Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Another area college has joined the ranks of the coveted Military-Friendly Schools list.
East Mississippi Community College has been named to the 2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities.
The list, published annually in the December issue of Military Advanced Education, followed a questionnaire sent to institutions of higher learning, completed at EMCC by Military Liaison and District Director of Job Placement and Work Based Learning Linda Gates and Veterans Affairs Advisor Sandra Hearron.
“Our president and everyone on the EMCC team realize how important the military is in our district and to the country. Having Columbus Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Meridian and Reserve Component Units so near our largest campuses is a major plus and we work closely with both,” said Gates.
EMCC has branch campuses on both military installations. Both branches admit civilian students and military dependents, but were founded with the intention of offering continuing education opportunities to active duty military members while supporting the missions of both bases.
“Not all institutions understand that military men and women are on call 24/7. Our instructors are exemplary in that respect,” said Gates.
In addition to the base campuses, Gates cited a number of community outreach programs aimed at active duty and veteran military members and their dependents.
“To expand our services, we partner with the Sonny Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans at Mississippi State University and WIN Job Centers. Our Workforce Services division offers free short-term courses to veterans. We provide college credit and short-term training to spouses at the base branches, including a listening service which allows foreign spouses to audit courses as a method of familiarizing themselves with our language and culture while advancing their education,” said Gates.
“Many spouses have taken advantage of these opportunities. I know of one woman from Thailand who is about to get her two-year degree with us and another spouse from Argentina who is auditing English Comp II.”
On Wednesday, Gates hosted EMCC’s Annual International Spouses Luncheon at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point. The outreach event invites spouses of foreign military and civil service members stationed at CAFB to eat lunch together, meet one another and share aspects of their home country’s culture.
At EMCC’s Golden Triangle and Scooba campuses, events such as Proud to Be an American Day and God Bless America Day pay tribute to the military. Army and Air Force ROTC classes are offered and military recruiters are invited to attend events such as job fairs and college transfer fairs. And active duty and retired military are admitted free of charge to all EMCC sporting events.
The speaker for this year’s Proud to be an American Day, Nov. 13 at the Golden Triangle campus in Mayhew, is Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins, adjutant general of the Mississippi National Guard