Jennifer Whitlock, Director of Adult Education
Meridian Community College’s (MCC’s) AE program provides adults the opportunity to develop and build the basic skills necessary to function more effectively as members of society through improved educational skills, high school equivalency (HSE) completion, workforce readiness, and transitional skills for post-secondary education. To be competitive in today’s work environment, it is essential that individuals prepare themselves in a multitude of areas (math, reading, writing, communication, teamwork, computer skills, etc.). Students sixteen and seventeen (16 & 17) years of age are eligible to enroll in the program but must provide an official drop/withdrawal form confirming they are no longer enrolled in secondary school. All students are required to have some form of government issued identification. Individuals may register for FREE AE/HSE classes by contacting the AE office for dates and times. Registration includes an orientation and assessment test. The orientation session provides information about the program and the campus, while the assessment test determines educational level, strengths, and weaknesses. Upon completion of the assessment test, students are assigned to the Smart Start class as well as other classes. The AE Program is housed in the Ralph E. Young, Jr. Center for Adult Basic Education, located on MCC’s campus. Program faculty/staff can be contacted at 601-484-8796.
Smart Start Class focuses on essential skills needed to become work or career-ready for middle-skill level employment by addressing the needs identified by employers. The students will develop job skills necessary for their careers, learn and practice good work habits and effective communication skills necessary for successful employment. Students are also given the opportunity to earn a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC).
HSE Prep Classes provide students with the necessary instruction to take the high school equivalency test (GED or HiSET). Instruction is delivered in a variety of formats that include group, individualized, and/or technology aided. Classes are taught at the Ralph E. Young Center and several locations throughout the community. Classes are offered in the morning, afternoon, and evening. If a student has regular attendance and meets eligibility requirements, he/she may be recommended by their instructors to participate in Integrated Education & Training (IET). This program allows a student to train for a career AND earn their high school equivalency at the same time.
Literacy Classes are available for adults who need to learn to read or need to improve their basic reading skills. We have small learning groups with students on the same educational skill level. An assessment is given to determine the appropriate plan of instruction. These classes are available in the morning and evening.
HSE (High School Equivalency) Testing- There are multiple pathways to earn a Mississippi High School Equivalency Diploma. MCC offers the GED (General Educational Development) and HiSET (High School Equivalency Test). The GED (ged.com) is a computer-based test that cost $120 for the full battery. It has four subject areas - Reading & Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics. HiSET (hiset.ets.org) is $85 for the full battery and is delivered via computer or paper based. It is comprised of 5 subject areas - Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics.
Scholarships are available to assist examinees with the cost of either test after obtaining the required score on the practice test. Upon passing an HSE test, MCC helps graduates begin their college careers by offering one free class. A cap and gown graduation ceremony is held in honor of the graduates.
Katrina Garrett, Career Center Director
The Career Testing Center is located in Webb Hall, Room 102. At no charge, students may receive resume assistance and perform online and computer-based career searches. Certifications, licensures, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DSST, Praxis, GRE, MAT and pre-employment testing are available through the Career Testing Center. For more information about testing or the services of the career center, call 601-481-1370.
Laureta Chislom, Life Long Learning Coordinator
The Continuing Education program is dedicated to providing lifelong learning opportunities in our area. Continuing Education offers educational and recreational opportunities for the community. Participants of all ages may take advantage of these short-term, non-credit classes. Most classes meet in the afternoons, evenings, or weekends, and the number of participants in each class varies according to the type of class and available space. Admission to the College is not a requirement for participation. All classes have limited enrollments and are filled on a first-come basis. Some classes require a minimum number of students, and if this minimum is not met, classes will be canceled and participants notified. Classes for the spring and fall semesters may include arts and crafts, ballet, cooking, creative writing, painting, hair braiding, water aerobics, and many more. In addition, customized programs and/or classes may be developed to meet specific needs upon request. Costs vary according to the type and length of class. Participants may register in MCC-Riley Workforce Development Center. For more information, contact Laureta Chislom at 601-553-3484.
Meridian Community College provides opportunities for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for many organizations. The CEU is used as the basic measurement for an individual’s participation in non-credit classes, courses, and programs. Many organizations require the CEU as a means of certifying educational and professional development and for continuation or renewal of licenses. CEU credits are issued after the successful completion of a course with one CEU credit for every 10 contact hours. Some CEU credits are offered through Ed2go, a platform to deliver Internet-based non-credit classes. Some of the classes are IT Certification Prep; Teacher CEU’s; Grant Writing; Test Prep; ACT/SAT and Praxis. Go online at www.ed2go.com/meridian, or for more information contact MCC-Riley Workforce Development Center at 601.482.7445.
Workforce Grants and Development
Lucy Lamberth, Director of Workforce Grants and Development
Workforce Development includes training for specific businesses and industries. Services include computer classes, advanced skills training, certification training, safety training, the Meridian Public Safety Academy, management training, quality training, and others. Training programs can be customized as needed to meet the specific needs of individual businesses or groups of businesses. Financial assistance from the Mississippi Community College Board is available to qualifying businesses and industries for some services and classes, and professional and technical assistance is often available from state resource pools.
