East Central moving forward with ‘2020 Vision’

From press reports

When Dr. Billy W. Stewart was selected as president of East Central Community College in Decatur in 2012, his goal was to establish a strategic planning process, which would shape and guide the future of the 85-year-old institution.

As a result, 2020 Vision was created and includes a long-term desire to be nationally recognized and locally preferred while meeting the educational and training needs of the residents of the college district, which includes Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Winston counties.

One priority of East Central Community College’s 2020 Vision is improved technology in the classroom. History instructor Dr. Phillip Crenshaw is shown utilizing tools in one of the 55 classrooms that have recently been outfitted with projectors and computer equipment. The interactive equipment has Internet access and video playback capabilities so that Canvas and other online course materials can be accessed during class.

One priority of East Central Community College’s 2020 Vision is improved technology in the classroom. History instructor Dr. Phillip Crenshaw is shown utilizing tools in one of the 55 classrooms that have recently been outfitted with projectors and computer equipment. The interactive equipment has Internet access and video playback capabilities so that Canvas and other online course materials can be accessed during class.

According to Dr. Stewart, 2020 Vision’s seven Core Values of Wisdom, Excellence, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm, Efficiency and Creativity (WE ARE EC), “define the institution’s highest priorities and deepest-held beliefs.”

2020 Vision is also comprised of five institutional commitments: Student Success, Teaching and Learning, Community Partnerships, Resource Planning and Development, and Communication.

During the past year, the college began making strides towards those commitments as evidenced by recent successes and accomplishments.

East Central Community College received national recognition for its success in providing a quality education when it was selected 23rd best community college in the nation by Washington Monthly. In the magazine’s September edition, ECCC was included in the 2013 College Guide’s annual ranking of “America’s Top 50 Community Colleges.”

The success of ECCC students was also recognized in recent reports from Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning, which revealed that transfer students from East Central achieved the highest cumulative grade point average (3.18) of all community college transfers in the state.

In addition to its academic success, East Central Community College was listed as the Sixth Fastest Growing Community College in the nation with enrollments from 2,500 to 4,999, according to reports published in Community College Week.

The college was also recognized for success in recruiting, retaining and providing services to military students and for two consecutive years has been named a Military Friendly School. G.I. Jobs magazine included ECCC in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide in providing educational services to military students following a survey of more than 12,000 schools.

East Central Community College’s athletic department also received national recognition as seven ECCC teams were honored for their success in the classroom.

The men’s and women’s tennis teams received the highest recognition with their selection as National Junior College Athletic Association Academic Tennis Teams of the Year. Men’s Soccer (2nd), Baseball (3rd), Women’s Soccer (Tied for 4th), Softball (Tied for 12th) and Golf (Tied for 23rd) all placed in their respective sport areas.

Warrior athletic teams have also been nationally recognized for various community service projects.

Recent support from alumni and community partners has helped East Central provide financial assistance to many students and to make much needed upgrades to facilities.

In October 2012, the college received in excesses of $3 million dollars from the estate of Frances Gaines Blum Slagle, a 1940 ECCC graduate and former Decatur resident. The cash, stocks and certificates of deposit were used to establish student scholarships and this gift represents the largest single donation ever received by East Central Community College.

Various Endowed and other Special Scholarships are presented each year during the ECCC/AT&T Scholarship Appreciation Program/Luncheon. Approximately 130 students received scholarships valued at more than $71,000 at the most recent ceremony.

With state and private funding, improvements have also been made to the college’s physical plant.

Heading the list is the completion of Davis Hall, a state-of-the-art facility housing laboratory space for the entire science division. Cross Hall Science Building is currently undergoing renovations and will contain updated lecture halls for all science classes and house the Chemistry lab and classroom.

The college has also made a commitment to upgrade technology with 55 classrooms having been outfitted with projectors and computer equipment. The projectors include interactive styli, which allow instructors to annotate on the screens as if they were writing on a whiteboard with a marker. Each computer has Internet access and video playback capabilities so that Canvas and other online course materials can be accessed during class.

Improvements have also been made in the areas of parking, pedestrian walk-ways, heating and air conditioning systems and roofs for several buildings, and the Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building received a much needed renovation including new seating and a refinished playing surface.

The latest project is a proposed Football Operations Center to be constructed at the north end of Bailey Stadium. The estimated $4.8 million complex will include a state-of-the art weight room and athletic training facility for all student-athletes at the College. It will also include a Warrior Room as well as meeting space for the department of athletics and the community. Also included in the plans is a $1 million turf field to replace the existing grass field.

