State releases 2018 Community College Report Card

The Education Achievement Council (EAC) has approved the 2018 Report Card for Northwest Mississippi Community College. In 2010, the Education Achievement Council was created by the state legislature to bring Mississippi's educational attainment and skill levels of the working-age population to the national average by 2025. Pursuant to §37-163-1, an electronic copy can be viewed at Copies can also be obtained from the college’s Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. The report cards show the progress that has been made toward educational goals for each community college and university. The measures that are used align closely with the Voluntary Framework of Accountability developed by the American Association of Community Colleges. College officials were pleased to report Northwest’s performance in nearly every measured category on the report —including student success, retention/progression, remediation, workforce development and community development—was higher than the state averages. In addition, data from the report shows that the average ACT score of the college’s entering freshmen is 18.8, slightly above the state average, and 1,830 degrees and certificates were awarded in 2018. In the area of student success, first-time, full-time Northwest students fared better than the state average in expected time of enrollment and transfer, with 19.6 percent of Northwest students transferring within 150 percent of the expected time to graduate, compared to the state average of 18.1 percent. A 13.2 percent average of Northwest students remained enrolled within 150 percent of the expected time to graduate, compared to the state average of 7.8 percent. Retention in Associate of Applied Science programs was 4.2 percent higher than the state average at 57 percent, while retention in the college’s Associate of Arts pathways rose above the state average of 58.8 percent this year with 59.4 percent. Total retention was at 59.6 percent, a full percentage point above the state’s total retention average. Northwest students also did well in progression—the time it takes to earn credits toward a degree. For first-time, part-time students, 38.6 percent earned at least 24 credit hours toward graduation by the end of their second year, compared to the state average of just 15.8 percent. First-time, full-time students earned at least 42 credit hours toward graduation by the end of their second year at a rate of 45.6 percent, one percent above the state average. In remediation success, Northwest students fared better than the state average for all students. The percentage of students who took developmental English and went on to successfully complete English composition I was 49.6 percent, slightly above the state average. The percentage of students who took developmental math and went on to successfully complete college algebra was 34.2 percent, almost even with the state average. Job placement of Northwest’s Career-Technical and health science graduates was 97.1 percent, which was more than 10 percentage points higher than the state average. Northwest’s CTE students earned 430 state- or nationally-recognized credentials, confirming that students in those programs are receiving a career-relevant education and attaining quality employment. The college’s Workforce Development Division is also providing necessary training to citizens of the 11-county district. More than 7,000 participants received workforce training in areas such as manufacturing, industrial maintenance, soft skills and safety/OSHA. In addition, more than 1,200 National Career Readiness Certificates (CRC) were awarded through the college’s WIN Job Center. The CRC is a nationally-recognized work skills credential that is widely used by employers to evaluate an employee’s or potential employee’s essential work skill level needed for success in jobs across industries and occupations. The college’s Adult Education Division awarded 254 High School Equivalency (HSE) diplomas, and 5.2 percent of students enrolled in college courses at Northwest were admitted with an HSE compared to the state average of 4.6 percent. Proving that Northwest’s Adult Education program is giving students the tools they need to be successful, 54.9 percent of those enrolled in the program saw a measureable skills gain, almost 5 percent above the state average. Information on the Community College Report Card includes student enrollment, degrees awarded, student success, student retention/progression, workforce development information, adult education statistics, as well as success in remedial coursework. Each report card includes information for the specific college, along with figures for the system. Most metrics are based upon a specified cohort of students, defined as a group of students who enter or start a program at the same time. Specific cohort definitions and dates are indicated with each metric. Cohort dates will vary, depending on whether the metric reflects entry or outcome data. Where possible, these Reports Cards use data being reported annually to the State Workforce Investment Board, the U.S. Department of Education, and to Complete College America. Other data comes in part from the Mississippi LifeTracks systems and have been independently validated by the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (nSPARC) at Mississippi State University.

