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Northwest hosts junior high school math competition

The Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics Junior High Math Competition was held recently on the Senatobia campus of Northwest Mississippi Community College. On March 20, students from surrounding district schools traveled to the campus for testing. Northwest math instructors Susan Leake and Jennifer Hale coordinated the event. Seventh grade winners were Noah Lee of Southaven, son of Melissa and Jeff Lee, Northpoint Christian School, first place, and Vincent Wang of Holly Springs, son of Tommy and Cindy Wang, Marshall Academy, second place. Eighth grade winners were Jesse Taylor of Olive Branch, son of Pam and Scott Taylor, first place and Reagan Forsythe of Byhalia, son of John Forsythe and Michelle Forsythe, second place. Taylor and Forsythe are both students at Northpoint. According to Wayne Ferguson, director of Mathematics Instruction, the students were first tested at their individual schools, and the four top scorers from 7th and 8th grades were sent to Northwest for the district level test. “It is a pleasure for Northwest to host outstanding students from area junior high schools each spring for this district-level competition. It is exciting to see how talented the students are and to witness their enthusiasm. The teachers who are training these gifted mathematics students are to be commended. Susan Leake and Jennifer Hale always do a superb job of coordinating this event,” Ferguson said. For more information on Northwest, visit the college’s website at northwestms.edu. Pictured: Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Mathematics Department recently sponsored the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) Junior High Math Competition on March 20 on the Senatobia campus. Students from the Northwest district participated in the district-level competition. Pictured are (l-r) seventh grade winners Noah Lee of Northpoint Christian School, first place, and Vincent Wang of Marshall Academy, second place. Eighth grade winners were Jesse Taylor, first place and Reagan Forsythe, second place. Taylor and Forsythe are both students at Northpoint. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)  

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John Deere Tech program holds open house

The Agricultural Technology/John Deere Technology Open House at Northwest Mississippi Community College was held on March 8. Visitors were able to tour the campus and Ag-Tech facility, hear about the future of farming technology and learn about general aspects of the college such as financial aid and housing at the event.  John Deere Technology students demonstrated what to expect from the program. Clint Trotter, a sophomore from Indianola, demonstrates one of the program’s newest engines. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)

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Jazz Ensemble to present concert March 28

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Jazz Ensemble will present a concert on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium on the Senatobia campus. The Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of John Ungurait. The concert is free to the public. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)  

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Northwest to offer summer health care assistant class

Northwest Mississippi Community College is offering a health care assistant (HCA) class during the Summer 2019 semester. The classes will be held on the Senatobia campus Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. The classes will begin June 3. Financial aid is available for the program and should be completed as soon as possible. Applications are being taken currently and spots are limited. The HCA admission application is on the college’s website and program packets are required to secure a spot. Program packets can be picked up on the Senatobia campus in Tech 1 Room 119. For more information, contact Teri Selby, 662-560-1111. Visit the college’s website at northwestms.edu for more information on Financial Aid and the HCA program.  

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Northwest alumni association board sets 2019 event plans

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Alumni Association Board of directors met on March 4 to discuss plans for 2019 events. Coming up on March 22 is the Northwest Baseball Reunion honoring Coaches Jim Miles and Donny Castle. The Ranger Bluegrass Festival, presented by Gateway Tire is set for Oct. 4 and 5 at the Northwest Farm. The Alumni Association will sponsor the Alumnus of the Year and the Sports Hall of Fame Alumni Reception during the college’s 2019 Homecoming festivities on Oct. 10. “Look for the Northwest Alumni Tent at Senatobia’s Five Star City Fest this year and also at Hernando’s A-Fair,” said Patti Gordon, executive director of the Office of Institutional Advancement. The board is made up of officers, a representative from each of the 11-county district the college serves and two at-large members. A Northwest staff member, faculty member and student are also chosen in an effort to improve communication between the Alumni Association and the college. For more information, contact Gordon at 662.560.1103 or email pgordon@northwestms.edu. Pictured: The Northwest Mississippi Community College Alumni Board of Directors met recently to discuss plans for its upcoming year. Seated (l-r) areBonnie Burkes, secretary-treasurer; Brenda Holmes, Lafayette County; Jackie Myrick, vice president; Marvelene McCullar, at-large representative and Betty Kilgore, Quitman County. Standing (l-r) Patti Gordon, executive director, Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA); Carson Embrey, student representative; Jeff Horn, Tunica County; Don Randolph, Marshall County; Paul McCullar, Tate County; Mike Boren, president; Steve Box, Calhoun County; Robert Salmon, Tallahatchie County; Stephanie Cook, accounting coordinator, OIA and Marla Kennedy, advancement specialist, OIA. Not pictured, Celeste Wilson, DeSoto County.  (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)  

