The economy has made things tough for community colleges across Mississippi. The state has cut funding to them, but in our area they are all getting creative and making things work out in favor for the students.
East Mississippi Community College in Scooba is certainly being impacted by these changes brought about by the economy, and some of the changes are good.
"We did, at one time, break 900, but right now we have over 1,000 students at the Scooba campus," said EMCC president Dr. Rick Young.
Even still, these good changes are bringing about some problems that are not so good.
"The problems right now that I'm dealing with are the parents who are disappointed that we don't have the capacity to serve these students," Young said.
The college has more students than ever. Combine that with a 10 percent increase in tuition and the school is helping itself compensate for the decrease of state funds.
Classes are filling up, and Dr. Young says officials are having to get creative with their course schedules so they have enough seats for all the students.
"I've taken money that the private sectors and industries have donated to the college, and I'm applying this money to tuition guarantee," said Young, "which affords that opportunity for people to go to school and to take that financial burden away from the families."
Dr. Young says his goal is to remove barriers and create opportunities so people can go back to school.
EMCC has campuses at Mayhew, Columbus Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Meridian, and Macon, as well as Scooba.