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Horton completes Community College Policy Fellows Program

Jeff Horton, Northwest Mississippi Community College vice president for Administration and Finance (right) recently completed the Community College Policy Fellows Program (CPFP), a 10-month professional development program sponsored by the Mississippi Community College Board and the Alabama Community College System that focuses on four national program pillars: policy, leadership, networking, and advocacy. Horton was one of 13 Mississippi community college administrators who participated in the program. Pictured with Horton is U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. (Photo submitted) Northwest Mississippi Community College Vice President for Administration and Finance Jeff Horton was among several community college administrators who recently completed the Community College Policy Fellows Program (CPFP). Administrators from 14 Alabama community colleges and 13 Mississippi community colleges participated in the program. In addition to Horton, other Mississippi community colleges represented included East Mississippi Community College, Hinds Community College, Holmes Community College, Itawamba Community College, Meridian Community College, Mississippi Delta Community College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Northeast Community College, Coahoma Community College, Pearl River Community College, and the Mississippi Community College Board. The Community College Policy Fellows Program is a 10-month professional development program sponsored by the Mississippi Community College Board and the Alabama Community College System and directed by Tyson Elbert of AdvocacyBuild, LLC. The curriculum focuses on four national program pillars: policy, leadership, networking, and advocacy. Comparative elements of both state systems are highlighted throughout the program year as well. “This was a really interesting program and I was happy to be a part of it. We got to talk about community college issues on the federal level, and that was a new perspective for me, to be able to see what issues are across the country and not just Mississippi,” Horton said. The CPFP cohorts meet throughout the academic year to discuss state and national policies on education and to determine successful ways to advocate on behalf of Alabama and Mississippi college students. The fellowship program culminated in a trip to Washington D.C., for the Washington Advocacy Seminar, enabling the cohorts to meet with education policymakers. The 2019 Mississippi and Alabama CPFP cohorts focused on three policy issues/requests: (1) Protection of the Federal Pell Grant program, particularly max-Pell and the Pell surplus. Fellows will also request that students be able to use Pell for short-term certificate programs. (2) Second-chance Pell, specifically the passage of the REAL Act, which currently has bipartisan support. (3) New funding commitments ($150 million) for the Strengthening Community College Training Grants (SCCTG) to build on the success of the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants (TAACCCT) program. Horton was particularly interested in the issue of making Pell Grants available for short-term programs. “One example is Northwest’s Commercial Truck Driving program which is an eight-week program. We would like to see a Pell Grant for a program like that. I am very enthusiastic about this issue,” he said. While in Washington, D.C., the Fellows met with every member of Mississippi and Alabama’s congressional delegations. They also visited the Association of Community College Trustees, the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for American Progress, and the Vera Institute of Justice. “We had a warm welcome from our Mississippi delegation that included U.S. Representatives Michael Guest, Bennie Thompson and Trent Kelly and Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith. They were very welcoming and gave us a lot of their time. They were great to our group. I was so proud of them,” Horton said. Horton recently received a letter from Sen. Wicker informing him that after their meeting, Wicker cosponsored the JOBS Act, which would expand Pell Grant eligibility to include short-term training programs. Horton is a native of Jackson. He attended Hinds Community College and earned his Bachelor and Master in Professional Accountancy from Mississippi State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant. He and his wife, the former Dee Finch are the parents of one girl, Evie and three boys, Jake, Walter and Jack.

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Rush named Associate Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management

Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Michael Heindl (left) and Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Adam Pugh congratulate Dr. Tonyalle Rush on her promotion to associate vice president of Student Services and Enrollment Management. Rush was introduced to the board during their regular monthly meeting Oct. 17.  Photo by Julie Bauer   Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Michael Heindl has announced that Dr. Tonyalle Rush has been named the college’s associate vice president of Student Services and Enrollment Management. Rush, who currently serves as district director of the Beverly Brewer Stark Career Center, will assume her new duties Nov. 4. “I am excited about Dr. Rush’s promotion to this position, and I know she will continue in this great work of leading our Northwest Student Services Division,” said Heindl. Rush replaces Dan Smith as head of the college’s Student Services Division, which encompasses Recruiting, Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Development Center, Housing and Student Services/Activities. Smith will move to a full-time role as the college’s chief of Staff. “I am truly honored and excited to serve as the new leader of Student Services and Enrollment Management at Northwest,” Rush said. “My mission in life is to serve our students. The students and their needs must come first. I am passionate about students, and I’m looking forward to serving in this leadership role.” Rush has served as Career Center director in the Workforce Solutions and Career-Technical Education Division for one year, and previously served as evening programs director at Northwest’s DeSoto Center for over four years, where she led all aspects of the center—safety and security, instructional programming, auxiliary services, business services, and all student success offices. She came to Northwest in 2009 as a Career-Technical counselor for DeSoto Center. Rush earned her Doctor of Education with an emphasis in higher education from the University of Mississippi, and holds a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies and Master of Science in counselor education from Mississippi State University (MSU). She also earned a graduate certificate in psychology from Western New Mexico University. Before coming to Northwest, Rush worked as a testing coordinator in Disability Support Services, an intake counselor in Student Services and a counselor at MSU. While she was a student at MSU, she served as a peer counselor at Holmes Cultural Diversity Center and as a student assistant in Student Support Services. Since coming to Northwest, Rush has taught human growth and development, psychology and orientation as an adjunct instructor at the DeSoto Center. Rush is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Mississippi Counselors Association, the Mississippi Community and Junior College Counselors Association, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honor Society. She is a 2017 graduate of the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy and a member of Women in Higher Education, Mississippi Network. Rush is a native of Indianola, graduating from Gentry High School. Her parents, Tommie and Shelia Rush, still live there. Her mother, a retired educator with 31 years of service, inspired her to pursue education. She has three siblings, Roderick, Shafonda and Tommie III and three nieces and two nephews. She enjoys reading and watching movies, attending MSU athletic events and participating in her church activities at Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven. She is also active in her sorority through community service projects such as voter registration.