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Taylor Fore building receives signage

Pictured:Physical Plant workers at Northwest Mississippi Community College install the signage for the Taylor Fore Transportation Center on the Senatobia campus. The building was named in memory of Fore, a beloved Physical Plant employee who lived in Senatobia. The Taylor and Anita Fore Endowment, established by Physical Plant employees, provides a Northwest Foundation scholarship for eligible students. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)   

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Upcoming Reading Roundtable set for March 26

The March meeting of Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Reading Roundtable, made possible with funds from Sycamore Bank, will be held on Tuesday, March 26 at 2 p.m., in the R.C. Pugh Library on the Senatobia campus. Leading this month’s discussion will be Meg Ross, director of the Northwest Student Development Center. Meet Eleanor Oliphant. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, written by Gail Honeyman,is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open your heart. The purpose of the program is to provide a forum to read and discuss a variety of books during the course of every semester. Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month. Participants must fill out a registration form, and those wishing to purchase a copy of the book being discussed may do so for $5. Personal or library copies may also be used. For more information or to register, contact Dr. Melissa Wright, director of Learning Resources at (662) 562-3277 or e-mail mwright@northwestms.edu.  

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Community Colleges ask legislators to face the facts & support community colleges

JACKSON- In an effort to get the Mississippi Legislature’s attention, community college presidents, faculty, and students reminded everyone at a Capitol building press conference that community/junior colleges provide a vast array of educational and economic opportunities for everyone. Additionally, two-year colleges provide a healthy return on every dollar spent on the nation’s oldest community college system. MACJC Legislative Co-Chair and Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith encouraged legislators to “face the facts.” “For every dollar invested in the community college system, the return on the investment is $4.86.  That’s a worthwhile investment if you’re just talking about an investment but what about the people?” asked Smith. Long lists of facts were shared with the crowd—Mississippi ranks fourth in the nation in the percentage of students who transfer from community colleges to four-year universities, beating the national average by 8 percent. In 2017, community/junior college students earned 20,432 degrees, certificates and awards which is a 42 percent increase over 2011. Regarding economic development, community colleges served 551 companies with workforce training. “Folks, we have to pay the bill,” said MACJC President and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College President, Dr. Mary Graham. “It’s time Mississippi legislators get some help for our community/junior colleges. People continue to pat community colleges on the back, saying ‘you’re doing a great job,’ but continuous pats on the back without financial support begin to feel like kicks in the teeth.” Northwest Mississippi Community College Student Government Association President Adam Conner of Southaven has experienced similar disappointment when he had to quit college the first time he took classes at Northwest because of difficulties in chemistry. When he tried to return a year later, he learned he was not eligible for the Pell Grant. Conner didn’t feel financially apt as an 18-year-old to take out a loan, so he waited until he turned 24 to be eligible for aid as an independent student. “A quality education provides an array of benefits but there are many barriers to success. Rising tuition, time, and financial aid restrictions keep countless Mississippians from accessing higher education,” he explained. “Every Mississippian is entitled to opportunities for educational and professional growth.” Without more support for community colleges, Dr. Jim Haffey is concerned more people will be dependent on the state. The MACJC legislative co-chair and Holmes Community College president shared his mother’s story. She earned her nursing degree at Hinds Community College after 20 years of raising kids and being a housewife. He calculated a 1,600 percent return on the states’ investment in her education from the state taxes she paid over the 26 years she worked at a rural county hospital. Haffey is challenging legislators to provide support so anyone who wants an education can be served. “There are hundreds of Mississippians who do not get a chance to enroll at an allied health program every year because we have limitations on our space. We stand poised to help hundreds, but we cannot open or expand new programs without a strong commitment from the state. Two years ago, the community colleges were cut 11 percent while the state made other areas a priority. I’m asking the legislature to restore those cuts immediately and invest in a proven economic development entity—the Mississippi community colleges.” Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, added community colleges are the best value for the taxpayers and individuals seeking an education. “The community college system does it all while offering affordable college tuition, and with every experience you can find at a university. But, you can also (earn a degree) and begin work without a large debt. The community college’s purpose is to put people to work and it’s the best value to Mississippi’s economy.” Longtime community college supporter and Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann urged community college leaders to continue to share their “good value” message because two-year colleges make a difference.  While visiting schools across the state, Hosemann said he has met first-generation college graduates and problem solvers thanks to community colleges. “The first autistic child was diagnosed in 1947 in Mississippi. It’s a growing problem but what are we going to do? How are we going to educate teachers who haven’t been faced with the challenges of teaching an autistic child? We went to the community colleges and they devised a program and it’s taught at Holmes.” While the successes of community colleges are abundant, administrators are faced with the challenge of funding a system that continually lacks support from legislators. For every dollar spent on education only 7 cents go to community colleges, while 18 cents go to colleges and universities and 75 cents fund kindergarten through 12th grade. Community college leaders are asking for legislators to spend a dime of every dollar to educate the 100,000 students and the additional 70,024 individuals seeking skilled training. “We are not just another group of people who want more money,” said Meridian Community College Associate Degree Nursing Instructor, Dr. Holly Crane. “We, the community colleges are the catalyst that grows this economy and we are simply asking our legislators, our leaders, to invest in us like we invest in our students.” Pictured: Northwest Mississippi Community College Student Government Association President Adam Conner speaks to the media about his experience as a community college student during a press conference at Capitol Day, sponsored by the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges Feb. 27. Leaders, students and staff of the state’s community colleges called for adequate funding support during the legislative session.  (Photo by Julie Bauer)    

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Northwest ranked fourth in state in NCLEX-RN pass rates in 2018

Dr. Denise Bynum, director of instruction for the Northwest Mississippi Community College Department of Nursing announced that students in the Dec. 2017 and May 2018 graduating classes achieved a 93.9 percent pass rate on their first try taking the National Council of Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®). Northwest had 82 graduates take the test in 2018. According to Bynum, Northwest ranked fourth of the 25 schools of nursing in the state of Mississippi and second among Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) programs. Bynum stated that so far, 35 of the 50 graduates of the Dec. 2018 class have taken the NCLEX-RN® in 2019. “Up to this point, we have a 100 percent pass rate on the first try. Our goal is to be number one in the state and especially in the ADN programs. We are well on our way to reach that goal,” Bynum said. She stated that all nursing program outcomes including NCLEX-RN®  pass rates, program completion rates and employment rates are kept up to date and can be found on Northwest’s website under the Nursing section. For more information on the nursing program, contact Bynum at 662-562-3453 or email dtbynum@northwestms.edu. Visit the nursing section of the college’s website at northwestms.edu/nursing.

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President gives keynote address at annual EDF banquet

Northwest Mississippi Community College President Dr. Michael Heindl was the keynote speaker at the 21st annual Tate County Economic Development Foundation banquet on Feb. 26. Heindl gave a brief overview of the college’s history and connection to Tate County and outlined the college’s new strategic plan for 2019-2022. He also shared the college’s plan for growth and improvement in several areas over the next few years.  (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)    

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