Northwest ABE instructor earns doctorate in community college leadership

StrehleNorthwest Mississippi Community College Adult Basic Education (ABE)/GED instructor Suzanne Strehle has completed her doctorate in Community College Leadership at Mississippi State University.

Strehle came to Northwest last fall as an instructor in the ABE/GED program. She and her husband recently settled in the Sardis area. Strehle said that working in the ABE/GED program has been a great opportunity for her while she was completing the work for her Ph.D

As an ABE/GED instructor, Strehle helps to prepare students to pass their GED exam by offering classes in reading, math, language, science and computer preparation, because the GED exam is now computer-based. Instructors work with students individually and in groups.

“I really love the population that we serve. For whatever reason, they did not finish high school and a lot of them really want to improve themselves with a better job or going to college or a career-tech program. It’s wonderful to get to help them work to that point of getting their GED and then get to see the next steps that they are taking,” Strehle said.

Strehle cherishes what she calls students’ “Aha!” moments – when a student finally gets a concept they are working on. “I knew I was going to be helping people, and that is probably what I have enjoyed the most and what surprised me the most. I am usually as excited as they are about their accomplishments,” Strehle said.

Before coming to Northwest, Strehle taught various high school science classes in the South Panola, Lafayette, Stone County and Gulfport School Districts. She served as an adjunct science instructor for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Itawamba Community College.

Strehle earned an associate degree from Northeast Mississippi Community College in pre-veterinary medicine. She earned her Bachelor of Science in secondary education with a concentration in biology and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Community College Education with a concentration in biology.

Her doctoral dissertation was entitled “An assessment of environmental sustainability guidelines at community and junior college campuses in Mississippi.” In her study, she reviewed the established sustainability guidelines in place in the 15 community and junior colleges in Mississippi and showed the ways in which the colleges interacted with environmental sustainability during the 2013-14 academic year. She said that she picked her subject matter because even though her degree is in community college administration, she wanted to incorporate her background in science.

Northwest ABE offers multiple free classes in Desoto, Calhoun, Tate, Marshall, Quitman, Panola, Lafayette and now Tunica counties. Recently, a new class started in Robinsonville in the new Tunica Training Center. ABE provides instruction in the skill areas of reading, writing, mathematics, employability, science and social studies. Classes feature individualized and group instruction. Many classes use computer-assisted learning. Instruction is conducted in schools, industries and other varied community sites. They also offer teacher-aide certification and career readiness certification.

For more information on Northwest’s ABE/GED program or the new GED test, visit the college’s website at or contact Beth Little, lead instructor at 662-562-4385. Visit their Facebook page at

Pictured: Northwest Mississippi Community College ABE/GED instructor Suzanne Strehle assists Rashad Mosley of Batesville in studying for his GED exam. Strehle recently earned her doctorate in community college leadership. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)

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