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Hinds Community College, Mississippi

Please join us in congratulating Hinds Community College for being chosen as NC3’s February 2021 School on the Rise!

Hinds Community College, located in Raymond, Mississippi, has been an NC3 Leadership School since 2013 and is the pinnacle of Career and Technical Education in their state.

Between certifications from Festo, Snap-on, Greenlee, and Dremel, Hinds Community College students have a multitude of resources at their fingertips to support them as they work towards acquiring successful careers in the technical field.

Hinds Community College prides itself in being able to offer the best quality education to its students. When they recognized that industry certifications were an important asset that employers seek out in job candidates, they compounded their efforts in developing exceptional certification programs. Dr. Chad Stocks, Vice President of Workforce and Community Development, remarked on this realization. He states, “We had a company approach us looking for summer interns and they wanted to interview our best students for the job. Now, we do a great job of preparing our students so all of our candidates had resumes and had been coached on interviewing. As an instructor, you know who your best students are, and you can rank them from top to bottom. At the end of the interviews, out of the five students, the three lowest ranking students got the job and the two top students did not.” He continues, “We were racking our brains as to how our two best students didn’t get the job. When we called the employer to ask what went wrong, he said that the three other students had more industry credentials.” 

“That’s when we realized that industry-recognized certifications were what was going to set Hinds students apart from other institutions in our area.”

Industry credentials, while valuable to include in any resume, can also have the potential to be costly to those seeking certifications. Dr. Stocks describes this as being one of the many reasons why Hinds Community College chose NC3 as their school’s certification platform. He explains, 

“The cost of industry certifications is the primary issue for all schools pursuing credentials for their students but NC3 and all the benefits we gain from membership work perfectly with our program. The certifications don’t cost anything for the student and it gives them a clear and distinct advantage in the field.”

The opportunity to earn NC3’s industry-recognized certifications at Hinds Community College is simply one element of the major benefits students gain from attending Hinds Community College. Another is that the instructors involved with their CTE programs have extensive and varied experiences in the skilled trades. David Roberts, Electro-Mechanical Instructor, says, 

“In my personal opinion, it’s the instructors we have and who we are able to bring in that sets Hinds apart. Our backgrounds are so diverse, and that makes what we’re able to offer to our students so great. Sure, we’re able to teach them about the equipment and certifications but we have the background on how to apply it in the real world. With our different experiences, we’re able to combine our knowledge and help each other build a better program.”

In addition to Hinds Community College instructors’ abilities to help students apply their education in the field, they also go to great lengths to work with local industry to adapt to new technology. Phillip Cockrell, Engineering Drafting and Design Technology instructor, states, “Here at Hinds, we work a lot with Industry. We try to meet what the industry is asking for. In education, if you’re trying to teach something that you learned 10 years ago, you’re out of date. At Hinds, we make an effort to keep up with industry, and I think that makes us stand out.”

Hinds Community College is fiercely committed to changing the way career and technical education is perceived to secondary students pursuing professional careers. Ward “W.P.” Marsh, Aviation Maintenance Technology Curriculum Coordinator and Instructor, explains, “a lot of trade skills are being lost, and we’re finding that this is costing the general public. Personally, I’m really happy to be a part of teaching Career and Technical skills at a two-year level. In two years of concentrated study, we can get individuals out into the workforce, earning a living, and doing good, tangible work. In a time of emergency, who is going to be able to repair the roof on that house that just blew away? Who is going to be able to provide basic electricity or plumbing to a house that was damaged? It’s our Career and Technical people who are at the root of providing quality of life to our community. We can’t underemphasize the importance of that.” 

So what’s next for Hinds Community College? David Roberts remarks, “a long term goal for our Festo Program is to become Festo Level 2 certified. But for all of our programs, our goal is to not stop. Like we all said before, we want to continue to gain new knowledge and provide that knowledge for our students.”

Thank you, Hinds Community College, for being an exemplary NC3 Leadership School and congratulations again on being awarded the designation of NC3’s February 2021 School on the Rise! We’re excited to see your school continue to advance even further! 

Stay tuned for our next School on the Rise recipient in March 2021!

Questions about NC3’s School on the Rise? Please contact Erika Staackmann, Customer Success Coordinator, 847.533.6985,

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