This article first appeared in The Meridian Star
At Meridian Community College we have an incredible history of connecting opportunity and motivation with success and I am truly proud to lead an institution focused on the premise that together we can make a true difference in the community we serve. As we move toward 2019, I believe we need to think even more about how we can partner with others to create growth and open doors for all of us to invest in the future our region.
Building Bridges with K-12 Partners: You likely know that hundreds of students across our city and county take rigorous courses from MCC that allow them to earn both high school and college credit. We also host, co-host, and sponsor dozens of events ranging from reality fairs to workshops, music and fine arts activities, as well as training opportunities for both students and educators because we believe our community will be stronger when we’re all moving forward together. Continuing to explore how we can build bridges for Meridian and Lauderdale County’s next generation will be a centerpiece in 2019.
University Partnership Opens Doors: Our relationship with MSU-Meridian is also important. Communities our size rarely have a nationally ranked community college and a campus of one of the finest research institutions in the country, but we have both! A student, in fact, can receive a high quality and extremely affordable education without leaving Lauderdale County. While we have many pieces of a solid relationship in place, we’re just getting started exploring how the MCC and MSU-Meridian partnership can impact our community and are committed to working together to create even more higher education opportunities for those who call this place home.
Industry Partners Make a Difference: Anderson and Rush, two of the best names in healthcare, have long-standing positive partnerships with MCC that impact the quality of life of tens of thousands of people in this part of the world. The Riley Foundation is committed to preparation for current and future jobs in this region by providing support for the MCC-Riley Workforce Development Center, and the Phil Hardin Foundation invests important resources in our Honor’s Program, which allowed it to grow from a dozen to nearly 70 students in just a few short years. Both organizations are significant gamechangers for this college and our community. The list of MCC partners is growing and includes names like DeWalt, Haas, AT&T, NASA, and Under Armour, just to name a few. Partnerships with industries and organizations will be even more important in the years to come and MCC will be well-positioned for success.
The National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) analysis suggests that a community college education provides a return on investment of 386%, which is the highest return for all tax dollars spent in our state. MCC works every day to grow that impact by partnering with colleagues in K-12, higher education, and business and industry because we know that working together will bring strength and growth to Meridian and Lauderdale County.