Community colleges earn high praise


Staff Writer

   Mississippi’s community colleges are meeting the educational needs of today’s changing student body, according to a state board member from Grenada.
   Dolly Marascalco said that more than 100,000 students attend community colleges in the Magnolia State.
   The state has 15 community colleges, not counting satellite campuses.
   About 1,600 full-time students attend Holmes Community College in Grenada, according to numbers supplied by the school.
   “We like the fact that classes are smaller, and perhaps there’s more opportunity for one-on-one interaction with the instructor,” said Marascalco, who is one of two members serving on the Community College Board from the Second Congressional District.
   Marascalco was appointed to the board last spring by Gov. Phil Bryant. She was also confirmed by the Senate. Marascalco attends a meeting each month in Jackson, usually on the third Friday. Her term is for six years.

Unique student body
   According to Holmes Community College Vice President Dr. James Haffey, the vast majority of students attending the Grenada campus are what he called non-traditional students.
   “These are older students who need a flexible schedule or a career-based major, for example,” said Haffey.
   According to numbers supplied by Marascalco, about 20 percent of students enrolled in community colleges are career and technical students.
   “We try to accommodate them  (non-traditional students) with  offerings that include day, night, weekend, eight-week, summer, hybrid and online classes in just about any subject area they are interested in,” said Haffey.
   Nearly 29,000 Mississippi students are taking 64,826 online classes through community colleges, Marascalco said.  

For the full story, see the online edition or the printed edition of the GrenadaStar.

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