Hinds Community College Blog

Tips on going back to school as an adult

Posted by Tammi Bowles on Fri, Jul, 31, 2015 @ 16:07:00 PM

I am sure there are many out there, just like me, who have thought about going back to school for a long time. Well I finally did it about a year ago, and could not be happier about my decision. I wrote my first blog about this great challenge back in February, click here to read: http://hub.hindscc.edu/blog/bid/360775/My-Latest-and-Possibly-Greatest-Challenge

This blog will hopefully help someone out there with their own decision about going back to school.


First things first: Have a goal…it gives you that confidence to take that first step. And we all know, that taking that first step is the hardest. But once you take that first step, there is no turning back! So think about what it is you would like to get a degree in, then talk to a counselor about what it would take to get that degree, then register for that first class. Do what it takes. Fill out a FAFSA form. If you are a single parent like me there is money out there for you to go back to school; you just have to apply. Search for “free money” using online scholarships, but don’t over borrow.

Once you get enrolled, stay focused on that goal. Register early each semester to ensure you get in the classes that you want, and more importantly, need.

Take advantage of night and online classes. For most of us parents with a full-time job, that is our only options. I was really nervous about online classes, but now that I have taken a couple, I really enjoy them.              


Get your family and friends on board. This one was not hard for me. I have plenty of support from my kids, boyfriend, bosses, co-workers, etc. My kids understand all too well when I have to study instead of making a meal for supper… We have sandwich night way too often. And my boss or my boyfriend are always wanting to know how I did on a test, or what I am studying tonight. It always helps when you actually have to tell someone the grade you got (makes you want to work to get that A.)

Don’t be afraid. It can be really scary going into a classroom and being the oldest one in there. But I have found that we are all there for the same reason, and honestly, after a few classes I just don’t think about whether I am the oldest in the class anymore.

Stay motivated. Whenever I don’t feel like doing homework or going to class, I just picture myself walking across that stage at graduation. Works every time to give me motivation.             


Last, but certainly not least, do it for your kids. If you set an example for your children, they are more than likely to attend college and enjoy the benefits of earning a degree!


Topics: adult student

Busy fall right around the corner

Posted by Dan Rives on Mon, Jul, 27, 2015 @ 07:07:00 AM


The 2015 fall semester at Hinds Community College is chock full of activities, especially in the areas of football and men’s and women’s soccer.

The 2015 football schedule gets under way on Thursday, Aug. 27 in Raymond as Hinds hosts Holmes Community College in a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.

The Eagles will play their opening road and South division game at Pearl River Community College at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10.

The Homecoming game at Hinds will take place on Thursday, Oct. 15 when the Eagles host Jones County Junior College at 7 p.m. in Raymond. The Homecoming contest will also mark the final regular season home game for Hinds.
The Eagles, who finished 5-4 in 2014, will conclude the regular season on Thursday, Oct. 22 at Southwest Community College.

Click on the link to view the complete 2015 football schedule: http://www.hindsccsports.com/schedule.aspx?path=football


The men’s and women’s soccer teams kick off the 2015 campaigns on Wednesday, Aug. 19, as each program hosts Mississippi College at 5/7 p.m. at Tom Shepherd Field in Raymond.

The Lady Eagles and Eagles open North division play versus East Central Community College on Friday, Sept. 4, welcoming the Warriors to Raymond for a 5/7p.m. matchup.

Both teams will wrap up the regular season at Northwest Community College on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

The Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) play-in round and state tournament will follow regular season play.

Click the following links to see the men’s and women’s 2015 soccer schedules:

Men’s - http://www.hindsccsports.com/schedule.aspx?path=msoc

Women’s - http://www.hindsccsports.com/schedule.aspx?path=wsoc

All three of the programs mentioned are represented by an excellent group of young men and women and these coaches and players desperately need our support.

The time and effort that each and every member spends perfecting their craft, outside of their role as a collegiate student, often goes unnoticed. It is up to us as fans and followers of these student-athletes to come out and rally behind them and provide a support system for them.

