MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Over seventy students received their degrees at MSU Meridian's Fall Commencement, including 24 who have been close to graduation for a while. The graduates represent more than thirty cities in three states.
Among those receiving their diplomas Thursday was 56-year-old Minnie Powe. She finished her education through the Complete 2 Compete program, along with 23 other graduates. It allows adults who have been out of college at least two years to finish their post-secondary degree at any college in the state.
Several years ago, Powe's pursuit of her degree was interrupted by breast cancer.
"In 2012, I did not come back because I felt like it would probably be too stressful on me and for my family to come back into the classroom," said Powe. "So I did wait until I got through with all of my treatments, and then continue."
Powe learned in February 2017 that she actually had enough credits to graduate. She initially majored in education and then switched to social work.
The Complete 2 Compete website estimates there are 32,000 adult Mississippians who may have earned enough college credits but were not awarded a post-secondary degree. And it also estimates there are 127,000 people who lack only a few courses to finish a degree and just don't realize it because their college days were interrupted for a variety of reasons.
Click to link to learn more about Complete 2 Compete.