PRCC shows off for high school students

Published 1:00 pm Friday, November 15, 2013

On Thursday, about 900 high school seniors from across south Mississippi attended Pearl River Community College’s Wildcat Fest on the Poplarville campus to get a glimpse of college life at PRCC.

Students from Poplarville, Pearl River County and Picayune school districts attended the senior preview event Thursday along with students from schools in Lamar, Marion, Forest, Jefferson Davis and Hancock counties, said Casey Rawls, director of recruitment and orientation for PRCC.

She said Wildcat Fest is a recruitment event for the college and gives high school students an opportunity to see the campus and ask questions.

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“We have found that for students, it’s a lot easier for them to make a college choice if they go to the campus and they can be on campus to get the feel of how they would fit in and really see up close what it would be like to be a current student,” Rawls said.

Students started out by taking a tour of the Poplarville campus, which included a look at the dormitories, wellness center and student union. The students then went to the Brownstone Center where they watched performances from the RiverRoad Showchoir, The Voices and the cheerleaders. Students ended the day on the football field, where they were able to speak to representatives from the different departments to get information on majors, financial aid and admissions.

Teachers and current PRCC students also were available to answer questions and to give prospective students advice on what courses they recommend for the program in which the student is looking to enroll.

Brittany Lee, a PRCC nursing student and member of the nursing honors society, was one of many students who helped the high school students visiting the campus looking for information on the nursing program.

“I wish I had someone to tell me this stuff when I was in high school,” Lee said about why she participated in the Wildcat Fest. “I always think it’s good to have someone who has been there and done that to give you the real deal on the program.”

Tours were conducted by the student recruitment team, student government association officers and honor institute students.

“They’re those top students here on campus that are already involved and visible in other areas that we invite to come help with the day,” Rawls said.

Pearl River Central High School student Brianna Varnado received a scholarship for 50 percent of her tuition and Picayune High School student Kasie Bowers received a $250 scholarship during a scholarship raffle.

Pearl River Central High School students Hailey Dennis and Kali Hubbard said the Wildcat Fest was very helpful to them in making their decisions and getting them the information they needed to be successful at PRCC. Dennis said her favorite part of the day was the tour of the buildings and classes she would be taking as a PRCC student.

“It’s got me excited. I feel like I’m ready for college. I’m pumped!” Hubbard said about Wildcat Fest.

Bowers said she enjoyed the performances at the Brownstone Center and said she came to the preview day so she could receive more information about the school and the programs PRCC offers.

Poplarville High School student Katie Johnson said it was a fun and informational day for her at Wildcat Fest. She said the PRCC students were very nice and gave her some great tips on what to take and what to expect when she attended.

Rawls said besides senior preview day, the college conducts individual tours that are customized to fit the interests of the student visiting. She said prospective students can call the recruitment office at 601-403-1197 to set up a tour or e-mail the office at

“We’ve seen time and time again that our alumni can go on and do great things. So we firmly believe we can help students build a foundation that they can build their future on. We have a lot to offer and I just hope people will come check us out,” Rawls said.