Special to ProBizMS
Graduation numbers for the Holmes Community College Class of 2012 showed dramatic gains over last year with an astonishing 35.41% increase, leading the State’s community college system in percentage of gain.The 1,063 fall and spring graduates were the largest graduating class in school history.
This is the second year in a row that Holmes has seen a significant increase in student graduate rates. Last year, the school saw a 28.5% increase.
“For the past several years, we have set new school records for graduation records,” said President Glenn F. Boyce. “This year, we shattered them.”
“This incredible increase in the number of graduates is something we are very proud of and something we very much plan on continuing,” Boyce said.“This kind of tangible success penetrates to the very heart of our mission. It is certainly a great achievement.”
Boyce attributes the school’s success to several factors, the first of which is a high-performing student population matched with an incredibly dedicated and talented faculty.
“It is no accident that, for the third year running, Holmes has received Phi Theta Kappa’s top honor,” Boyce said. “Being repeatedly named Most Distinguished Chapter in the world by the nation’s most notable community college honor society and leading the State of Mississippi with these kinds of graduation percentage increases can best be attributed to smart students who value education.”
Boyce also said that graduation numbers continue to be a district-wide priority among instructors, counselors, support staff and administrators.
Because many community college students eventually move on to a four-year school, they haven’t always considered graduation from a two-year school a priority. School leaders have begun educating students on the importance of completing degree requirements.
“The data clearly shows them that degree attainment means increased wages throughout their working lives,” he said. By completing their associate’s degree, they are automatically given an insurance policy, before taking the next step.”
Moving forward, Boyce said the school plans to continue to focus on graduation numbers through its program offerings. “What we offer and how we offer it is critical to students,” Boyce said. “For that reason, we are continuing to build our online school and one-year certificate program offerings.”
Beginning this year, Holmes will begin offering six new one-year Career Technical certificate programs including Industrial Engineering, Construction Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, EMT Paramedic, Computer Networking and Office Systems.
“Read the paper and you will see that Mississippi continues to grow in the automotive, medical, defense and aerospace industries,” he said. “What this means is that our state needs more college graduates in a critical way. “Whether it is from career\technical programs, allied health fields, associate, bachelor’s or graduate degrees and beyond, our state becomes economically more attractive as the education level of our labor force improves.”
Holmes Community College, a comprehensive public institution strategically located in Central Mississippi, provides innovative educational and cultural opportunities to its constituents through campus-based and distance education programs. In an ever-changing world, the college seeks to prepare its graduates for university transfer, productive employment and lifelong learning by offering an Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Applied Science degree, and Career certificates. Holmes, whose primary commitment is to excellence in all areas, offers affordable, equal access to higher education in an attractive, secure, multi-campus environment.