Hinds Community College and Mississippi College Strengthen Partnership
August 19, 2013
Charise Scott dreams of helping people at a counseling center after earning a sociology degree at Mississippi College in May 2014 and pursuing graduate studies.
A 21-year-old MC senior, Charise credits Hinds Community College with getting her on track a few months after she enrolled. Attending Hinds for two years, she said, “taught me how to have a strong work ethic, learn crucial study habits, the importance of getting involved around campus and meeting new people.”
The Clinton resident is among hundreds of Mississippi College students reaping positive benefits from their Hinds experience. The nearby colleges have enjoyed a close-knit relationship for decades and the partnership is even stronger today thanks to a new two plus two agreement.
Hinds enrolls more than 17,000 students and increasingly, many are making MC their next academic stop. Mississippi College ranks No. 2 among the state’s four-year colleges when it comes to enrolling Hinds transfers, new reports show. Hinds students come from campuses including Raymond, Jackson, Utica, Pearl and Vicksburg.
Students like Scott represent shining examples of those numbers. A singer in three musical ensembles at Hinds, Scott is making her voice heard as a member of the MC Singers and student recruiter on the Clinton campus.
Scott enjoyed being in the spotlight on stage in musicals like “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum” at Hinds and with the MC Music Department’s production of “Ragtime” last fall.
Homeschooled growing up in Vicksburg, Charise is also singing the praises of the close-knit relationship between Mississippi’s largest community college and Mississippi College, the Magnolia State’s biggest private university with more than 5,000 students.
“I’ve met some of the most amazing people both at Hinds and MC, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have been able to spend time at both colleges,” Scott said. Faculty and staff on both campuses “have changed my life,” she added.
Scott plans to pursue a masters in counseling psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy following her MC graduation.
Boosting the relationship between the two Mississippi schools was the agreement signed by Hinds President Clyde Muse and MC President Lee Royce in May 2012 creating a “seamless transfer process” from one institution to the other.
The pact also says that Hinds graduates 25 years old and up and enrolled in Mississippi College’s Accelerated Degree Program will receive a 10 percent per credit hour tuition reduction. Students don’t need to be full-time to get the break. Meeting two evenings per week, ADP classes include business administration, accounting, communications, sociology and marketing.
A 1995 Hinds graduate, Paula Moody is working on an accounting degree at Mississippi College as the university begins its 188th academic year. She expects to graduate in two years. On-line classes at Hinds and other courses “went really good and the classes have gone well at MC, too,” she said.
An accounts receivable clerk at Mississippi College’s business office, Moody is a 44-year-old Star native who’s typical of the vast pool of adult learners juggling families with careers and college.
“Many of our students are adult learners seeking a timesaving path to their bachelor’s degree,” Muse said. “This agreement will help make that possible.”
So far, it’s worked well. The agreement, said MC admissions recruiter Brandi Chancellor, “has helped students feel confident in taking classes at Hinds and knowing that their classes will transfer to MC.”
Mississippi College admissions director Kyle Brantley estimates that nearly 40 percent of the university’s incoming class consists of transfers. “They are a vital part of our Mississippi College community and we are proud to have such a partnership with Hinds,” he said. “It benefits not only MC and Hinds, but the students as well.”
Reports show there were nearly 900 Hinds transfers at MC in Fall 2011.
Plenty of former Hinds students are thriving at Mississippi College. An elementary education major, Audrey Reed graduated from the Hinds campus in Pearl in May 2011. All of her credits transferred to the Baptist-affiliated university. The Brandon resident says she loves both colleges.
Both schools, Reed said, feature small classes with quality instructors so she gets to know her teachers. Her plans are to teach either in Mississippi or East Asia. “I never regret my two years at Hinds,” she said. “ I believe Hinds helped prepare me for Mississippi College.”
For more information, contact Mississippi College’s Brandi Chancellor at 601.925.3839 or Caley Forbes at 601.925.7617.
Photo: Mississippi College senior Charise Scott of Clinton, a former Hinds Community College student