Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Process Operations Technology program is hosting a team from the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program to discuss the practices used in the program to recruit a diverse group of students and prepare them for great careers in industry. The program was recently named winner of the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award as one of only eight programs in the nation. They were recognized for providing outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing and for their intentional outreach and support of diverse populations typically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.
The team is visiting the Jackson County Campus and the Process Operations Technology program virtually November 17-18, holding discussions with college leadership, instructors, institutional researchers, academic advisers, and industry partners. These discussions, along with data and other information provided by MGCCC, will allow the Aspen team to use what they’ve learned at Gulf Coast to help other community college programs across the U.S.
“We are proud of our outstanding programs, like the Process Operations Technology program, and are excited that this program is being recognized on a national level,” said Dr. Mary S. Graham, MGCCC president. “At MGCCC, our goal is to provide outstanding education and training for the diverse population of our four-county district so they have a clear pathway to great-paying jobs and advanced degrees.”
Overall, U.S. jobs in STEM fields are projected to grow at almost double the rate of non-STEM occupations. More than half of all STEM jobs across the United States require no more than an associate degree and pay wages that average more than $50,000 annually.