Northwest Foundation receives annual donation from Bancorp South

Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears and Sybil Canon, associate vice president of Development and Special Projects recently accepted a contribution of $6,000 from BancorpSouth to the Northwest Foundation, designated for their Share the Future annual scholarship. BancorpSouth has a 20-year history of giving to Northwest, according to Canon. Since 1998, they have given a total of $231,204 to the Foundation. In addition to their annual scholarship, BancorpSouth has donated $127,500 as a title sponsor to the Two Plus Two Golf Tournament, whose proceeds are divided between Northwest and The University of Mississippi DeSoto. They have donated money to Northwest’s annual rodeo, the Foundation Golf Tournament, The Floate Art Scholarship, the Northwest Ranger Football program, the literary magazine, Bela and Ruby Chain Endowment and the Chain/Haraway Golf Tournament. “We are very grateful for the years of generous support provided by BancorpSouth.  Through the corporate endowment, the annual Share the Future Scholarships, and the sponsorship of the BancorpSouth / Northcentral EPA Two Plus Two Scholarship, BancorpSouth has provided hundreds of scholarships to area students.  Their investment into the lives of our students will be realized as these students have meaningful, well-paying jobs and will, in turn, give back to their communities,” Dr. Spears said. For more information about the Northwest Foundation, contact Canon at srcanon@northwestms.eduor call 662-560-1105. Pictured: Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears (right) and Sybil Canon, associate vice president of Development and Special Projects (left) accept a donation from David Harbison, president of BancorpSouth, Senatobia for the annual Share the Future scholarship, in which two students are awarded full tuition scholarships. BancorpSouth has given $231,204 to the Foundation over the past 20 years.  (Photo by Julie Bauer)  

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President recognizes SkillsUSA students at Board of Trustees meeting

Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears, far left, recognized Northwest’s SkillsUSA participants at the May 10 Northwest Board of Trustees. Students in Northwest’s Career Technical programs traveled to Jackson on April 11 and 12 to participate in the SkillsUSA Leadership Conference and brought home 11 gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals. Front row (l-r) Dr. Spears, Jonathan Wilkes of Courtland, Carol McCain of Pope, Griselda Ramirez of Coldwater, Savannah McGuire of Gulfport, Sarah Jewell of Hernando and Bradley Carter of Senatobia. Back row (l-r) Bradley Turner of Batesville, Kelby Wall of Senatobia, Aaron Hill of Southaven, Mattew Richardson of Batesville, Mason Crocker of Jemison, Ala., Brian Wilkes of Courtland and John Forrest Franklin of Batesville. Not pictured, Brent Hollington of Flomaton, Ala., Matthew Howell of Moscow, Tenn., Wayne Kite of Senatobia and Abigail Robbins of Vaiden. (Photo by Julie Bauer)

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Collins receives special nursing scholarship

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Division of Nursing recently received a donation of $500 from a former student who is now a nurse educator. The recipient of the scholarship was nursing student Julia Collins of Senatobia, left. Collins was chosen to receive the scholarship for academic excellence in the nursing program. She was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Gamma Zeta chapter of Alpha Delta Nu, a national nursing honor society and a recipient of the Frances Marie Dean Endowment. Congratulating Collins is Dr. Denise Bynum, director, Division of Nursing, right.  (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)  

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Shoot for the Heart student volunteers receive cash scholarships

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Division of Nursing received a check for $6,000 from the Shoot for the Heart fundraiser held on April 19. The shooters at the event chose 12 nursing student volunteers to receive a $500 scholarship in recognition for their excellent service.  On hand for the check presentation were front row (l-r) Tammy Isbell of Hernando; Tom Pittman, president and CEO, Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi; Theresa Erickson, community development director, Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi; Patti Gordon, Northwest director of Alumni Affairs and Development Operations, Shasta Mullins of Charleston and Samantha Raburn of Como. Second row (l-r) Anabelle Hawkins of Como; Carla Dudas of Olive Branch; Vasity Acklin of Oxford; Amanda Lindsey of Byhalia; Allie Hutchens of Southaven, Hays Hudson of Batesville. Third row (l-r) Dr. Denise Bynum, director, Division of Nursing  andLeslie Legendre, administrative.  Not pictured, Nolan Shackleford of Senatobia; Christa Kramer of Southaven and Brandi Hammons of Olive Branch.  (Photo by Julie Bauer)  

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Dawson honored for 30 years of service to board of trustees