As a former student-athlete and now coach, I know how beneficial it is and how much it means to see your colleagues and friends take time out of their day to come watch you compete.

They need and deserve your support, so let’s make a concerted effort as a college and fan base to give back to them in this way!

Topics: Hinds Community College Athletics

Hinds’ commitment to wellness continues with new fitness trail

Posted by Cathy Hayden on Wed, Jul, 15, 2015 @ 11:07:00 AM

Since I’ve been working at Hinds Community College, the college has demonstrated a commitment to the health and wellness of employees and students.

Just within a few years, we added two wellness complex facilities (one at Raymond and one at Utica) that are open to not only students and employees but also the community as well. Click here for more information.

We also had the Biggest Loser contests several years for our employees. My co-worker Tammi Bowles won the contest one year.

Since January, the college has been tobacco free at all six locations. That process took several years to achieve but was led by our college wide Associated Student Government.

As a college, we have participated several times in the American Heart Association Heart Walk, raising money but also asking our students and employees to commit to a healthier lifestyle.

One of the recent ventures has been the addition of a fitness trail on the Raymond Campus over the summer.

The one-mile trail encircles the Raymond Campus tennis court and soccer fields and winds through the disc golf course next to Joe Renfroe Stadium.

It opened to the general public in early July and was financed by parts of a $202,000 wellness grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi. The grant funded other Hinds efforts in 2014-15 aimed at promoting better health choices, including health fairs and nutritional lectures.

Besides the health benefits of walking, the trail has three places where people can work out their muscles doing push-ups, sit-ups and more.


 A handful of people, like counselor Katie Murphy, have already discovered the fitness trail.

I’ve taken a couple walks on it myself, although I would recommend trying it early in the day or late in the day in mid-July or August.



But it does have plenty of shady spots that help relieve some of the scorching heat.


And the gray crushed gravel is pretty comfortable to walk on, much to my surprise.


If you’re committed to a healthier lifestyle and looking for a good place to walk, come join us at Hinds Community College's Raymond Campus.

But maybe not at midday in July!


Topics: wellness, health

Veterans Services a vital link for those who serve

Posted by Danny Barrett Jr. on Fri, Jul, 10, 2015 @ 11:07:00 AM

Freedom itself isn't free, but we sure did celebrate it on July 4.

Americans celebrated the Fourth of July amid sparkly skies and finger-licking good food off the grill. Those who paused the party to pronounce their patriotism can remember what's being celebrated. The holiday commemmorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It's a day when there's more red, white and blue around than perhaps any other day on the calendar.

The men and women who have served in this nation's military -- and responsible for maintaining our freedom to celebrate -- are often greeted with simple thanks for their service in the days hovering over the holiday. Their families are thankful to see them in between their calls to duty, wherever they might be. Those who return, particulary reservists, often decide to continue their educations to be more marketable in the global economy. And, for those in central Mississippi, that's where Hinds Community College comes in.


The college's Veterans Services office functions to help active and former service members find ways to finance their education, whether it means maximizing their GI Bills or qualifying for financial aid. Many times, it's a one-stop shop for men and women who want to serve their country and get the best advice, too.

For me, appreciation of veterans is made simple by those in my family who've gone before me, and a few still around. My paternal grandfather served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and an uncle spent three years in Vietnam with the Marines. Several other uncles were the Army in WWII. So, the term "hug a veteran" has applied to me much of my life and has come easy.


Hinds' Veterans Services office is located temporarily in portable buildings near Gibbes Hall, along with Financial Aid and other related services. Coordinators are more than happy to assist recent high school graduates, those returning from service and/or their families with all things process as it relates to their education. And they probably wouldn't mind a hug, either.


