Mississippi Community College Degree Program Allows Academic Credit Earned from Military Training, Experience

WESSON, Miss. —  A Mississippi community college is offering a new associate degree program that officials hope will enable veteran and active-duty members of the armed services to combine their military training with academic credits.

Natalie Davis, director of public relations at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, says the new associate of applied science in military technology degree is the latest example of the outreach to the community practiced by the college in Wesson.

Co-Lin officials tell the Brookhaven Daily Leader they think the program will increase their recruitment potential in the area. Dr. Gail Baldwin, dean of career, technical and workforce education, said there were approximately 365 National Guard members in Co-Lin’s seven-county area.

“His (degree) would allow us to reach specifically to that population,” Baldwin said. “Some of the courses are online, so it should not matter where that service member is, even if they are overseas.”

“We are very military friendly,” Davis said. “G.I. Jobs (a veterans’ magazine) has ranked us that way for three years now.”

The degree requires 12 hours of military courses, which Baldwin said only military training can provide.

Fifteen hours of the degree must come from general education courses offered by Co-Lin. These include courses such as English composition and algebra.

The degree’s remaining 37 hours can come from any combination of military courses and college credits. Students face a wide variety of options in fulfilling those 37 hours at Co-Lin.

“Any of our technical classes would be options for them,” said Dr. Jane Hulon, vice president of instructional services.”

The degree is specifically designed to help students advance in the military, Hulon said, and so she expects most students to choose courses accordingly.

However, depending on the area of specialization, the degree could aid the student in the civilian workforce.