Meridian Star

Local News

May 9, 2013

MCC shatters all-time graduation record

MERIDIAN —     Meridian Community College will graduate an all-time record number of students for the Spring 2013 term with commencement ceremonies to be held Friday evening at the Evangel Temple. The program will begin at 7 p.m.

    MCC Dean of Student Services Soraya Welden said 554 students will be awarded their Associate Degrees and certificates this term, bringing MCC’s total number of graduates for the school year — summer, fall and spring terms combined — to 900, making it one of the college’s most successful years ever.

    “This is a wonderful way for MCC to top off its 75th anniversary year-long celebration,” said Dr. Scott Elliott, college president. “I attribute the success we’ve had in graduating our students to the excellence of instruction at the college in tandem with an array of student support services, including everything from counseling and advising to our Student Success tutorial center to the library staff and a host of others.

    "It takes a total team effort – everyone working together to help students persist in reaching their goals – to set this kind of record for a small community college.”

    Welden said that that college had been successful in developing several new strategies to elevate its graduation rate. As an example, MCC has articulated with universities on a “reverse transfer” graduation policy, under which local community college students can complete an Associate Degree at the university to which they have matriculated. She also cited MCC’s strong efforts to promote the value of an Associate Degree with the slogan “Start. Finish. MCC.”

    According to figures released earlier this school year by the Obama Administration, MCC recorded the highest graduation rate in the state among Mississippi’s 15 community colleges.

    “I’m really proud of the record our students and staff have achieved on graduation rates,” Elliott said. “Our slogan promoting the theme ‘Start and Finish’ kind of says it all. It’s a special thing to set a high goal and work hard to achieve it.  Earning a degree or certificate does more than validate a specific job skill; it tells a prospective employer that you, as an individual, possess the discipline to adhere to a prescribed regimen of activities that are required to earn that diploma. If you can do that in school, then you should be able to do the same on the job.”

    Elliott also noted that MCC is “very fortunate” to be able to hold the commencement program at the Evangel Temple.

    “Brother Mike Boles and the Evangel Temple family have been tremendous supporters of MCC,” Elliott said. “Our spring commencement services have drawn as many as 4,000 people in the past. The Evangel Temple is the only indoor, climate-controlled  facility in Lauderdale County that can accommodate that kind of crowd.

    "It is also equipped with state-of-the-art sound and multi-media equipment, which greatly enhances the program. We can’t say thank you enough to brother Mike for his graciousness in hosting this major event.”

     Besides the awarding of diplomas, the program will feature the MCC Dimensions Show Choir, under the direction of Twyla Hurst and Tammy Miles, performing “Remember Me This Way.” The college’s top students will also be recognized with the announcement of the “Circle of Excellence” award winners, as well as the H.M. Ivy Scholarship recipients being honored.

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