Top 5: The Coolest Programs for Techies at Hinds

Posted by Jil Wright on Wed, Jul, 08, 2015 @ 09:07:00 AM

As the director of Web Communications at Hinds Community College, I learn more about the career and technical programs we offer at Hinds all the time and sometimes (most of the time) I could kick myself for not starting my education at a community college. There are so many programs for anyone interested in a career in technology and I wanted to share a few that I think are really cool.

DraftingAndDesignDrawing building plans and details in the architectural industry is the first thing most people think of when they hear drafting, but there are so many more possibilities in drafting and design! 3D printing is an industry that will continue to take off in the future and people are needed to draw things to print. CNC machines used to cut metal parts use files created by draftsmen.

Did you know that video games, movie environments, and other CG special effects start out in CAD most of the time? I've seen some great student work using game engines and 3D modeling software to create walk-throughs of buildings. There are many types of jobs for people with drafting skills and a lot of them are pretty awesome.

So the thought of drones can scare people, but the future possibilities are endless for all kinds of industries from the entertainment industry to agriculture. Our UAV graduates are real pilots. The word drone may be scary, but technologically and as a career, I can't think of much that rates higher on the cool Richter scale (that I just made up). The Hinds program is one of the first of its kind, one of only a few in the country, and the only one of its kind in Mississippi.

If you've ever thought of creating your own app, start learning how to program! You can program mobile apps, web applications, software - you are the master of your technology. Programming languages give instructions to computers and devices about what to do. Even though the tech world changes quickly, there will always be a need for programmers. We see new technology every day and someone created the instructions that technology needs to work. I'm a bit biased on this one, but knowing how to program is a very powerful skill.

GIS_2GIS is probably one of the least understood programs we offer at Hinds, but it's really interesting. GIS systems use data (from a database) and apply it to information about the Earth's surface to produce maps.

An example would be Google Maps - when you ask for information about traffic in an area or look at sattelite images, you are seeing GIS at work!

All kinds of information can be linked to a location (a zip code, for example). This helps many industries make decisions.  GIS systems can include data about people, such as population, income, level of crime, education level, even voting patterns. It can include information about land, such as different kinds of plants and soil, bodies of water, and areas that may flood. It can include information about the sites of factories, pollution, farms, schools, roads, and electric power lines. Actually, there aren't many limitations of the kinds of data that can be used and this means there are many jobs in different industries - from engineering to marketing!

Keep hackers out! Everything runs on technology be the person who designs safe and secure infrastructures to keep the bad guys away. Every day people and businesses share all kinds of data, it could be catastrophic if certain data ended up in the wrong hands. This program is cool because it reminds me of an action movie. You have to understand what hackers do to be able to fend them off. People with the skills are going to be in demand for a very long time. Every industry wants to keep their information safe.

It's really hard to stop at 5 programs, there really are many options for those interested in technology, and many can provide well paying careers that will be in demand for a long time. Check out our career and technical programs below!

Career/Tech Programs


Topics: Career Tech program

Baseball's Tenth Man - Poncho

Posted by Tracy Duncan on Wed, Jul, 01, 2015 @ 16:07:00 PM

Hinds baseball team good luck token performs well in post-season for past three years: retired in Eunice, La.:


The Hinds Community College baseball team has had three very successful years. Most would say the college's players, coaches and recruiting effort had the most to do with this. However, if you ask the baseball players, some might say they've had a little help from a friend. Poncho. 

Poncho is a little guy who's had a big position on the Hinds baseball field, getting more field time than most of the players. For the past three years, his position has been just off first or third base. And, according to Eagles players, has affected the pitching of opposing teams for three seasons.