A comprehensive community college, which offers graduates the Associate in Arts, the Associate in Science and the Associate in Applied Science degrees, and various certificates and certifications, East Central Community College continues to strive towards the goal of meeting the educational and training needs of citizens in the district.

For more information contact the Office of Student Services at 601-635-6205.

ECCC Students Visit State Legislature: East Central Community College students were among participants at Capitol Day held Feb. 25, 2014, at the State Legislature in Jackson and sponsored by the Mississippi Faculty Association for Community and Junior Colleges (MFACJC). Students and other representatives of the state’s two-year colleges along with several lawmakers participated in a Press Conference in the Capitol Rotunda to voice support for the colleges and their efforts to achieve Mid-Level funding. College students also had an opportunity to visit with area legislators. In the above photo, State Senator Terry C. Burton (center) of Newton is shown with ECCC students (from left) Courtney Moore of Carthage, Leah Ferguson of Philadelphia, Yashica Ickom of Lake, Matthew Evans of Forest, Joseph Aulds of Decatur, ECCC faculty member Marc McCool; Teylor Martinez (featured student speaker at Press Conference), Denzel Clemons of Philadelphia, Zachary Allen and Jenna Lovern, both of Louisville; and Maykayla Carson of Newton.    (EC Photo)

ECCC Students Visit State Legislature: East Central Community College students were among participants at Capitol Day held Feb. 25, 2014, at the State Legislature in Jackson and sponsored by the Mississippi Faculty Association for Community and Junior Colleges (MFACJC). Students and other representatives of the state’s two-year colleges along with several lawmakers participated in a Press Conference in the Capitol Rotunda to voice support for the colleges and their efforts to achieve Mid-Level funding. College students also had an opportunity to visit with area legislators. In the above photo, State Senator Terry C. Burton (center) of Newton is shown with ECCC students (from left) Courtney Moore of Carthage, Leah Ferguson of Philadelphia, Yashica Ickom of Lake, Matthew Evans of Forest, Joseph Aulds of Decatur, ECCC faculty member Marc McCool; Teylor Martinez (featured student speaker at Press Conference), Denzel Clemons of Philadelphia, Zachary Allen and Jenna Lovern, both of Louisville; and Maykayla Carson of Newton. (EC Photo)

ECCC Alumni Board Making Plans for 2014 Activities: The East Central Community College Alumni Board recently held its spring semester meeting on the Decatur campus. Topics of discussion included the annual MS Community College Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, scheduled Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at the Muse Center on the Rankin County campus of Hinds Community College. Former basketball standout Evelyn “Snoopy” Bender of Newton will represent ECCC in this year’s prestigious group of former standout athletes and coaches. Plans are under way for the 13th Annual Warrior Golf Classic, set for Thursday, June 26, 2014, at the Dancing Rabbit Golf Club. The four-person scramble will be held on the Oaks Course. Activities are also being planned for the 2014 Homecoming, which will be held Saturday, October 11. A list of reunion groups to be honored will be announced at a later date. Seated from left are Dr. Stacey Hollingsworth, executive director for Foundation and Alumni Relations; Ann Burkes of Decatur, Newton County representative; Cheryl L. Comans of Cleveland, Out-of-District representative; Jeanette Beevers Thrash of Decatur, Association vice president; and ECCC staff members Sherri Cliburn, 2013-14 Faculty Club President, Amanda Walton, career-technical counselor; and Dr. Teresa Houston, vice president for instruction. Standing from left are Pete Lucovich of Carthage, Leake County representative; Bruce Lee of Louisville, Winston County representative; Bart Gregory of Starkville, Out-of-District representative; Harvey Trapp of Decatur, Newton County representative; Dr. Bob Tom Johnson of Forest, Association past president; Dr. Randall Lee, ECCC vice president for student services; and ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart.  Dr. Stewart also addressed the group and provided an update of college events and activities.