Advanced Skills Training is defined as any skill set which requires training beyond the normal academic areas. Manufacturing automation, computer networking, and specialized software program training are a few of the programs available. All training can be customized as needed and can be conducted at business locations or in Meridian Community College workforce development lab environments. Partnerships with local businesses and other education providers ensure top quality training. Classes include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Microsoft Office Training and Testing
- Distribution Training
- Computer Accounting (QuickBooks)
- Manufacturing Skills Basic Certification Training
- Entrepreneurial Classes
- Meridian Public Safety Academy
- Part-time/Reserve Law Enforcement Training
- Detention Officer Training
- ServSafe Certification
- OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour General Industry
- OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour Construction
- Basic Life Support HCP-CPR
- Tuberculosis Surveillance and Testing Certification
- Radiation Health and Safety certification
- Computer Training
- Customized Training
- Customer Service Training
- Electrical Apprenticeship Program
- EMT Refresher
- Leadership Training
- Management Training
- Quality Training
- IV Therapy Recertification
For more information, contact any Project Manager:
Darren Bane - 601-481- 1318
Lynne Carey - 601-481-1300
Mallory Hardy - 601-484-8653
Lucy Lamberth - 601-484-8776
The Meridian Public Safety Academy provides training for part-time/reserve law enforcement officers and for detention officers. Part-time/Reserve Law Enforcement Officer training is for law enforcement volunteers and part-time law enforcement officers. Training programs usually meet on Tuesday and Thursday nights, but some eight-hour Saturday sessions are required. Participants must attend the orientation session, and a passing score on an entrance physical exam is required to begin the program. Detention Officer Training is required for every detention officer in the State of Mississippi. These classes usually meet on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. A fee is charged, and participants may register at MCC-Riley Workforce Development Center. For more information, contact Lynne Carey at 601-481-1300.
Computer Training ranges from general to customized training. The Workforce Development staff is available to meet with business and industry personnel to determine training needs and facilitate educational requirements and company and individual goals. These training programs can be delivered on site or in computer labs located in MCC-Riley Workforce Development Center. Laptop computers are also available to take to the business site as needed. Classes are offered during the day, week nights, or weekends depending on the time most convenient for each business and its employees. Instructors are experienced and current in their knowledge of the computer programs and the working environment. Full-time faculty, as well as experienced part-time faculty, deliver high quality training sessions. Computer training includes Microsoft Office Suite, which encompasses Microsoft Word; Microsoft Excel; and Microsoft PowerPoint. Both basic and advanced skills are offered. Other computer courses offered on a regular basis include accounting on the computer using QuickBooks Pro and Basics of Computers, a basic class to understand the use of a computer. A fee is charged for computer classes. Participants may register in MCC-Riley Workforce Development Center. For more information, contact Darren Bane at 601- 481-1318.
Workforce Development Customized Training is designed to meet the specific needs of business and industry. Services and resources available include conducting task analysis to determine training content, designing comprehensive training programs and providing training materials, instructors, facilities, and equipment as necessary. Financial assistance is available from the Mississippi Community College Board, and businesses are often eligible for a 50 percent tax credit offered by the State. The types of customized training are dictated by the company. The College has contact with a variety of instructors, which allows the College to meet instructional requirements. For more information, contact any Workforce project manager.
An Electrical Apprenticeship Program is provided through Workforce Development. This program is provided at the request of a local electrical union. The program has five levels, and each phase of the program is one year in length. Call the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 601-483-0486, for additional information.
The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Refresher classes are offered at the basic and paramedic levels. Both EMT Paramedic and EMT Refresher classes are coordinated through MCC’s EMS-Paramedic Program. Contact Lynne Carey at 601-481-1300 for more information.
The Entrepreneur Development Program helps area entrepreneurs receive training to successfully open and expand businesses. The program offers a twelve (12) week class that will provide potential and existing entrepreneurs the fundamentals of starting and operating a business. For more information, contact Darren Bane at 601-481-1218.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Funding (WIOA)
Meridian Community College, partnering with the Mississippi Department of Employment Services, provides service to a dislocated worker, unemployed adult, or under employed adult clients from the WIOA funding source.
Please contact Shannon Coleman in the WIN Job Center for more information at 601-553-9531.
Eagles S.O.A.R. (Skills for Occupational Advancement & Readiness) Out-of-School Youth Program offered in partnership with SMPDD/Twin Districts Workforce Investment Area’s WIOA Youth Program.
Get a head start on your career. Learn employability skills and gain the credentials for the workforce. Earn work experience and incentives to soar into your future. The program is designed for qualifying out-of-school youth ages 16-24 in Lauderdale County. For more information, contact the OSY Program Director, Victoria Liddell at 601-481-1398.
The Workforce Grants and Development programs are located in the MCC-Riley Workforce Development Center. Contact Workforce Grants and Development staff by calling 601-482-7445.