Touring lawmakers to hear of Co-Lin campus needs

Published 6:37 pm Friday, August 6, 2010

Copiah-Lincoln Community College President Ronnie Nettles saidwhen state legislators come to campus Friday, they’d better beready for a serious tour.

Nettles told the Board of Trustees at the monthly meeting Thursdayafternoon that a group of state senators and representatives wereto visit the campus Friday so school officials can detail some oftheir needs. He said a similar group had come two years ago when hewas in his first year as president, and that he is more preparedthis time.

“Tomorrow I’m going to give them a real picture of some of ourneeds,” he said. “I’m glad this group is going to be here, and Ihope they don’t have to be anywhere else anytime soon once they gethere.”

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Nettles said he planned to take them to different places on campus,such as the dormitories, which need attention and funding.

In other business Thursday, the board also discussed some changesin the graduation process.

The board first approved waiving the $40 graduation fee forstudents who don’t plan to participate in the graduation ceremony.Nettles said he feels like even a simple fee like that can causepeople not to finalize their graduation, which affects the school’sstatistics.

“We’re finding that there is a number of students who don’tcomplete the process because they don’t want to pay the fee, andthis is an easy fix,” he said.

Another change comes because as the school has grown, and thegraduation ceremonies have become much bigger, Nettles said. Theceremonies have been held on Saturday mornings, he said, and movingit to Friday morning will help in case of bad weather or otheremergency.

“If there’s a storm on Saturday, we would need to have people inplace to move people to the gym or whatever,” he said.

Until the board upheld that suggestion, Co-Lin was one of threeschools in the state that still held a Saturday outsidegraduation.

“If there were a storm, we would have people available andbuildings open on campus,” Nettles said, adding that it onlyapplies to the Wesson campus.

Trustees also voted in a “two plus two agreement” with MississippiUniversity for Women. The agreement would allow some of the careerand technical classes offered by Co-Lin to apply toward a four-yeardegree at MUW.

“Some of those will count as electives, which is good because weoften have career and technical students that have difficultytransferring,” said Vice President of Instructional Services Dr.Jane Hulon. “Other community colleges have signed on with this, andwe don’t think this will be a bad thing at all.”

Hulon also told the board that the Associate Degree Nursing Programat Co-Lin had a 100 percent passage rate on the licensureaccreditation through the National League for Nursing AccreditingCommission.

“This time last year we were trying to put the self-study together… we got it in December,” she said. “Then we had their visit inFebruary, we found out we passed that, and the students passedtheir tests. We’re all very happy and proud.”