Bill Dawson of Byhalia, center, was honored for 30 years of service on the Northwest Mississippi Community College Board of Trustees at theirMay 10 meeting. Congratulating Dawson (l-r) are Northwest President Dr. Gary Lee Spears and Dr. Adam Pugh, Northwest Board of Trustees chairman. (Photo by Julie Bauer)

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President welcomes Abraham to graduation ceremonies

Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears, left, welcomes Dr. Jimmy Abraham, vice chairman, Client and Business Relations of Cadence Bank to graduation exercises on May 11. Abraham was the commencement speaker for the college’s 102ndCommencement ceremonies. Dr. Abraham is a retired associate vice president of Development and Alumni and executive director at Mississippi State University. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)

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Northwest’s Business Management Tech program preparing students for bright future

Renowned photographer Chris Grosser once said, "Opportunities don't happen. You create them.”  Students in Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Business Management Technology (BMT) program are given the chance to create opportunities for themselves by learning skills to help them create those opportunities effectively. The BMT program was launched in Fall 2016. It is a two-year program that pro- vides training in management with an emphasis on planning, organizing, and coordinating. Individuals are trained for career opportunities in production and distribution industries, small businesses, legal offices, insurance companies, financial institutions, and self-employment. Upon successful completion of this program, graduates earn the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Students in the program will complete Office Proficiency Assessment and Certifications. The program is offered on the Senatobia, Oxford and DeSoto campuses, and can be completed online. Like other Career and Technical Education programs, the BMT is on the 30/45/60 plan, according to BMT instructor Beth Dickerson. After the first 30 hours completed, students can exit the program with a Level 1 certificate, having taken basic classes such as QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel and Word, business accounting and mathematics and Social Media management. Students who choose to continue for another 15 hours and exit after 45 hours, will receive a Level 2 certificate, and will have taken classes in human resource management, career readiness and entrepreneurial problem solving. If they complete the next 15 hours in core academic classes, they can earn the AAS. “We are trying to gear students for either working in large companies or smaller businesses and give them the skills they would need to start their own business,” Dickerson said. She emphasized that career readiness was built into their curriculum. “We do things in our program across the board. We expect professionalism in their appearance, for them to write us clear concise emails. We also expect for them to call in if they are going to be absent or late,” Dickerson said. “They need these skills as an employee, but also if they start their own business, they need to know what to expect from their employees,” she added. Latasha Isom of Senatobia and Kim Beebe of Strayhorn were two of the first students in the program. Isom and her father have started a dry-cleaning business in Holly Springs. Isom graduated with her AAS in December. Beebe exited at Level II and is working at the Tate County Co-Op as a bookkeeper. Beebe plans to continue her studies and to earn her associate degree. Her husband and son both graduated from Northwest with welding career certificates. Beebe, a native of Las Vegas, came to Mississippi with Horseshoe Casino in 1993 when the casinos were established here. She had a lot of “on the job” training in finance. She was looking for a program that she thought would help her in her family’s pursuit to start their own business.  “This program struck a chord with me, since my husband and I have always wanted to start our own business,” Beebe said. “I felt it would help me and us.” She feels the program prepared her well for her job at the Co-op. “I had a lot of the background, but the program gave me a lot more confidence in what I am doing,” Beebe said. She likes working for a smaller company, having spent a good deal of her career in the corporate setting at the casinos. Beebe found herself out of work for a while and came back to Northwest as a non-traditional student. “Our instructors were all very knowledgeable and willing to sit down with you and help you until you were able to grasp the concepts you didn’t understand. I would highly recommend the program. People need to take advantage of it while they can. No matter what your age is, it is never too late to go back to school, “Beebe said. Isom started her college career pursuing a degree in nursing, but decided it was not what she wanted. “I did not want to give up on school completely. I really like to help people. I felt that if nursing was not for me, I could find another way to help people,” Isom said. She said that, and the fact that her father has owned a business since she was a child, motivated her to want to serve the community through her own business. She was very attracted to the BMT program and what it had to offer. Once Isom started her classes, she realized that her interest in the classes was an indication that she this was what she really wanted to do. “I came up with a plan in my head about what I wanted. The classes put you in a position to get ready to start a career, whether it is working for someone else or for yourself. It has really helped me out with my business,” Isom said. She too found the instructors to be helpful and knowledgeable. “They are amazing. If I could do it all over again, I would and I would tell anyone that Business Management is the place to be with those instructors. I would also encourage the students who are in the program currently to hang in there. If you are struggling, I would advise them to go to their teachers. They are there to help. As long as you ask for help, it will be given to you,” Isom said. For more information on the BMT program, visit the college’s website at and click on Programs. Select Technical Degree Programs. The program is listed on that page. Pictured: Kim Beebe of Strayhorn (left) and Latasha Isom of Senatobia (right) both recently completed the Business Management Technology program at Northwest Mississippi Community College. The program, which was launched in Fall 2016, is a two-year program that provides training in business management with an emphasis on planning, organizing, and coordinating. Beebe is currently employed at the Tate County Co-op and Isom has recently started her own dry-cleaning business in Holly Springs. (Photo courtesy of Beth Dickerson)  