You see, Poncho is a little, plastic, Mexican toy soldier that watched the backs of the Hinds pitchers and players, while adding adversity to the opposing pitchers - plastic weapon trained on the pitcher's mound during the games. He was introduced to the baseball team by former Hinds player Brian Mills during the 2013 baseball season, according to Hinds' Randy Bell, current National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II All-American first team pitcher and National Pitcher of the Year. Bell has been the caretaker of Poncho the last two years and he and Poncho have had a great relationship. Bell saw to it that Poncho made it to all the important games, and Poncho made sure Bell had a perfect season in 2015 with 12 wins and 21 career wins which ties him for the school record with former big leaguer Pat Rapp (1986-1987) among many other honors (see http://sports.hindscc.edu/news/2015/6/9/BB_0609151354.aspx)


Poncho saw Hinds through many great rallies and wins during his time at Hinds. Sadly, he was retired after the final Hinds game of the season during the Region 23 tournament in Eunice, La. this season.


Some baseball teams put on rally caps or exercise time-honored baseball traditions in hopes of a come-from-behind win. The Hinds Community College Eagles baseball team had Poncho to watch their backs for three victorious and record-setting years. 

Thank you, Poncho! You helped immensely.

Topics: Hinds CC Eagles, Hinds CC baseball

Top 10 things I love about working at Hinds Community College:

Posted by Tammi Bowles on Thu, Jun, 25, 2015 @ 16:06:00 PM

No.10 The fact that I get to see students succeed. Over the last 23 years I have been to too many graduations to even count, and it never gets old seeing a student who has endured hardships and made it to graduation!


                                                                                     Mindy Mullins and I at her graduation.

After each graduation that I worked at, I would leave and say to myself “I have got to go back and finish my degree.” But between work, kids and life it took me a while to actually do it. As of last year I am a part-time student here at Hinds and hope to be able to go to my graduation sometime next year then move on to working on my BA.

No.9 Every day is different. OK, this might be stretching the truth a bit because there are some days, like in the dead of summer when no students are here that can be, shall we say, routine. But most days it is interesting. A simple phone call to the PR office (where I work) can change my whole work day!

No.8 The people who work at Hinds. No matter what you need or where you go, I truly believe that Hinds has some great employees. Not only in my department, but all across the district, we know how to have fun.






                                                                                                                                        Dr.Clyde Muse

Most all employees (teachers, administration and staff) are passionate about what they do, plain and simple! Being a student again, I have loved every single teacher that I have had this past year and if I had to pick a favorite, it would be really hard.

No.7 Living in faculty housing. I did a blog on this one recently, so if you would like details, just go to the following link- http://hub.hindscc.edu/blog/faculty-housing-is-truly-a-family-neighborhood

No.6 Helping students. Whether it is a lost student on the first day of classes or a returning student who has no idea how to buy a yearbook, I truly love helping them any way I can.

No.5 The fact that my kids will be able to go here for free. Yes that’s right, full-time employees’ children, seeking a degree or certificate, are eligible for a tuition waiver. That is going to be great!


                                                                            Colby and Caitlyn

No.4 Free tuition for employees for one class every semester (fall and spring only.) This one is pretty self-explanatory and I could kick myself for not taking advantage of it all these years.

No.3 The fact that I have worked in my department longer than anyone else. This one might sound strange, but I love being the one that others in my department come to and ask questions that they assume I can answer … because I have been here so long. It makes me feel a tad bit special!

No.2 The friendships that I have made that will last a lifetime.

  Tammi_2-1    Tammi_00

Me, Ron Walker, Jarrod Ravencraft and Harriet Laird                            Jennifer Hydrick Gibson

10494985_10203358454980298_4809830197535352942_o    _MG_0640

Melanie Boyd                          Lauren Cook

No.1 This one is real simple… Because it has become a huge part of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I do not love my job every single day (that would just be plain weird), but I do love Hinds Community College. And over the years I have realized that if you don’t love what you do and where you work, you will be miserable every single day. I think this quote sums it up: “If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting.” - Katherine Hepburn

Topics: adult education,

Randy Bell leaves his mark on Raymond

Posted by Dan Rives on Fri, Jun, 19, 2015 @ 11:06:00 AM


As I mentioned in my two previous blog posts, I have two jobs here on the Hinds Community College campus. I currently serve as the college’s Sports Information Director, as well as an assistant coach with the Hinds baseball program.

