College program in town is welcome news indeed

Published 10:20pm Saturday, March 1, 2014

The announcement that Mississippi College is looking into offering onsite classes in Brookhaven by the fall semester is welcome and exciting news indeed.

Plans were unveiled Wednesday at the Brookhaven Servitium Club meeting by three MC representatives – Rachel Peeples, a Wesson native who serves as director of field experiences for the college; Associate Chair and Professor Cindy Melton; and Director of Admissions Caley Forbes.

Peeples said the college intends to get started with one course in the fall and then hopefully add more. Two additional classes are proposed for the spring of 2015, with plans calling for as many as four classes possibly by the summer of 2015.

“Our ultimate goal is to have several master’s level programs here in Brookhaven,” Peeples explained at the Servitium meeting. The master’s program would be aimed toward current K-12 teachers.

“We believe there is a very great need for this particular program in the Brookhaven community, Melton told the club. “Our goal is to fill that need and to establish as visible of a presence as possible.”

MC’s master of education program in elementary education is a 30-semester hour curriculum that leads to an AA license endorsement in elementary education.

Students could complete the program requirements in four semesters.

The representatives said the college only needs as few as five students to get started.

Having a satellite college program onsite in Brookhaven will be a major feather in our community’s cap and will no doubt bring students from area towns here to study. The drive from other southwest Mississippi cities to Brookhaven will be much easier for prospective students to make than the much longer trek to Jackson.

MC’s master’s level program in Brookhaven would further enhance existing offerings at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, offering area residents an array of higher education options. The city also is blessed to have served as the home of the Mississippi School of the Arts, one of only two high schools for gifted and talented students in the state, for more than 10 years.

Last week’s announcement by MC is further evidence of the good things in the works here in Brookhaven and Lincoln County. With plans like MC’s, and the proposed new youth baseball facility and the 3 percent sales tax on lodging suggested by the board of aldermen, we expect a surge of growth is right on the horizon for our community.