Tech Master program welcome news indeed

Published 10:00pm Saturday, January 11, 2014

The addition of a “Tech Master” option to the already highly successful Mississippi Scholars program is welcome news indeed. And it’s even more fortunate for our area, since Lincoln County has been selected as one of seven counties in the state to pilot the fledgling program.

Unveiled Thursday at the state legislature in Jackson, Tech Master will be a parallel offering to Mississippi Scholars. Tech Master will encourage and provide recognition for students pursuing and achieving standards within a technical/preparatory program of study just as Mississippi Scholars has been doing with college preparatory study for years.

The goal of Tech Master is to help prepare Mississippi students for the technical jobs that are so in demand in today’s work place. As business and industry are evolving into an ever more computerized, highly technical environment, the demand for workers with technical knowledge and the critical thinking, mathematics and communication skills to perform these jobs has grown astronomically.

The Mississippi Scholars Tech Master program is designed to help produce these highly skilled workers. Participating students will be required to complete 21 to 24 course credits comprised of classes in English; mathematics, including Algebra I and geometry; science, including Biology I and two courses above Biology I; social studies, including American history, government and Mississippi studies; computer; health/physical education; plus electives in their program of studies.

Tech Master students also are required to complete 20 hours of community or volunteer service during the high school pilot year and 40 hours thereafter.

A 2.5 high school grade point average will be required, along with at least 95 percent attendance during the high school years and no out-of-school suspensions. To complete the program, a student must earn an ACT composite score of at least 18 or a minimum of 36 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test.

Mississippi Scholars Tech Master graduates will be better qualified for college, the military and/or good jobs in today’s work place.

The outstanding track record of Mississippi Scholars in Lincoln County over the years is well respected in the local area. We’re looking forward to seeing the same kind of positive results from the new Tech Master offering.

The need for well educated technical workers couldn’t be greater in our area and throughout the state and nation – and it is increasing daily. We’re glad to see this vital need being addressed and urge our business and industry community leaders to offer their support to the Mississippi Scholars Tech Master program.