Cockrell: Ready to start again

MCC fall classes begin Aug. 19

Meridian Community College incoming sophomore Brian Cockrell is eager to return to college.

“I’m taking classes in my major now, and I’m ready for it,” the 19-year-old business administration student from Meridian said.

Cockrell is one of the many who are readying for Fall Semester 2019 at MCC which begins Monday, Aug. 19. “It is an exciting time at Meridian Community College. There is a buzz on campus, and we are excited to welcome our students back,” said Deanna Smith, dean of student services at the College.

“With our exceptional University Transfer Program and our outstanding workforce education programs, there is something for everyone. We would love to help anyone get started,” Smith said

Cockrell said he’s planning on going into this year by working harder and seeing where it takes him. It’s a mantra that has worked for him. “I strive for up and above … not settling to get by,” he said. A full-time and honors student, Cockrell also works part-time at Office Depot, which has given him insight in his major. He’s active on campus, serving as vice president of leadership in the MCC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international academic honor society. He is also a member of the Phil Hardin Foundation Honors College at Meridian Community College.

His determination paid off in getting into the Honors College. Not quite making the required score on the ACT for an invitation to Honors College, Cockrell worked on his grades his first semester and was admitted to the Honors College carrying a 3.8 grade point average – higher than the required 3.5 GPA.

“I’m a people person. I love meeting new people, meeting new friends. And that’s what Honors College does for me. It’s great on resumes, and when you apply for university, they (college officials) want to see that. It’s great to get involved,” Cockrell said.

What’s his advice to others sitting on the fence about whether they should go to college or not? “I would tell them you’re investing in your future. Your future is something you should want to focus on because college is that stepping-stone. If you want to be successful, if you want to have a bright future, college is one of the best ways to go. You’re getting an education; you’re getting a degree,” he said.

Coming to MCC was a natural choice for Cockrell. It’s close to home, and it offers Tuition Guarantee. Sponsored by the MCC Foundation, the Tuition Guarantee program underwrites the cost of tuition for four semesters of study at the College for any graduate of a Meridian or Lauderdale County high school or any person residing in Lauderdale County who is home-schooled. By enrolling in the fall following their spring graduation, students retain the Tuition Guarantee for four consecutive semesters provided they earn a 2.0 GPA and take at least 15 hours each semester. “I even stressed to my friends who went off to a university (for their first semesters), ‘For those same first two years there, you could take the same classes here at Meridian Community College.’”

He also said he likes MCC because of the faculty and staff. “The instructors know you,” Cockrell said, adding that MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner meets and talks with students. “That’s great, because building a relationship with the president of the college is major. You feel more at home if you’re able to build relationships,” he said.

Smith added, “if someone has been thinking about coming to MCC for the first time, or coming back to MCC, there is no better time.”


Photo: MCC sophomore Brian Cockrell, who’s pursuing a business degree, is ready for MCC’s Fall 2019 semester start.

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