Hinds Community College Blog

7 Steps To Financial Aid

Posted by Jamie Nash on Mon, Feb, 08, 2016 @ 16:02:00 PM

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The first mistake many students and families make is assuming they can't afford college. Don't be discouraged by tuition costs until you know how much financial aid you could get! Financial aid can significantly reduce the cost of college, but it can be tricky to estimate how much student aid you will get.  I've compiled 7 simple steps to help prosepective college students navigate their way through the financial aid process: 

Step 1: Apply for Admission 

Admission drives everything. If you haven’t completed the admission process, the college doesn’t know you exist, much less that you might need financial aid, and state and federal governments don’t know if you are planning to go to college. Click here  to start your Hinds Community College admission application. 


Step 2: Apply for Federal Aid

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA website is updated regularly and contains everything you need to know about the application process and the types of aid available. And the online application is WAY easier than the paper version.

Your FAFSA not only makes you eligible for federal financial aid, but also state aid and even scholarships offered by your college. So, you should DEFINITELY apply, even if you think you might not qualify! Get started now by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov

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Step 3: Apply for State Aid

Each year the State Legislature sets aside about $30 million that Mississippi students can use to go to college. Click here to view the AWARDS PROCESS & TIMELINE. Want general details on applying your State Financial Aid? Click Here.  

Below are the links to check your application status for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. Don't wait to apply! 

After completing the online application for state aid, applicants may be asked to submit supporting documents to the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid to complete an application. Click here for a PDF on submitting supported documents. 


 

Step 4: Apply for Other Scholarships

Hinds Community College offers a variety of scholarships. A great attribute of our college is that, unlike many other colleges and universities, we allow our students to receive more than one scholarship. We want your education to be accessible and affordable. Click here to check out the scholarship opportunities, their requirements and deadlines. Additionally, Hinds is here to help Veterans and their dependents use their benefits to cover college expenses.

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Step 5: Determine Your Total Cost of Attendance

You know the cost of tuition. But what is college really going to cost you?  Tuition and fees at Hinds are less than half the cost of attending a public four-year university in Mississippi and a fraction of the cost of attending a private college or university!  Hinds Community College has a lot of resources and tools to help you determine your cost of attendance.  Click here to get started. You can also take advantage of the automatic payment plan to help with costs.

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Step 6: Compare Financial Aid Award Packages

It's important to understand what percentage of the total aid package comes from scholarships and grants that do NOT have to be repaid. What percentage comes from loans that DO have to be repaid? Comparing your financial aid offers can be complicated, especially if your awards vary in the type and amount of aid given. Use the Compare Your Aid Awards tool to get a side-by-side comparison of your aid awards.

You can also use this Student Loan Comparison Calculator Private/Alternative Loans to figure out how much a loan really costs you in the long run. 


Step 7: Accept Your Financial Aid Award Package 

Your award probably consists of a combination of gift aid, loans and a job. Each of these is very different from the others. Understanding the differences is important. Click here  for more details.

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Once you choose the  financial aid package that works for you, you will need to accept the aid package by signing some paperwork. For more details and legal responsibilities of your financial aid package, please click here. 


Learn More About Financial Aid At Hinds

Contact the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid: 1-800-327-2980 or  Visit Their Website

Topics: financial aid

Taking Flight in Aviation

Posted by Jamar McQuarters on Fri, Feb, 05, 2016 @ 14:02:00 PM

As children, many young minds run wild with thoughts of, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” For those with a passion for aviation, these thoughts are usually proliferated with dreams of venturing through the sky in an aircraft.IMG_0146-1.jpg

Hinds Community College offers various aviation programs that span from piloting the largest airliners to maneuvering the smallest drones. The programs offered include:

  • Commercial Aviation
  • Aviation Maintenance
  • Aviation Technology

COMMERCIAL AVIATION: While pursuing a degree in the field of commercial aviation, students train in piloting aircraft, radio communication procedures, and interpreting weather reports. Students undergo at least 50 hours of private pilot training at Hinds, but some rules only require a minimum of 40. Some estimates have piloting licenses costing around $8k, but these figures change depending on whether a student obtains their license through college or an FBO.

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AVIATION MAINTENANCE: The field of aviation maintenance deals with the inspection and repair of aircraft components and systems. Licenses are available in three main areas: General, Airframe and Powerplant. It’s recommended that a student get these together, but some companies, depending on the job specifications, only require one or the other.