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Northwest to offer summer continuing education credit classes

The Division of Continuing Education at Northwest Mississippi Community College is offering four classes on the Senatobia campus this simmer. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for the classes. All classes will be held on the Senatobia campus. American Sign Language (ASL) for Beginners(2.0 CEUs) If you are a child educator needing CEUs, a seasoned citizen looking for relief from arthritic hands, a family member of someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, or an adult just looking for ways to enrich your life, this is the class for you. ASL as a Second Language presents an American Sign Language class geared toward those who wish to learn America’s third most commonly used language for work, home, or enrichment. This class will offer you the essentials you need to engage in sign conversations and will cover an introduction to signing grammar, deaf culture, fingerspelling, as well as the most commonly used vocabulary signs. In this class, you will also receive information about how to carry on with self-instruction in order to maintain your signing skills for a lifetime. The class will be offered June 11-14 from 9 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. The fee is $100 and the class will be held in Berry 302. The deadline to register is June 4.   CPR Heartsaver and AED with First Aid (0.5 CEUs) This course is designed for those responsible for children’s health. It is intended for child care and foster care workers, teachers, recreation and other community staff, camp counselors and new parents, guardians, and other caregivers. In this course we will cover pediatric first aid, adult, child, and infant CPR with mask, and adult and child AED. Pediatric first aid topics include: eye injuries, fever; snake, spider, tick, and animal bites; stings and injuries and medical emergencies. The class will be offered on June 15 from 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.The fee is $75and the class will be held in the Berry Building, Room 302. The deadline to register is June 7. Microsoft Excel (1.6 CEUs) Students will learn how to get around in Excel without being intimidated by the program. Some of the things being taught will be setting up a workbook, setting up formulas, sorting, filtering, charts, using Excel in other programs, and printing. Excel is a computer program often preferred or required when employers are looking for new personnel. If you are looking to re-enter the working world, this would be an excellent class for you to take in order to have a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel. The class will be offered June 18-21 from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.The fee is $120 and the class will be held in the Tech III Building, Room 102. The deadline to register is June 11. Effective Classroom Management (2.0 CEUs) This course on Classroom Management covers basic skills and knowledge for creating a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction and effective communication among members of the learning community. In this course, participants examine strategies for managing their classrooms more effectively. Student behavior and misbehavior, techniques for classroom preparation, setup and management, and discipline models are explored. Participants learn how to establish and communicateexpectations in their classroom and create a positive learning environment. The class will be offered June 18-21 from 9 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.The fee is $135 and the class will be held in the Berry Building, Room 302. The deadline to register is June 11. To register for a class, drop by the Technical Education Building I, or visit the Northwest website at www.northwestms.eduand download the Continuing Education brochure which contains a registration form that can be returned to the office by mail or in person. Registration fees are refunded in full if the class for which an enrollment is full, the class is cancelled or the student notifies the office of Continuing Education prior to the registration deadline.  Class fees may be paid by cash, check or credit card. For more information, contact Daniel Hollowell, coordinator of Continuing Education at (662)560 – 5272 or email    

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Northwest summer session dates set; extended summer office hours announced