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Copeland named 2019 Homecoming queen

Northwest Mississippi Community College’s 2019 Homecoming Court was presented during halftime festivities Oct. 10.  Members of the court are (first row, l to r) escort Arquavious McKinney, Olive Branch; sophomore maids Hailey Wilson, Potts Camp and Emily Brown, Oxford, representing Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center; Victoria Sanders, Hernando and Queen Martasia Copeland, Independence, representing the Senatobia campus; Neely Berry, Southaven and Amia Kimble, Horn Lake, representing DeSoto Center; escort Gabe Waldrop, Senatobia; (back row, l to r) escort Ernest Minton, Indianola; freshman maids Colleen Gowen, Hernando and Jordon Pitts, Horn Lake, representing DeSoto Center; Kyla Ollie, Itta Bena and Kendall Martin, Southaven, representing the Senatobia campus; Hannah Summers, Camden, Tennessee, representing Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center; and escort Taylor Reed, Olive Branch.   Photo by Jennifer Corbin

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Theatre Department to present "Aida" in October

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Theatre Department will present its fall musical, Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida.” The show will be directed by Sadie Shannon, theatre chair. Performance times for the show are Wednesday, Oct. 23 and Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. All performances will be held in the Fine Arts Auditorium on the Senatobia campus. Tickets are $5 general admission and available at the door. Northwest students are free with student ID. “Based on the opera of the same title, Elton John and Tim Rice's ‘Aida’ is a love story unfolding a love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess who has been stolen from her country, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, the man they both love. The remarkably written libretto divulges tales of love, loyalty, betrayal and heartbreak,” Shannon said. The cast includes Brietta Goodman, as Aida; Bret Arton, Radames; Kate Walker, Amneris; Mya Murrell, Nehebka; Rodney Hall, Mereb; Daniel Thompson, Zoser;  Mike Lilly, Pharaoh and Jordan Hearvey as Amonsaro. Ensemble members include Austin Jones, Nelson Meredith, Alberto Genelle, Noah White, Chris Dlugach, Josh Genelle, Ian Duggan, Joshua Luther, Samuel Jones, Nathan Tillman, Chandler Abner, Matthew Deickhous, Abby Morton, Mary Cassidy McLaughlin, Iniyah Davis, Zaida Lugo, Skyler Smith, Ashley Blackburn, Summer Watson, Allison Alexander, Raylah Quarles, Iya-Marie Turner and Kaitlyn Williams. Crew members are Jasmine Kelley, stage manager and Skylar Gardner, Brittney Berryman and Chapel Chumley, assistant stage managers. Dr. Saundra Bishop is the musical director and Alyssa Algee is technical director. Austin Jones, Abby Morton, and Kate Walker are choreographers. “This is the largest show we have done and has the largest cast we have had in over 11 years. We are excited to be able to present this show to the community,” Shannon said. For more information, contact Shannon at 662-562-3329 or email

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Fall second mini-term session announced