ECCC Alumni Board Making Plans for 2014 Activities: The East Central Community College Alumni Board recently held its spring semester meeting on the Decatur campus. Topics of discussion included the annual MS Community College Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, scheduled Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at the Muse Center on the Rankin County campus of Hinds Community College. Former basketball standout Evelyn “Snoopy” Bender of Newton will represent ECCC in this year’s prestigious group of former standout athletes and coaches. Plans are under way for the 13th Annual Warrior Golf Classic, set for Thursday, June 26, 2014, at the Dancing Rabbit Golf Club. The four-person scramble will be held on the Oaks Course. Activities are also being planned for the 2014 Homecoming, which will be held Saturday, October 11. A list of reunion groups to be honored will be announced at a later date. Seated from left are Dr. Stacey Hollingsworth, executive director for Foundation and Alumni Relations; Ann Burkes of Decatur, Newton County representative; Cheryl L. Comans of Cleveland, Out-of-District representative; Jeanette Beevers Thrash of Decatur, Association vice president; and ECCC staff members Sherri Cliburn, 2013-14 Faculty Club President, Amanda Walton, career-technical counselor; and Dr. Teresa Houston, vice president for instruction. Standing from left are Pete Lucovich of Carthage, Leake County representative; Bruce Lee of Louisville, Winston County representative; Bart Gregory of Starkville, Out-of-District representative; Harvey Trapp of Decatur, Newton County representative; Dr. Bob Tom Johnson of Forest, Association past president; Dr. Randall Lee, ECCC vice president for student services; and ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart. Dr. Stewart also addressed the group and provided an update of college events and activities.

ECCC Chooses Class Favorites:The favorites for freshman and sophomore classes of 2013-14 have been announced for East Central Community College in Decatur, following a recent student body election. Those elected and their respective high schools, include: (front row, from left) freshman class favorites MaChasity Leflore, Leake Central; Warner Parkes, Nanih Waiya; Hannah Mitchell, Newton County; Marko Franks, Greene County; Emily Cook, Leake Central; Robert Strong, Forest; Mallory Turner, West Lauderdale; and Tyler Pace, Newton; and (back row, from left) sophomore class favorites Allie Killens, Saltillo; Aaron Brown, Newton County; Payton Smith, Scott Central; Conor Bell, Leake Central; Lindsey McCool, Winston Academy; Clint Walker, Newton County Academy and Kara Beth Johnson, Morton. Not pictured Sawyer Williams, Porters Chapel Academy, El Dorado, Ark.

ECCC Chooses Class Favorites:The favorites for freshman and sophomore classes of 2013-14 have been announced for East Central Community College in Decatur, following a recent student body election. Those elected and their respective high schools, include: (front row, from left) freshman class favorites MaChasity Leflore, Leake Central; Warner Parkes, Nanih Waiya; Hannah Mitchell, Newton County; Marko Franks, Greene County; Emily Cook, Leake Central; Robert Strong, Forest; Mallory Turner, West Lauderdale; and Tyler Pace, Newton; and (back row, from left) sophomore class favorites Allie Killens, Saltillo; Aaron Brown, Newton County; Payton Smith, Scott Central; Conor Bell, Leake Central; Lindsey McCool, Winston Academy; Clint Walker, Newton County Academy and Kara Beth Johnson, Morton. Not pictured Sawyer Williams, Porters Chapel Academy, El Dorado, Ark.

ECCC Students Visit Area Legislators: Students from East Central Community College in Decatur visited several lawmakers during Capitol Day activities held Feb. 25, 2014, at the State Legislature in Jackson. The annual event is sponsored by the Mississippi Faculty Association for Community and Junior Colleges (MFACJC) and includes a Press Conference during which lawmakers and community/junior college representatives voice support to increase funding for the state’s two-year colleges. Pictured with Senator Giles Ward (sixth from left) of Louisville and Rep. Mike Evans of Preston (seventh from left) are ECCC students (from left) Courtney Moore of Carthage, Leah Ferguson of Philadelphia. Yashica Icklom of Lake, Matthew Evans of Forest, Joseph Aulds of Decatur, Denzel Clemons of Philadelphia, Zachary Allen and Jenna Lovern, both of Louisville; Maykayla Carson of Newton and Teylor Martinez (featured student speaker at Press Conference) of Louisville.    (EC Photo)

ECCC Students Visit Area Legislators: Students from East Central Community College in Decatur visited several lawmakers during Capitol Day activities held Feb. 25, 2014, at the State Legislature in Jackson. The annual event is sponsored by the Mississippi Faculty Association for Community and Junior Colleges (MFACJC) and includes a Press Conference during which lawmakers and community/junior college representatives voice support to increase funding for the state’s two-year colleges. Pictured with Senator Giles Ward (sixth from left) of Louisville and Rep. Mike Evans of Preston (seventh from left) are ECCC students (from left) Courtney Moore of Carthage, Leah Ferguson of Philadelphia. Yashica Icklom of Lake, Matthew Evans of Forest, Joseph Aulds of Decatur, Denzel Clemons of Philadelphia, Zachary Allen and Jenna Lovern, both of Louisville; Maykayla Carson of Newton and Teylor Martinez (featured student speaker at Press Conference) of Louisville. (EC Photo)