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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY: Careers in aviation technology are primarily outside of the spectrum of actual piloting, but they’re closely related. Programs include: Unmanned Aerial Systems, Airport Operations, Aviation Security and Air Traffic Control. Air traffic controllers deal with escorting pilots to and from the runway in a safe manner. Aviation Security handles security procedures with commercial airports. People employed in this field usually work with government and non-governmental entities. With the advent of UAV technology, the program of Unmanned Aerial Systems is slated to impact a multitude of industries, ever increasing job prospects for people with the capabilities to maneuver the aircraft.


Needless tosay, careers inflying are not for the faint of heart, but even if you’re not privy to flying there’s a plethora of job opportunities out there that exist. Like most careers, dedication and hard work are essential to doing well in these professions. As many industry professionals can probably attest, students with these qualities are perfect fits for the field of aviation.

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Topics: Aviation

You don’t have to win the lottery to help fund Hinds scholarships

Posted by Cathy Hayden on Fri, Feb, 05, 2016 @ 10:02:00 AM

The Powerball mania a few weeks ago spurred a spate of social media posts along the lines of what would you do if you won several million dollars in the lottery. It’s a nice fantasy but the chances of winning are pretty slim, although someone has to win. It might as well be me, right? But first I would have had to buy a ticket, and a trip to Louisiana just wasn’t in my plans.

But like a lot of people I was happy to share my thoughts about what I would do if I did buy a lottery ticket and rake in a few million dollars extra. First thing, of course, would be paying off some bills and setting up funds for my children and grandchildren. Sure, I’d want to take care of my own first.

A close second, however, would be my dream of funding scholarships for would-be college students. In my fantasy I’d fund scholarships for everyone in the senior class of the small rural Missouri high school I graduated from. My class had less than 40 graduates so that wouldn’t be terribly expensive. Then I’d create something at my alma mater, Ole Miss. I’m not sure what angle I would take in that endeavor but I’d come up with something meaningful.

The bulk of the scholarships, however, would be funded at Hinds Community College where I work. I’ve seen first-hand the amount of good a little money can do to help someone afford to finish college. As our college president Dr. Clyde Muse likes to say, sometimes $100 is the difference between someone staying in school or dropping out. Like me, he came from humble rural circumstances and knows well the importance of being given opportunity.

My own daughter, a single parent, benefited greatly from a Hinds scholarship that helped her go to nursing school and achieve her goal. Not only do she and her daughter benefit from her being able to earn a good living, but her patients also benefit from the excellent training she received.

Donating to the Hinds Community College Foundation is a great way to maximize the amount of good that can be done with a little bit of money.

There are lots of angles I could take for scholarship funding but I admit I have a soft spot for the older students who are driven to college by necessity or have had a long-time dream they have a chance to finally realize. Some of them are returnees. Some of them are first-timers. I wouldn’t discriminate, though, against the ones who gave it a shot as a traditional college student and didn’t succeed the first time. The older students are the most fun to talk to at graduation. They typically bring a crowd to see them graduate - parents, spouses, their own children and sometimes their best friend who always believed they could do it.

I know that we need a more educated workforce so I might put some money into not only scholarships for career-technical programs but more money into recruiting students into those programs. The majority of our students are women, and we also need more of the guys in the 25 to 40 year old range to step up and get trained for great opportunities that are here now and coming in the future to Hinds County.

One of the fun things we do at Hinds is a fall reception in which many of the donors to our scholarship funds get a chance to meet the student or students who are directly benefiting from their donation. It allows the donors to talk to their student and put a real face to a name.

One of those students is Hannah Ross, this year’s president of our Hinds Connection recruiting group. Hinds Communications Specialist Danny Barrett Jr. recently talked to Hannah for a story in our Hindsight alumni magazine. She is receiving the Marvin and Virginia Riggs Scholarship, as well as an ACT Scholarship.Hannah_Ross_.jpg

Ross will graduate from Hinds in May and go on to study radiology. “My mom had cancer and was diagnosed when I was in the ninth grade, so we were in and out of hospitals all the time. I just saw how the ‘good nurses,’ as she would call them, were so nice and friendly. The radiologists that took her scans made her feel so comfortable. I saw how that made her day so much better. If I could do that for someone else, I would love that.”

 She’s just one great example of the students our Foundation Scholarships help. And, so it happens, the deadline for application for a Hinds Community College Foundation scholarship for fall 2016 is coming up on March 1. It’s a pretty easy process to complete with the promise of a great return for the time put in. For more information about applying, click here.

