17 for balcony seating and $22 for orchestra seating. They can be purchased at 


Doleac is a Hattiesburg native who attended Southern Miss to play baseball. During his time on campus, he also set the stage for a career as a singer-songwriter as most of his teammates played instruments. While honing his music skills, he co-wrote songs with teammates including an original song posted to YouTube that received millions of views and piqued the interest of Sony/ATV Nashville’s then-CEO, Troy Tomlinson. 

He moved to Nashville in 2012 which served as homebase for years of co-writing and tours before finally signing a deal with Sony/ATV. He worked on songs like Kane Brown’s “Pull It Off,” Darius Rucker’s “Don’t,” and Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Rollin” before launching his debut extended play (EP) titled Adam Doleac in 2017. The four songs on that EP had exposure on Sirius XM’s The Highway and their Highway Finds Tour. 

In October 2018, Doleac made his Grand Ole Opry debut. One year later, he signed with Arista Records with songs “Famous,” “Whiskey’s Fine,” “Another,” and “Meet Me in the City” growing in popularity on country stations across the nation.  

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

June 9, 2022 - 11:24am
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