Looking for a quick way to get some college credit? Northwest Mississippi Community College may have the answer for you. Northwest’s eight-week mini-terms are available on all campuses and online. Mini-terms were developed for students who wish to take courses over an eight-week span, instead of a traditional semester. Students who want to expedite their degree plan to graduate early, those who need to retake a class or those who want to come back to college to finish that last class toward a degree may take advantage of these courses. The second session of Northwest’s fall on-campus mini-terms will be held from Oct. 16 to Dec. 13. Open registration for the on-campus second fall mini-term session will be held Thursday, Oct. 10 through Friday, Oct. 11. Interested current students should see an adviser or go to myNWCC to register, and new students should contact the Recruiting Office at 662-562-3222 or, the Student Development Centers at the main campus (Tate Hall) in Senatobia and DeSoto Center, or the center dean (Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center). Late registration will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 16 and continue through Friday, Oct. 18. The college will be closed Monday, Nov. 25 - Friday, Nov. 29 for the Thanksgiving holidays, and classes will resume on Monday, Dec. 2. Final exams for second mini-term classes are Monday, Dec. 9 - Friday, Dec. 13. The second session of Northwest’s fall online mini-terms, offered through the college’s eLearning Office, will be held from Oct. 21- Dec. 12. Open registration for the online second fall mini-term session will be held on Friday, Oct. 18. Current students should see an adviser to register or contact the Recruiting Office for new admissions. Online classes begin on Monday, Oct. 21, and Friday, Oct. 25 is the last day to register for the second online mini-term sessions. The college’s offices will be closed Monday, Nov. 25- Friday, Nov. 29 for the Thanksgiving holidays, but online classes will continue. Final exams for the second online mini-term will be Monday, Dec. 2-Friday, Dec. 6. Northwest will offer nearly 40 on-campus classes and 60 online classes during the second mini-term session. Classes include Accounting, Beginning, Intermediate and College Algebra, Art Appreciation, Microsoft Word, Computer Concepts, American History, Music Appreciation, Public Speaking, Sociology, Economics, Psychology, Biology, English Composition, Literature and many others. For a complete list of the classes to be offered, visit and click on “MyNWCC.” Click on “Course Schedules” and select days or classes. For more information on mini-term classes visit the college’s website at For more information on classes at the DeSoto Center, call the Student Development Center at 662-996-1924 or email For information on the Oxford campus, call 662-236-2023. For information on online classes, contact eLearning at 662-560-5230.

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Don Clanton named 2019 Alumnus of the Year

Long-time Tate Countian Don Clanton has been named Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Alumnus of the Year for 2019. Northwest will hold its 2019 Homecoming festivities on Thursday, Oct. 10 on the Senatobia campus. Clanton will be honored during the Alumni Celebration beginning at 4 p.m. in the Haraway Center. Clanton attended Northwest from 1961-1963. Throughout the years, Clanton has been a vital part of the Northwest community serving as secretary of the Board of Trustees, as a member of the Northwest Foundation and as part-time manager of the Northwest Farm. These days, Clanton conducts informational seminars both on the campus and throughout Mississippi to help Mississippi educators and staff members who are retiring or have already retired. Clanton, one of four children of John and Blanche Clanton, grew up in the Independence area. He graduated from Independence High School as valedictorian of the class of 1961. Clanton said that during his time at Northwest, he basically went to class from 8 a.m. to noon and then off to his other jobs on a Mr. Brandon’s farm and as Independence Junior High School’s head football coach. “I got up at four in the morning to milk those cows, and then came on to class at eight o’clock. I took 65 hours at Northwest and I transferred 65 hours to Ole Miss. That is one thing I want students to remember—how important it is to make sure your classes will transfer,” he said. Clanton said he came to all of the games, but he was basically just a busy student taking general education classes and working his way through school. His favorite teachers were Mrs. Pauline Holladay, who taught English and Mr. Howard Carpenter, who taught social science. “I remember my English teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Chase was a tough one,” Clanton said. After Northwest he attended the University of Mississippi, graduating in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in history. He worked as a teacher and coach at Coldwater High School and attended Ole Miss part time until he received his master’s degree in school administration in 1971. During that time, Coldwater won the Chickasaw Conference triple crown in basketball, football and baseball, and were state champions in baseball. Clanton coached and served as athletic director at Southaven High School and principal of Walnut High School before returning to Senatobia as drug education specialist for Senatobia City Schools. He was elected as superintendent of Tate County Schools and served from 1976-1987 and again from 1995-2000. He also served as the Woodmen of the World representative and assistant administrator of Senatobia Hospital and one term as mayor of Senatobia (1989-1993) and two terms as alderman at-large (2009-2017). Throughout the years, Clanton has served as a member of the Senatobia Civitan Club, the Tate County Fair Board, the North Oaks Regional Medical Center and several educational boards, including the North Mississippi Education Consortium, where he represented Northwest. Today, Clanton is an active member of the Senatobia Optimist Club and president of the local lodge of the Woodmen of the World. He is an assistant commissioner of the Tate County Soil and Water Commission and a member of the Mississippi State Council on Aging, the Tate County chapter of Mississippi Retired Educational Personnel, the AARP Advocacy Board for Mississippi and the Tate County 4-H Board. Clanton is a member of First Baptist Church in Senatobia and volunteers his time working with the elderly at the Senatobia Arms Apartments, Providence Care Community and Senatobia Healthcare and Rehab. He is part of the Tate County Jail ministry and has played Santa Claus at schools, churches and in homes for 35 years. One of the things that is dear to his heart is the Northwest Foundation. He started as a member of the Foundation board in 1976. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Tate County Fair Board and Senatobia Optimist Club scholarships among others and has contributed to over 40 scholarships he said. “I think the Foundation is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened at Northwest because so many kids could not have come to Northwest without that help. I get letters from students later on in life thanking us for their Northwest scholarships,” Clanton said. “I have just wanted to make a way for students to attend school.” Clanton is married to the former Shirley Nazary of Jackson. He has three daughters, Audra Henson, Annette Carson and Cindy Jones; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. “All of my immediate family members attended Northwest except two, and they worked here. We are a Northwest family,” Clanton said. Having served as a coach, teacher, principal, superintendent, city mayor and alderman has made Clanton aware of the community’s need for Northwest and also his own desire to continue to encourage students to attend college. “From the mayor’s point of view, this is Tate County’s largest employer, and it contributes not only to education, but also economically. I am so proud to have Northwest as a part of our community, but we are really a family,” Clanton said. “I love Northwest. It is my second home.” Pre-game festivities begin at 6:35 p.m. and kickoff will be at 7 p.m. at Bobby Franklin Field when the Rangers will take on the Coahoma Community College Tigers.  Presentation of the 2019 Homecoming Court and the crowning of the Homecoming Queen by Northwest President, Dr. Michael Heindl will take place at halftime. For more information, contact the Alumni Office at 662-560-1112.    

