Coahoma Community College’s roots date back to before the Civil Rights Movement, when segregation was still the norm. The school was originally founded as the first agricultural high school for African Americans in Mississippi in 1924, but within 45 years, it would bulk up its curriculum and become Coahoma Junior College. In its first year as a junior college in 1949, the school employed a lone full-time instructor and several part-time high school teachers. Within three years, the junior college brought a dean and full-time college staff onboard.
In 1950, Coahoma Junior College’s second year in existence, it became the first African American college to join the public junior college system in the state of Mississippi. Within 15 years, in 1965, the school would break more barriers, inviting students of all races and religions to study at the school.
The college, located in Clarksville, retained its name until 1989 when the school’s board of trustees, in conjunction with the community and junior colleges state board, voted to change the name to Coahoma Community College.
Today, the campus is the academic home of more than 2,000 students, the majority of whom are African American or Hispanic, with women outnumbering men across the board. The school recently officially unveiled its newest, six million dollar administration building, which will house the college’s executive staff, expanding its facilities as the college continues to grow.
The college awards both the associate of applied science and the associate of arts degree in a range of disciplines. The college is divided into the academic departments of art; business and computer information systems; English and foreign languages; health, physical education, and recreation; math and science; music; and social science, education, and psychology. Students can earn an associate’s degree in a variety of disciplines, such as early childhood education, computer science, and science.
In addition to programs leading to an associate’s degree, technical and career programs – from accounting technology and development, culinary arts, and hotel and restaurant management to barber/stylist, welding and cutting, and cosmetology – are offered to prepare students to enter the workforce upon graduation.
The college is rapidly becoming known for its innovative programs. The college holds the distinction of being one of the only colleges in the United States to offer polysomnography or sleep technology associate degrees.
In addition to traditional on-campus learning, students may also enroll in the college’s distance learning program, which is administered through the Blackboard or Desire2Learn online platforms. All students, before enrolling in an online class, must first take the READI assessment, which will determine a student’s preparedness for distance learning. The assessment assists students in determining where their strengths and weaknesses lie, so they can be better equipped to succeed in the online learning environment.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The school requires that applicants meet five specific criteria to gain acceptance to the school. In addition to printing and completing a paper application and submitting ACT scores, applicants must have all high school and college, if applicable, transcripts sent directly the admissions office. Applicants who have earned a GED are required to use the GED score request form to have their score sent to the college.
Applicants must also submit immunization records and a copy of their social security cards. Only after applicants have submitted the necessary information will they receive notification of whether they have been accepted.
Specific programs may have additional admissions requirements. Students applying for a program in the health sciences, for example, must pass both a drug test and a criminal background check and must submit, in addition to their social security card, photo identification.
Applicants interested in the dual enrollment program, which allows high school students to earn college credits while still in high school, must meet specific criteria, including maintaining an overall 2.5 GPA and having completed at least 14 high school credits. A principal or guidance counselor must also provide a letter with his or her unconditional recommendation of the applicant to the program.
Financial aid opportunities are abundant here and through outside sources. Many students use grants, scholarships, and loans to fund their college endeavors, and the financial aid office provides assistance to ensure students secure the necessary funding.
Federal grants – including the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant – both require that students fill out the FAFSA form annually. In fact, many non-federal grants and scholarships require that students also apply for federal grants.
In addition to federal grants, Mississippi residents can apply for state-specific money to fund their studies. The Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership, or LEAP, for example, administers awards between $200 and $1,500 annually to students who illustrate significant financial need. The Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant, or MRTA, and The Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant, or MESG, also provide financial gifts to students meeting specific criteria, including financial need and enrollment status.
Students may also be considered for a number of merit, departmental, community, administrative, and institutional scholarships. Mississippi residents, for example, may be eligible for the Trustee Scholarship and the Presidential Scholarship, both of which pay full tuition.
Federal work study and federal and private student loans may also be used to offset tuition and other education-related expenses.
Financial aid applications are due in mid-March for the fall semester, in mid-April for the summer semester, and at the beginning of April for the spring semester.
Student Financial Aid Details
Unlike the majority of community colleges, which are commuter-only schools, this college offers on-campus living. The residential halls feature double rooms in secure buildings. Amenities in the residential halls include wireless internet access and access control cards.
Recipients of the Pell Grant, who can afford to pay for their room and board, are given first consideration for on-campus housing. Students interested in on-campus housing must meet certain eligibility requirements, including maintaining a full-time class schedule and a minimum 2.0 GPA.
The hub of student life is the Student Union, where students can hang out between classes, catch up with friends, and make new friends. The Student Union also offers plenty of activities: Billiards, bingo, cards, checkers, dominoes, ping pong, and bowling are all popular among students. In addition to a cafeteria, the Student Union features the Tiger Grill, where students can grab a quick bite to eat.
Students can also get involved in one of the dozens of clubs and organizations on campus. Ambassadors assist the recruitment office, meeting with prospective students and attending on-campus recruitment activities. Politically inclined students, on the other hand, might want to opt for a position with the Student Government Association or with the Dormitory Council, and future leaders can join the Students in Free Enterprise.
Journalism students can join The Coahoma Tribune, the school’s official newspaper, which features one issue a semester. The student yearbook, the Coahoman, tracks the year’s events and activities in photographs.
Academic clubs are another popular option. From the accounting club and the education club to the criminal justice society and the computer science society, students have plenty of opportunity to get involved with organizations related to their majors.
Religious exploration is also encouraged here. Students can join in a regular Bible Study or can get involved on campus with the Baptist Student Union, the Church of God in Christ, the Wesley Foundation, or the Gospel Choir.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The Tigers field men’s baseball, women’s softball, football, and men’s and women’s basketball teams in the National Junior College Athletic Association. The women’s basketball team has perhaps enjoyed the most recognition of all the school’s sports, due in large part to hall of famer Audrey Williams.
The Tigers, who wear the school colors of maroon and white, are cheered on during competition by the cheerleading squad, which holds tryouts annually.
In addition to competitive sports, students may want to participate in intramurals. The college currently offers intramurals that allow for individual, dual, and team play in flag football, three on three flag football, five on five basketball, volleyball, softball, table tennis, tennis, and pool.
The campus Fitness & Wellness Center, available to students during the workweek, features treadmills, stationary bikes, stair masters, and elliptical trainers. Students can work out to DVDs or videos in front of one of the center’s two televisions or can get a aerobics workout in the dance/aerobics room.
For students who prefer a more calming experience, yoga classes are offered each week at The Yoga Experience. Classes are geared toward individual needs and expectations and include gentle yoga, beginner’s yoga, and senior’s yoga.
Accreditation is provided by The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.