M.G.C.C.C. Ranked Nationally in Top Assoc. Degree Producers for 11th Year

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Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (M.G.C.C.C.) has again been named a top associate degree producer in the nation, with 1,754 students receiving degrees in 2013. This is the 11th year since 2002 that M.G.C.C.C. has been named in the top 100, and it is the only community college in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee to make the list, a singular designation the college has received nine times.

Community College Week, an educational magazine, ranked the college at No. 94 in the nation overall. The ranking is based on the number of degrees awarded to students from the country’s 1,300 community colleges. The college was also ranked 13th in education majors, 17th in engineering technologies and engineering-related fields, 23rd in family and consumer sciences/human sciences, 61st in African-American graduates, and 74th in non-minority graduates.

“Continuing to rank so highly in the number of students who graduate is a significant accomplishment for the college,” said Dr. Mary S. Graham, M.G.C.C.C. President. “It is a testament to our dedication to degree completion, something that positively impacts our students as they enter the workforce or continue their education, as well as the economic well-being of the communities in our district.”

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Graham added that the college’s national ranking in several areas has proved beneficial in stimulating new partnerships and agreements with industry and four-year academic institutions. “Recognizing our achievements in the national arena, our partners appreciate that we can bring students who have already proven successful academically to their workforce or degree programs.”

Working to enhance degree options and increase access to higher education for South Mississippi residents, M.G.C.C.C. has aggressively sought partnerships with four-year institutions during the past few months. Those partnerships include one with Mississippi State University to offer bachelor’s degrees in engineering at the Jackson County Campus, which could begin fall 2015 and may be expanded to the college’s other campuses. A bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Culinary Arts is being offered by Mississippi University for Women at M.G.C.C.C.’s Jefferson Davis Campus, and The University of Southern Mississippi entered an agreement that will allow M.G.C.C.C. students in certain academic programs to be co-enrolled, providing for convenient financial and enrollment benefits as well as higher degree completion rates.

And lastly, an agreement was reached earlier this summer with Faulkner University to facilitate credit transfer and transition for M.G.C.C.C. graduates to work on Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Human Resource Management (HRM), and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degrees through the university’s online degree programs.

“The economic benefits of these partnerships are evident in the impact on our stakeholders,” Graham said. “A better-educated and well-trained workforce helps local industry succeed. It also entices new industries to the area. M.G.C.C.C. students reap the benefits of receiving an outstanding four-year education at home in South Mississippi, saving money and time. Flexible, expanded educational offerings mean they can simultaneously work, spend time with their families and simply enjoy living their lives."

M.G.C.C.C. continues to rank highly on the national stage in a variety of areas. The Chronicle of Higher Education named M.G.C.C.C. a Great College to Work For this year, making it the fourth year M.G.C.C.C. has made that list since 2010. In addition, M.G.C.C.C. has again been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Only the top 10 percent of community colleges in the nation are invited to apply for the prize. In 2011, M.G.C.C.C. was in the top 10 finalists out of more than 1,000 community colleges across the United States.