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Winners announced for 2+2 golf tournament

Winners have been determined for the 13th annual BancorpSouth/Northcentral Electric Power Association (NCEPA) 2+2 Scholarship Golf Tournament, benefitting students from Northwest Mississippi Community College and the University of Mississippi at DeSoto Center. The event was held on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at Cherokee Valley Golf Club in Olive Branch. A total of 35 teams competed. Taking first place in the contest were (first photo, l to r) Jimmy Hill of Hernando, Gary Oakley and Mark Rowan, both of Senatobia and Greg Courts of Memphis. Second place winners were (second photo, l to r) Allen Palmer, Mike Herrington, Gil Earhart and Sid Garwood, all of Olive Branch. The third place winners were (third photo, l to r) Michael Parker of Hernando, Trey Howell of Cleveland, Brian Ledford and John Michael, both of Hernando. Closest to the pin in the morning flight were Tray Spann of Jackson, Tennessee and Will Sisk of Senatobia. Closest to the pin in the afternoon flight were Kevin Bland of Oxford and Dedric Mitchell of Senatobia. They each received a free round of golf at Cherokee Valley Golf Club. Winner of the longest drive for the morning flight was Willie McDowell and winner of the longest drive for the afternoon flight was Robert Johnson. Both also received a free round of golf at Cherokee Valley. The money raised from the tournament will go to the 2+2 Scholarship Initiative for scholarships to both colleges. Since its beginning in 2006, the tournament has generated over $200,000 toward scholarships. For more information, visit

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Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves visits Senatobia campus

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (center left) was welcomed to Northwest Mississippi Community College's Senatobia campus Sept. 19 to meet with college officials and faculty and staff before taking a brief tour of the college’s Agricultural Technology/John Deere Tech facility. Accompanying Reeves on the tour were (from left) Vice President for Workforce Solutions and Career-Technical Education, Dr. David Campbell; Vice President for Administration and Finance Jeff Horton; Northwest President, Dr. Michael Heindl; Chief of Staff Dan Smith; and Associate Dean of Workforce Solutions and Manufacturing Programs Dwayne Casey. (Photo by Julie Bauer)

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Broken Cup Cafe opens McLendon Center location

Northwest Mississippi Community College’s mascot Danger (center) cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Ranger Roast location of the Broken Cup in the McLendon Center on the Senatobia campus Sept. 19.  The coffee shop will be open five days a week and will feature coffees, blended drinks, smoothies, desserts, pastries and other food items. Present at the ceremony were (from left) Senatobia Mayor Greg Graves, owners William and Crystal Freeman, Danger the Ranger mascot, Northwest President Dr. Michael Heindl, Northwest Vice President for Administration and Finance Jeff Horton, and Director of Union Services Joel Boyles.  Photo by KayLeigh Mitchell

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