Mississippi College and Hinds Community College Leaders Strengthen Transfer Process
May 30, 2012
A new agreement creates more educational opportunities for working adults at Hinds Community College and Mississippi College beginning this summer.
It took less than a minute for MC President Lee Royce and Hinds President Clyde Muse to sign their names on the documents Wednesday, but discussions between leaders at the two schools took years.
The agreement creates a “seamless transfer process” between Hinds, Mississippi’s biggest two-year college with 13,000 students last fall, and Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College with nearly 5,300 students.
Hinds graduates who are 25-years-old and up and enrolled in MC’s Accelerated Degree Program classes will now receive a ten percent per credit hour tuition reduction. Students don’t need to be enrolled full-time to receive the tuition break.
Royce, Muse and other school leaders announced details of the 2 plus 2 agreement at the community college’s Rankin campus in Pearl.
Just days after becoming MC’s new leader in 2002, Royce discovered so many former Hinds students were transferring to the Christian university in Clinton. “I thought I better get out of the office and see Clyde Muse,” Royce said. “We had a great meeting.”
It was the start of talks that led to closer ties between the two Mississippi institutions and ultimately led to the May 30 signing ceremony.
“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.”
Mississippi College receives the second highest number of Hinds Community College transfer students among all public and private four-year Mississippi institutions. In Fall 2011, there were nearly 900 Hinds transfer students enrolled at MC, including 149 Hinds first-time students.
“Those numbers speak to the strong relationships our institutions have and the students who benefit from the seamless transfer from the community college to Mississippi College,” Muse said. “Obviously, our students are always welcome at MC – there are not a lot of barriers.”
Founded in Raymond in 1917 with 117 students and a handful of faculty members, Hinds has seen extensive growth since then, with campuses including Raymond, Pearl, Vicksburg, Jackson and Utica. Founded in 1826, MC is the nation’s second oldest Baptist college and the largest private institution in Mississippi.
The new partnership will benefit people like Paula Moody, a 43-year-old Star native who works in the business office at Mississippi College. A 1995 Hinds business technology graduate, Moody plans to study accounting at MC beginning in August.
“I think it is a wonderful program,” Moody said when reached at the business office in Nelson Hall. “It makes it more convenient and affordable for the working adult.”
Joining MC and Hinds leaders on stage for Wednesday’s presentation on the Pearl campus, the 1986 McLaurin High graduate is typical of many adults juggling busy schedules as they work, raise a family and go to college.
Paula Moody should have no trouble finding a study partner in a few months. Her daughter, Cristina, is a May 2012 Hinds Community College graduate who will be a Mississippi College student this fall.
Joining officials for the announcement at George Wynne Hall, Mississippi College Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Howard says the partnership will produce more graduates.
Opening the door with evening classes for working adults at its Flowood branch and the main campus in Clinton, MC’s Accelerated Degree Program seeks to “increase access to educational opportunities and degree completion,” he said.
The new partnership is bound to solidify the decades-old pipeline that's existed between the nearby Mississippi institutions and will prompt others to go that route.
“Hinds CC is a great way to start your college career,” says MC senior Rebekah Way, a 21-year-old accounting student from Richland. "It makes college more personal, cheaper and closer to home,'' adds the 2011 Hinds graduate who attended the Rankin campus in Pearl. Rebekah is earning solid grades in MC's School of Business and is a student worker on the Clinton campus.
“Hinds CC prepared me greatly for MC by providing challenging classes and showing how people from all over can bond. This, I've taken with me to Mississippi College, a place of difficult classes, but also a family of people from all walks of life,” Way said.
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