Education: Students tout benefits of EMCC’s Adult Education programs

Two north Mississippi residents are taking advantage of the programs offered at East Mississippi Community College’s Golden Triangle campus.

Brandon Miller of West Point and Trey Logan of Eupora are both enrolled in the Adult Education Launch Pad where they are taking GED preparation classes, and the two were guest speakers at a Sept. 22 events about the program.

“I’ve been working for three years towards earning my high school diploma and after only a couple of weeks at the Launch Pad I have already passed two of the four subject areas for the GED test,” Miller said. “I want to thank everyone at the Launch Pad for the help they have given me.”

The event was the third and final event conducted by the Launch Pad in celebration of this week’s designation as Adult Education and Family Literacy Week and Mississippi Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Week.

Representatives from EMCC’s Workforce and Community Services division and the Career Technical division were invited to the meet and greet, as were officials from area K-12 schools.

“Basically, the purpose of today’s event is to inform the community and other agencies of what we do,” said Jeremy Tate, a navigator for the Launch Pad’s MIBEST program.

The MIBEST program offers Mississippi residents without a high school diploma or its equivalent the opportunity to enroll in select educational programs at EMCC while preparing for the GED or High School Equivalency Test.

Both Logan and Miller are also enrolled in the Smart Start program offered through the Adult Education Launch Pad. In the class, students develop job skills and learn about good work habits and effective communication strategies needed for successful employment. A new Smart Start class begins every four weeks.

“The state wants Adult Education students to change the trajectory of their lives,” Tate said. “The way to do that is through integrated educational pathways.”

All classes offered through the Adult Education Launch Pad are free, with no cost for books or other materials. In addition to MIBEST, Smart Start, GED and HiSET classes, the department also offers preparation for the National Career Readiness Certificate ACT-WorkKeys and preparatory classes for college and workforce entry exams.

In addition to the Golden Triangle campus, EMCC Launch Pad also has locations at the Scooba campus, in Columbus and in West Point.

“We can help students transition into the workforce or into one of the many credit and noncredit training programs available at EMCC,” Adult Education Launch Pad Director Tshurah Dismuke said. “Many of our students who came to us are just interested in taking the GED or HiSET test, but later went onto to successfully earn a certificate or degree from EMCC. That is really rewarding for us.”

Title IV, Federal Financial Aid is available to qualified students who have not earned a high school diploma or its equivalent through the Ability to Benefit program, which allows students to enroll in college courses or an approved MIBEST course.

Both Miller and Logan are making plans for the future. Miller, who has worked construction the past three years, said he is interested in classes that would help him with a career in construction management. Logan also knows what he wants to do.

“I am going to start taking welding classes at EMCC as soon as I earn my GED,” Logan said.

Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.