Come to think of it, I don’t need to win the lottery to put a little money into scholarships at Hinds. Anyone can do that with whatever they can afford to contribute. One way is to contribute money to a memorial for someone who is deceased or an honorarium to honor someone who already has a scholarship established in their name. Or if you have a little more money than would fit into my piggybank ($500), you can establish your own scholarship. If you would like to endow a scholarship, you would need $15,000. For any of those options, the contact is Betty Carraway, who can be reached at ecarraway@hindscc.edu or 601.857.3800.

One of our great donors is Dorothy Davis Miley, who now has five endowed family scholarships in the Hinds Community College Foundation. Below is a photo of Mrs. Miley with some of the students her Foundation donation helped this year.

For more about Mrs. Miley and her generous donations, click here.

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Recently recognized at a Hinds Community College scholarship reception were Phillip Thomas of Brandon, from left, who received the Robert Miley Scholarship; Myra Hayes-Lacey of Raymond, who received the Dorothy Davis Miley Scholarship; Dorothy Davis Miley of Raymond, who donated for the scholarships; Jaquila Matthews of Moss Point, who received the H.H. Davis Memorial Scholarship and Vincent Davis of Benton, who also received the H.H. Davis Memorial Scholarship.

Topics: Foundation Scholarships

Hinds CC ceramics students fight hunger with 'Empty Bowls'

Posted by April Garon on Fri, Jan, 29, 2016 @ 14:01:00 PM

ceramicsemptybowls-1.jpg Ceramics II students Anna Holden, Kait Massie, Chastity Mathes, Nicolette Davis, Ceramics Instructor Sarah Teasley, Susan Causey, Joanna Steven and Darla Schallenberger are shown with their handmade bowls that will be used for fundraising through grassroots organization Empty Bowls.

Empty Bowls focuses on raising money to help organizations fight hunger. Empty Bowls events take place all across the country, and though none of them are affiliated, they all go by the same name and serve the same purpose.

Ceramics Instructor Sarah Teasley first became involved with the project when she was a graduate student at the University of Mississippi studying ceramics. It was a natural next step to bring the project to Hinds.

"I delight in the fact that handmade pots can bring people together, offer comfort, cultivate kinship, and raise money for a worthy cause," Teasley said. 

The students in Ceramics II class have been steadily working on bowls to donate to the Empty Bowls event that will take placein Oxford this month. This is the second year the Hinds Ceramics class has donated bowls. Last year, the class donated 93 bowls. This year students have more than doubled their effort, with more than 225 bowls. Many Empty Bowls events may include a meal of soup served in the unique bowls in return for a donation.

"Participating in this event with my own students creates space for conversations about the virtues of handmade pottery and the importance of giving. As one of my students said, the commitment of thought, creativity, and time when making bowls for this event allows them to develop a personal solution to a very real problem," Teasely said. 

Below are photos of the students working towards completing the bowls.

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To learn more about the Hinds Art Department, click here

Go here for more information about the Empty Bowls Project.

Topics: art, ceramics

Lines, stress to be thing of the past with new web tools

Posted by Danny Barrett Jr. on Fri, Jan, 22, 2016 @ 11:01:00 AM

A pair of new apps to go live on Hinds Community College’s website once it actually starts to feel like spring outside should revolutionize the college experience for all our students.

One has to do with registration and planning classes – two things that have depended on those all-too-fallible human advisers for generations of students, myself included. Another deals with financial aid, another experience of college comparable only to being sent into a minefield during battle. Or, nailing Jell-O to a tree – whichever image you prefer.

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Colleague Student Planning, introduced in 2012 by Ellucian, an education software and tech developer, is replacing Web Advisor on the college’s website as the place students go to register for classes online. It’ll help the hundreds of students we have at Hinds who juggle work, school and/or a family figure out on their own which academic and career-tech classes to schedule. If a class doesn’t match a student’s degree plan, the web tool will alert them, allowing the student to put together a road of classes they can ride all the way to graduation. And it’s versatile, too, because a student can modify their virtual planner if they decide to switch majors.

Key players at Hinds plan to have it online here April 5, when students register for summer and fall classes. Its on-screen look is still in development, but you can click here to view a video from Ellucian that breaks it down nicely.

ellucian_challenge1.png.jpegFolks, this is big deal because it’ll help students cut through the haze of curriculum re-writes, missing work to meet with an adviser and myriad other issues that working students face. I have some background in that, both personally and from getting to know a few students here in that category.

