Miss. Scholars program will challenge, prepare students

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 8, 2005

A new initiative being implemented by the Brookhaven-LincolnCounty Chamber of Commerce in local schools places a new challengebefore willing students as they consider their educationalfutures.

Rather than taking easy courses to guarantee immediate academicsuccess, the Mississippi Scholars program encourages students topursue more challenging classes that can lead to more long-termrewards in form of better jobs and better pay. Short-term benefitsof successful participation include incentives that are beingdeveloped by local organizers.

In the program, students are exposed to the wants and demands ofreal-world employers tasked with finding workers in a changingglobal economy.

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To succeed in that environment, students will need criticalthinking and analysis skills rather than an ability simply torecall dates and facts from memory. That is the goal of MississippiScholars – to help prepare students to become part of atechnologically advanced work force.

From an economic development standpoint, communities that canmeet staffing demands are more likely to attract businesses thatoffer the attractive high-paying jobs that students hope to landwhen they finish school.

There is no “free ride,” though, and students need to understandwhat will be expected of them.

As Mississippi Scholars, they will be better prepared to meetthose expectations, and the community will be in a better positionto reap the rewards of their educational success.