Vocational Education Expansion

With around 400 students from the City of Meridian and Lauderdale County at large, the Ross Collins Vocational Center offers a dozen programs.

Unlike local community colleges, where enrollment in workforce training programs has greatly increased, at Ross Collins things are a bit different.

'It's been a more slow progress, because with the high school sometimes it can be a scheduling conflict or something,' says Ross Collins Vocational Center Director, Terry Moore.

With programs ranging from culinary arts and education to design and mechanics, efforts are being made to further expand what the center offers in regards to dual enrollment.

'What dual enrollment is, you're taking a course here and also getting credit at MCC; our teachers are certified to do that,' says Moore.

Auto mechanics, welding and architecture/drafting are the three dual enrollment courses now offered at Ross Collins. Moore says taking dual enrollment courses ultimately saves students time and money.

'They charge $25 for a three hour course. If you wait to take it out there, obviously you're going to pay about $200 to $300.'

Efforts are now underway to add marketing and information technology to the list of dual enrollment courses offered at Ross Collins. Before this can happen, it must be approved by MCC. Moore is confident that this will happen and the two new dual enrollment courses will be available by next semester.