I was in college during the modern Internet’s infancy, in the late ’90s. Registration and finding out about financial aid meant long lines down a hallway and out the door. Speaking as someone who juggled low-wage jobs (two of them, at one point) and classes, a tool like would have cut out 90+ percent of my stress – even if had meant waiting on dial-up connections on those old desktops. I’d have run to it faster than the little AOL stick-figure in their old commercials.

On the aid side, the Financial Aid Self-Service tool expected to go live on students’ MyHinds portal by the beginning of March will let students track their financial assistance status. An early look shows it’ll be a simple color-coded system for tracking applications for grants and loans. Yes is green, no is yellow.

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Invariably, new students will crowd and gather in bunches during registration time. And, in the face of all this technology, academic advisers still have an important job to do when a student needs face time to manage their degree plan. Still, encouraging students to use the new web tools to track their academic status simply makes sense. It goes double for students already motivated to “make the grade” but could use the resource to help manage life’s other responsibilities.

 It also ties in to the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan theme of student self-sufficiency, which is part of a larger effort to renew Hinds’ accreditation later this year. The slogan is “It’s All About Me at Hinds CC.” These tools makes sure it’s about something else, too – their futures.

Topics: Student Life

Hinds CC is building its own field of dreams

Posted by Tracy Duncan on Fri, Jan, 15, 2016 @ 16:01:00 PM

If Hinds builds it, the Lady Eagles will come. A new era is being ushered in this year in Raymond, Miss. - at least for the Hinds Community College softball program. Construction was begun last spring on a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility that will soon become the new home of the Lady Eagles' softball team.  

This new field promises to rival the best anywhere with features such as: high-quality synthetic turf infield; total field drainage to permit play in all but the most dangerous weather conditions; spacious, brightly-lit brick dugouts with oak benches, raised helmet cubbies and heated restrooms; home-side batting cage and synthetic turf bullpens adjacent to the dugouts; and in-ground electricity to accommodate a pitching machine at the mound to name a few for the first phase of construction. Later, a press box, field lights, bleachers and a large concession stand will be added to further upgrade the field. 

This beautiful field would make any softball player proud to play at Hinds. 

Below are some photos taken as the construction progressed, from start to current stage of completion. 

 

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 Site for the new softball field just before clearing and construction began. As viewed from the future outfield looking toward home plate.

 

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 Ground had been broken and surface grading had begun. As viewed from outfield area toward home plate.

 

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 A view near completion of the synthetic turf infield.

 

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 The visitor's dugout, viewed from the pitcher's mound.

 

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 The home team dugout with bullpen and batting cage to to the right, just past the restroom.

 

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 Inside the visitor's dugout.

 

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 Wide-angle view from behind home plate.

 

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 Batting cage being finished.

 

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 A view from the pitcher's mound toward home plate and Renfroe Stadium in the background.

 

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 The new softball field as of Jan. 13, 2016.

 

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 Rolls of sod to be laid out around the perimeter of the field and facility.

 

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A view from the hill outside the first base foul pole. Dirt area will get sodded.

 

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 The architect's rendering of the various phases of completion. Elements that look 'ghosted' will come after the first construction phase.

Ten Ways to Make the Most of Your Spring Semester

Posted by Jordan Mitchell on Fri, Jan, 08, 2016 @ 11:01:00 AM

Well, you’re here! You’ve made it! You have finished off the fall semester in a strong way, and the glorious winter break is nearing its end. You’ve spent the last few weeks sleeping late, watching hours of Netflix, seeing old friends, and you’ve had just about as much family time as you can possibly handle. It’s time to pack everything up, turn off the Star Wars marathons, and head back to school. The spring semester is a great time for the students at Hinds CC, and it’s up to you to make the most of it! Here’s a few quick tips on how to make the MOST of your spring semester.

 1) Get organized. The fall semester is a busy one, and it's easy to throw everything into one pile in your dorm room or live out of your car for three months. If you want to have success this semester, being organized will help you get there! It will make your life much easier and you will be able to focus that energy in the classroom!

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2) Take a renewed interest in your classes. It's really easy to not pay attention during the first few weeks of classes while you are getting back into a routine. If you do that, you will be stuck cramming for midterms and writing last minute papers causing you much unneeded stress! Start focusing day one, and it will pay off after graduation! Literally!