It is in these two roles that I am fortunate to be around an amazing group of young men and women that inspire me and the coaches in our athletic department to give their best on a daily basis.

One of these particular student-athletes, Randy Bell, will always have a special place in my heart and of everyone who has come in contact with him. I’m not just talking about those affiliated with our baseball program, but of everyone here on campus and opposing teams and coaches alike.

I have had numerous coaches from two-year and four-year colleges come up to me and tell me how impressed they were with how Randy conducted himself on the field and in the dugout, without me even bringing up his name in conversation.

Randy was recently named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)/Spalding Baseball Division II Pitcher of the Year (http://bit.ly/1d19o0r), as well as being chosen as an NJCAA First-Team All-American (http://bit.ly/1LhJ0vb), but his story and what he has meant to our college goes way beyond these two honors.

He came to Raymond from Centreville Academy in Woodville, where he was a three-sport standout in baseball, football and track and field. When he signed with Hinds in January 2014, we were expecting him to come in and contribute as both a position player (infielder and outfielder) and as a right-handed pitcher, but we never foresaw the type of career that he would end up having on the mound for us.

Not only did he win the aforementioned awards, but he had 12 wins on the mound as a sophomore in 2015 and nine wins as a freshman in 2014. The 21 career wins ties him for the school record for wins with former big leaguer Pat Rapp (1986-1987).

The 21 wins played a huge role in our baseball program winning the 2014 Region XXIII baseball tournament and playing in the NJCAA national championship game, as well as helping the Eagles to a 43-7 record and a Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) championship, the program’s eighth all-time, in 2015.

He was also the male recipient of the Eagle Award of Hinds, given to the student-athlete with the highest achievements in the classroom, community and on the playing field, after finishing with a 3.86 GPA. For this, he was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and was selected to Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges.

Due to his success on the field and for his prowess in the classroom, Randy will continue his academic and athletic career next season at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala.


I could continue to list all of the accolades that Randy has received during his two years in Raymond, but this blog is more about the type of young people that we are currently attracting to our college.

I’m sure each coach in our 12 athletic programs could write about a particular student-athlete that has touched them in the same way. I am currently writing about Randy because all of his accomplishments are fresh on the minds of those who follow Hinds athletics.

His impact on the lives of those who around him can be best described by this recent tweet from Marcille McLendon, head coach of the Hinds women’s soccer program:

"This is one of my favorite students in all my years of teaching. He loves his teammates and God. #proud"

This entire school will miss Randy’s impact next year, and I hope you had the opportunity to meet him while he was here. For those of you who will read this, I encourage and challenge you to engage and interact with the students that we have on our campus during the short time that they are here.

I am as guilty as anyone of taking for granted how good we have it here in that we work on a beautiful campus with really good people. We tend to fall into our daily duties and sometimes lose track of why we are really here, and that is to foster the growth of the students here with us now.

We can have a huge impact on their lives, but they can have the same type of effect on us.

Randy Bell is a shining example of just one of many of the type of quality young people that we have here that come from great families and will go on to be huge successes in their lives one day.

Please take time today to let them know how much you appreciate them!


Topics: Hinds Community College Athletics, Hinds CC Eagles, Hinds CC baseball

Breaking Community College Stereotypes

Posted by Jamar McQuarters on Thu, Jun, 18, 2015 @ 13:06:00 PM

Every year millions of students seek to further their education at an institution of higher learning. From researching potential schools to the first day of class, each one of us is undoubtedly faced with a set of concerns. They can include, but are not limited to:community college stereotypes

  • Tuition
  • Financial Aid
  • Program Offerings
  • Housing
  • Job Outlook

Not only that, but community college stereotypes are in no short supply. Anyone mentioning attending a 2-year college are sometimes met with a response of ridicule, confusion or both! Recent trends indicate a growing shift in public perception of community colleges, but the stigmas surrounding them still remain. Here, we’ll explain some of the myths and bring a bit more clarity to them.

