Community colleges booming in Mississippi

CLARKSDALE – “Community colleges are booming and busting at the seams; we are not only key to progress of Mississippi but the survival of Mississippi,” Dr. Eric Clark told educators and officials here Wednesday.

Speaking at a legislative luncheon hosted by Coahoma and Mississippi Delta Community Colleges, Clark, a former legislator, former secretary of state, and current executive director of the state board for Community and Junior Colleges, talked about the tremendous value of community colleges teaching job skills to get people off welfare.

When Clark grew up in Taylorsville, he said, unskilled workers could find jobs in local garment plants. Later, he said those plants moved to Mexico, and now to China.

In the past decade enrollment at community colleges has increased more than 30 percent, and averaged 13 percent in the past year, yet community colleges receive only seven cents of every dollar spent on education, he said.

“We need to toot our horn” about the importance of community colleges to the economy of Mississippi,” Clark added. “Help us carry this message.”

Clarksdale Press Register