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3) Begin searching for a summer internship. Summer internships are the best way to get a leg up on compeition when it comes time for the real world. An internship is truly invaulable. It gives you professional experience, networking connections, and can possibly even land a job after graduation. The good ones get filled fast, so start looking now! 

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4) Make health a priorty. Being healthy is a key aspect of being successful. You need your body to be energized while attending your classes! So invest in yourself. Begin running, hiking, playing frisbee, just do SOMETHING! The wellness centers at Hinds CC are a great tool for students to stay in shape. Intersted? Check it out here! 

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5) Attend a career fair. Career fairs are a GREAT resource for college students to make connections with potential employers. It's a day set up all about YOU finding a job. So put on your Sunday's best, and get out there! Jobs are waiting for you! 

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6) Read and write, often. The most successful people in this world love to read, and they write consistently. College is the best time of your life to sharpen both of those skills. So, set a goal! Maybe read one book a month, or blog once a week. It will help you tremendously after graduation and you will constantly be learning! 

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7) Spend some time working on something outside of your major. I understand that your major is probably something your passionate about, but don't get too overwhelmed with it! Spend some time looking at other professional certifications, picking up a new hobby, or just learning some new skills! It will help you balance out your school work and will keep you from going crazy! 

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8) Make connections with your instuctors. I'm not saying be a "teachers pet", but I am saying it is a good idea to form a positive relationship with your instuctors. They have real world experience, and can offer some great advice! There is also a chance of them helping you land a job after graduation, and you'll be thankful for it when the time comes! 

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9) Make the most of your downtime. It's way to easy too sleep during your break between classes, but why not take that time and do something productive with it? It will help you get ahead in your classes, and will create positive habits for the future. 

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10) Meet new people. There are TONS of people on the campuses at Hinds CC, and college is where you make the relationships that will last for a lifetime. Get out of your shell and start to get more involved! If you do, you're guaranteed to make new friends and enjoy your time much more. After all, spring break is on the way. Did I hear someone say road trip with new friends? 

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Download the Checklist for Success!  

Instructors at Hinds CC Are One of a Kind

Posted by Jordan Mitchell on Thu, Jan, 07, 2016 @ 10:01:00 AM

At many colleges, finding an instructor who knows your name is hard to come by. Students are usually packed into an auditorium with hundreds of others where attendance may be taken, but overall the students are just another number. Finding help with projects or tips for exams can be difficult, and even getting a professor to email back in a timely manner can seem exasperating. At major universities, this is a well known problem and because of the classroom sizes, it doesn't seem be going away any time soon. 2016-01-07_163157_00001-2.png

 At Hinds Community College, that is definitely not the case. During my time working here I’ve had the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with multiple instructors from all different types of programs and campuses. During my time speaking with them, it was clear that they love teaching here at Hinds and they care about the students. Don't take my word for it, let's listen to theirs! 

Meet Kendalin Moses, she's a speech instuctor at our Jackson Academic/Technical Center. She has a passion for her students and a passion for teaching! 

Next up is Ben Cloyd, a history instructor on the Raymond Campus. He loves having small class sizes and connecting with the students! 

Here is Priscilla Burks. She is the Director of Practical Nursing at the Nursing Allied Health Center. From the beginning of my coversation with her, it was obvious she CARES about the students! 

Let's turn the page to John Harrison. He is a math instructor on the Vicksburg Campus. His passion is helping students make decisions and helping them leave with more knowledge than they had when they entered the classroom!

This is Carl Dewitt. He's a physics instuctor on the Rankin Campus who loves helping students acheive that "lightbulb" moment where they begin to understand and succeed in the classroom! 

Last but definitely not least, let's listen to Dan Fuller. He's an English Instructor on the Utica Campus. He enjoys helping students find their mission and passion in life, and helping them fulfull it! 

Overall, Hinds CC truly is a family atmosphere that offers students small class sizes, individual attention, and gives them a great chance to succeed in the classroom. Let's finish this off listening to the students speak for themselves! 

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Hinds CC track & field star Robert Wells continues to find success

Posted by Jamie Nash on Wed, Jan, 06, 2016 @ 11:01:00 AM

Community college athletic programs may not be as extravagant as 4-year universities, but they do have a lot of advantages. Because of scholarships, community college athletes have access to higher education at little or no cost and—if successful—they get the opportunity to continue their education and athletic career at a university. This is true for former Hinds Community College track and field star Robert Wells.

