By Dr. Scott Alsobrooks
The Picayune Item
Pearl River Community College has once again earned an outstanding accolade from a nationally recognized organization. Thewebsitewww.thebestschools.org ranked PRCC 28th out of the top 50 community colleges in the United States and first in the state of Mississippi (read more at http://www.thebestschools.org/
What makes Pearl River such as a distinct institution? First, its the students themselves. The local school districts in the six counties served by PRCC are doing a fine job of preparing students for college. PRCC is fortunate to have driven, hard working students. All of the rankings are a reflection of student success; high rankings by external entities are a direct reflection of successful students. The local school districts that prepare and develop students to attend PRCC certainly play a major role in these high rankings by creating a good foundation for these students while in the K-12 school system.
Second, Pearl River has an outstanding faculty. Teachers that go over and above to prepare students for the "real world" are prevalent at each of PRCC's campuses. College faculty do a wide variety of things besides teach. PRCC faculty counsel and advise students about fields of study and career pathways. Faculty members serve as club coordinators, keeping students engaged in extracurricular activities.
The third key ingredient for success at PRCC is an administrative team that strives to follow state and federal guidelines, listens to external constituents and shapes local college policy to meet the needs of students and local industries. The administrative team works to find ways to continuously improve the institution so that the college can compete dynamically in all facets including academics, the arts, athletics and other areas.
The forth key factor includes a support services staff that keeps the students safe and sound. Pearl River Community College's facilities and grounds have no rivals. PRCC's campus is often confused with a university campus by visitors that do not know any difference. The grounds are always superbly manicured rivaling the grounds of five start hotels. The dormitories are extremely modern, offering all of the amenities of an apartment complex. The food services remind patrons of home cooked food.
The band, chorus and sports teams maintain supreme competitiveness. It is not uncommon to have one or more sports teams competing for a state or regional championship annually. Like the sports teams, the band reigns superior to other college bands, exemplified by an invitation to march in the inauguration parade for the United States President.
Last but certainly not least, PRCC has a devoted Board of Trustees that for many years has cared about the institution and governed in a manner that has allowed PRCC to be one of the top colleges in the US. Board members that spend their time shaping and promoting the college do so because they care for the institution. That care has resulted in demonstrated success.
PRCC provides an economical way for students to climb the economic ladder to success. Whether the student is looking to earn a degree and transfer to a four year college or enter the workforce, students and parents alike can rest assured that a quality education can be earned at Pearl River Community College.