Open registration for summer 2018 sessions on all campuses at Northwest Mississippi Community College has been scheduled, according to college officials. College officials have also announced that the Recruiting, Admissions and Records and Financial Aid offices, all located in the Yalobusha Building on the Senatobia campus, will offer extended hours this summer. Their hours will be 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., and the offices will remain open during lunch (noon-1 p.m.) on May 24, 25, 29 and 30 for summer registration. They will close for lunch on May 31 and June 1. Beginning June 4, the offices will remain open during lunch each day until the end of fall late registration on Aug. 24. On Aug. 27, the offices will return to their regular hours of 8 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. The Financial Aid Office at DeSoto Center is open every day during lunch. Open registration for first session day classes will be held on Friday, May 25, from 8 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Day classes for the first summer session begin on Tuesday, May 29. Wednesday, May 30 is the last day to register for the first summer session or to make schedule changes. Friday, June 15 is the last day to withdraw from a course, and final examinations will be held on Friday, June 22. Open registration for the second session day classes is Monday, July 2 from noon – 3:30 p.m. Second session day classes begin on Tuesday, July 3. The college will be closed on Wednesday, July 4 for Independence Day. Thursday, July 5 is the last day to register or make schedule changes. The last day to withdraw from a course is Friday, July 20, and final examinations are Friday, July 27. Open registration for summer evening classes will be held on Thursday, May 24 from 4:30.-7 p.m. and from 8 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 25. The college will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 28. Evening classes begin on Tuesday, May 29, and Wednesday, May 30 is the last day to register or make schedule changes. Classes will not meet on Wednesday, July 4 for the Independence Day Holiday. Friday, July 6 is the last day to withdraw from a course. Final exams for Monday and Wednesday classes will be held on Monday, July 23. Final exams for Tuesday and Thursday classes will be held on Tuesday, July 24. Finals for lab classes will be held Monday-Thursday, July 23-26. Open registration for summer online classes will be held from 4:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 and from 8 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 25. Classes begin on Tuesday, May 29. The last day to withdraw from virtual classes is Friday, July 7. The last day of classes is Friday, July 20. Final exams will be held Monday-Friday, July 16-20. The Summer 2018 schedule can be accessed online at by clicking on the myNWCC tab, and then clicking on Course Schedule. For more information contact the Office of Admissions and Records at 662-562-3220.

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Northwest MI-BEST Health Care Assistant Class makes history

Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Fall 2017 Mississippi Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (MI-BEST) Health Care Assistant class has earned its place in history as the first class of its kind in Mississippi to achieve a 100 percent pass rate on both their state board certification exams and high school equivalency tests (HSEs). “We are extremely proud of them,” said Elizabeth Kairit, MI-Best coordinator. Kairit said that the students were taking a full load of 15 college hours, including clinical rotations and at least four hours a week of Adult Education classes to prepare for their HSE. The class was very diverse, according to Rachelle Washington, MI-BEST Student Navigator. “We had a class of 19 females ranging in ages from 18-46 and coming from Tate, Panola, Marshall and DeSoto counties and even one who came from Calhoun City every day. She had perfect attendance, and that shows you the level of determination this class had,” Washington said. The MI-BEST program, which is funded by the Department of Labor and the W.F. Kellogg’s Foundation, is open to Mississippi residents aged 18 and older who have not earned a high school diploma. According to Kairit, potential students are referred to her office after they take the Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) and are assessed at a high enough level. “If they score high enough, we contact them and if they are interested in the program, they come in for an interview,” Kairit said. She explained that students are drug tested at the beginning and randomly throughout their classes. They also have a mandatory orientation session. “This class had a strong group of students. When they met in orientation, you could just sense the excitement and they instantly bonded with each other. When we first went and met with them in class, I challenged them to be the first group with a 100 percent pass rate,” Kairit said. At Northwest, MI-BEST students can choose college classes in manufacturing or health care. According to Kairit, there are 12 seats for the manufacturing pathway, and 20 for health care. Upon completion of the MI-BEST program, in order to achieve the Mississippi Competency Based HSE, students will have achieved Silver level of the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) 15 hours of college credit, the Smart Start credential and an industry-recognized credential. They will be TABE-tested again at the completion of the program and will have to earn an Educational Functioning Level (EFL) 5/6 level on the test. The MI-BEST program is free to students. Kairit said that in this class, eight of the students scored gold and 11 scored silver on the NCRC. All of the students are certified in CPR and have earned the Smart Start credential. Since the students have completed the program, 15 of the 19 are working in the health care field, two are working outside of their field, and two are returning to school. “We encourage them to make the best decision based on their own family circumstances, but I would say that at least 50 percent of our students continue their education in some way. If they have to go to work, we get them connected with the WIN Job Center to try and help them find a job,” Washington said. Both Kairit and Washington stated that they are actively recruiting students for the Fall 2018 semester for both the health care assistant and manufacturing technology programs. “We owe a big debt to the WIN Job Center folks and to our Adult Education instructors here at Northwest. We are lucky to have a great team here at Northwest. Our instructors go above and beyond to help students be successful,” Washington added. For more information on the MI-BEST program at Northwest, contact Kairit at 662-560-1135 or email ekairit@northwestms.eduor Washington at (662) 562-3715 or

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Northwest Mississippi Community College
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