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Robert is a two-year letterwinner at Hinds Community College, where he earned All-American and All-Conference honors. In May 2014, Robert competed in the Southern Miss' Black & Gold Invitational, where he won 1st place in the Men’s 200-meter dash, placed 3rd in the men’s 100-meter dash and helped the Hinds track team win first as the anchor in the men’s 4×100 meter relay!

2016-01-06_174852_00001.pngThe Hinds Community College track & field program has been very successful under Head Coach Reginald Dillon. When asked about his relationship with Robert, Coach Dillon said: 

Robert came to Hinds and the most important thing he wanted was to graduate and attend a Division 1 school.  It was a pleasure coaching him—he always did extra and he was a model student.  Robert set his goals high and never lost focus.  I can expect a text or a call at least 2-3 times a week during track season just to tell me how a race went or if he needs some motivation.  Sometimes I have to remind him that he needs to relax... he's worked hard and prepared as much as he can.  I'm very proud to say Robert Wells is a true Eagle.

Robert commented on their relationship saying, "Coach Dillion was a father figure to me. His main goal was to make sure the students he coached were able to succeed in the classroom and on the field.  We have a strong relationship and talk daily. He always gives me advice and makes sure I am doing well in my classes. Because of Coach Dillion and his training, I am now a Division 1 athlete. I received an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern Mississippi—where I'm able to continue my education and grow as an athlete." 

2016-01-06_175457_00001.pngRobert continues his college career at the University of Southern Mississippi as a member of the Golden Eagle Track & Field team. This past April, Robert  finished 3rd in the 100 Meters competition with a time of 10.89.  Sourthern Miss Track & Field recaps the event in their article:  'Golden Eagle Track & Field Teams Collect 10 Event Champions at the Southern Miss Invitational'.

A new season for the Southern Miss Track & Field athletes will begin on May 2 [2016] at the Jace LaCoste Invitational hosted by Mississippi State. Robert's final thoughts on the upcoming season: "This year will be my senior year at Southern Miss and I plan on starting were I left off.  I'm on a mission and will to do whatever it takes to achieve my goals for this upcoming season."

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Topics: Hinds Community College Athletics

Stay Focused on That Goal

Posted by Tammi Bowles on Fri, Dec, 18, 2015 @ 14:12:00 PM

As the end of this semester here at Hinds Community College wraps up, I am thinking about the many things I need to do as I am looking forward to my last semester here as a part-time student. As I have said in one of my past bogs,   http://hub.hindscc.edu/blog/bid/360775/My-Latest-and-Possibly-Greatest-Challenge I am one of those adult students who has gone back to school after many years of working. It has taken me a couple of years, but if all goes well, after the dreaded college algebra class (that I am taking in the spring,) I should be able to walk across that stage in May with my Associate's degree! So of course I am thinking about what lies ahead, and what I need to do to stay focused on my goal. Maybe these tips will help others who are transitioning to a four-year college as an adult…or at least maybe they will help me stay focused!                     

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First off be sure to get your graduation requirements met. You can find these on the Hinds Community College website under Admissions.

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Meet with an adviser in your last semester (or before) or transfer specialist. This will help ensure that you are enrolled in classes relevant to your major that will transfer.

Do your research on four-year colleges if you are moving on to pursue your Bachelor’s. Check out which college has the best programs for your major. Review the school’s transfer application process. Talk to your instructors; they could have some major insight on where you should transfer.

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Take a day off work and go to the campus of the college that you will be attending, talk to a counselor, an admissions clerk and a financial aid adviser. Maybe even sit in on a class! (I realize that you might not be able to do this if you are doing online classes at a college nowhere near you, but you can spend some time calling them.)

If you are graduating in the spring, register (before you graduate,) for a summer class (or two) at your four-year college.

After all of the research and talking to advisers, faculty and transfer specialist, you should now know about scholarships, so be sure to apply, apply, apply.

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Going back to college as a part-time student is not easy, especially working full time in the PR office and raising two kids on my own, but I am actually starting to see some of the rewards with being so close to graduating from Hinds Community College. I realize that I still have a long road ahead of me. I am still a bit undecided on exactly what I want to do when I reach that goal…either teach or possibly be a counselor for middle school, but I do know that every class I take is a step closer to achieving my dream of being a college graduate!

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