Stereotype #1: A community college degree is not as valuable as a university degree.

In today’s economy, more and more employers are looking to hire applicants, not based on college attended, but on applicable job skills. The metrics of standardized test scores and club affiliations, while still noteworthy accolades, are no longer the benchmarks of a qualified applicant. Employers take into account your entire body of work from your job experience, places you’ve interned at, previous volunteer history, and, of course, the practical skills you can bring to the company. Community college grads have the distinct advantage of entering the workforce with a degree or continue to further their education at a university.Many of the most in-demand jobs require only a 2 year degree.

Stereotype #2: Students attend community colleges because they didn’t get into a university.

This is a large misconception that couldn’t be further from the truth. Students are more price-savvy, progressive and meticulous than in years past when making decisions. Factors such as: tuition hikes, financial aid cuts, program offerings, etc. also affect a student’s choice of college. While these factors affect nearly all schools of higher learning, community colleges offer students lower tuition rates than universities and can save students from a life long repayment of student loan debt. Students at HindsCC get more personal attention because of smaller class sizes and because 6 locations are available, students can learn close to home - in a dorm, by commuting, or even online!

Stereotype #3: Transferring from a junior college to a university is a hassle.

Most universities have their own requirements for enrollment. This can make it difficult for a student to transfer into a particular university if all the prerequisites aren’t met beforehand. Community colleges, such as Hinds Community College, have  agreements with universities, which allow students to continue work towards their bachelor’s degree at a 4 year school with core credits that transfer easily.Hinds works with all Mississippi colleges and universities to create a seamless transition between the community colleges and universities.

Stereotype #4: Success is much harder to obtain after attending a community college.

Since the inception of community colleges, many people have attended them and gone on the achieve success in a multitude of ways. A short list of a few notable attendees include:

community college stereotypes
  • Halle Berry
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • David Chu
  • Eileen Collins
  • James Dean
  • Walter Elias Disney
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Tom Hanks
  • Teri Hatcher
  • Jim Lehrer
  • George Lucas
  • Sarah Palin
  • Nolan Ryan
  • John Walsh

Stereotype #5: Community colleges lack a variety of program options.

In addition to the traditional academic programs, community colleges offer students the opportunity to take on a career or technical program of their choice. They work alongside employers to determine which skills are necessary in a shifting economic landscape and create degree and certificate programs in order to meet those needs. Programs like Geographic Information Systems, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or Telecommunications Technology take emerging technologies and utilize them in a classroom setting, thereby enabling future graduates to enter the workforce with the applicable knowledge necessary.

The stereotypes that have long been associated with community colleges are dissolving because of the employment opportunities that are high-paying and in-demand that only require a 2 year degree. HindsCC offers many programs to get students in the workforce faster, which equals higher pay in a short amount of time. It’s always important that you do your due diligence whether you’re a student or parent, and with the amount of information available it’s easier for you to make an informed decision regarding college choice.


For more info on college tuition rates, check out this free download!

affordable tuition rates

Topics: College Students

Vicksburg Gateway to College Graduation Reception

Posted by Melanie Boyd on Thu, Jun, 11, 2015 @ 15:06:00 PM

Thirteen students  walked across a stage last month as the first graduates at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus of the Gateway to College program, which is geared to minimize dropouts from high school.

Below are photos taken during the reception on May 22nd where graduates were awarded and recognized for their accomplishments.




Those completing the Vicksburg Gateway to College program were: Deonna Roniece Allen, Haley Breelynn Carson, Caleb Daniel Christmas, Tre’Vion Ja’Quae Samuel Ellis, Sherika Renee Guise, Sherrell Michelle Lee Kelly, Meghan Elizabeth Marbury, Lakeithia Jenise McDaniel, Colby Stewart Miller, Mark Lee Trevillion, Curtis Lee Valentine and Regina, Lasha Valentine.














Topics: Gateway to College, Vicksburg-Warren Campus