Strategies to boost enrollment and further meet the expanding needs of this region are being put in place at MSU Meridian. This past fall, the school introduced its first ever program that focuses on special education. So far, it's been a success in all aspects, especially with attracting more students.
"It's one of the things where we have sort of shifted our focus into the areas where we see either growth in enrollment, recent growth or the potential for continued growth in the next few semesters," says MSU Meridian Dean, Dr. Steven Brown.
In hopes of continuing that growth, MSU Meridian is requesting approval from Mississippi's board for Institutions for Higher Learning, or IHL for short, to approve a new bachelor's degree in Applied Technology for the school.
"It offers us an opportunity to reach out to those folks who may have technical credits from community colleges, whether they are recent or from several years ago, and to apply those technical credits to an undergraduate degree," says Brown.
If the IHL gives approval, Dr. Brown says the university will first offer a concentration in healthcare services. Ultimately, he says the plan is to further expand the overall program.
"We're working right now to try to develop a program that would offer opportunities for people to get degrees in broadcast media or possibly in digital media production," says Brown.
The IHL board is expected to vote on the request later this month. If approved, Dr. Brown says the new program will likely be in place by this coming fall.
MSU Meridian opened in 1972. At that time it had a capacity of between 350 to 400 students. Nearly 900 students were enrolled last semester. Since opening, the school has helped educate roughly 10,000 students.