Member Spotlight – Northeast Mississippi Community College
“I’m always pleased to approve our faculty and staff to attend a NISOD conference. NISOD provides high-quality professional development to conference participants. They return and share information with the rest of our Northeast employees.”
– Ricky G. Ford, President, Northeast Mississippi Community College
Ricky G. Ford, President
Member Spotlight Question and Answer
When did Northeast Mississippi Community College become a NISOD Member?
The college first joined NISOD in 1996.
Why is Northeast Mississippi Community College a NISOD Member?
NISOD provides valuable professional development for faculty, staff, and administrators. It is an “all inclusive” membership, and that is rarely found.
Which NISOD benefits does Northeast Mississippi Community College use the most and how?
The college focuses on faculty and staff attending the annual conference. However, as we construct our new professional development offerings, we anticipate including NISOD webinars and publications in our professional development model.
Interesting News Happening at Northeast Mississippi Community College
1:1 iPad Initiative and “Z Degree”
Northeast Mississippi Community College, under the vision of President Ricky Ford, is looking to the future by preparing students for the technological demands of the workforce and/or the next step of higher education through the 1:1 iPad initiative. Because of this initiative, students gain access to e-books and Open Educational Resource (OER) texts instead of purchasing traditional textbooks. The movement to use OER is an effort to reduce the cost of attending college by reducing the cost of textbooks. Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Michelle Baragona said, “With our 1:1 iPad initiative, we have been able to leverage technology to lower the textbook costs to students by an average of 71 percent per book. By adopting the inclusive access model for digital textbooks, we have been able to remove this barrier for students and provide them with needed course materials on the first day of class.”
As a result of the 1:1 iPad initiative, NEMCC now offers a “Z degree,” meaning that a student can earn an Associate of Arts in General Studies with zero costs for textbooks. Phased in over the past three and a half years, currently 92 percent of all textbooks are digital and 59 percent are zero cost. Dr. Baragona said, “For students in programs other than the Z degree, we’ve reduced the average textbook per course cost from $122 before iPad and OER to $32 this semester.” Actions such as the “Z degree” make NEMCC the number two Community College in the nation for online education. The college is proud of this distinction.
Jail to Jobs Program
Northeast Mississippi Community College is reaching outside of its walls and working with an incarcerated population through a process called Jail to Jobs. The college began this program as a means for inmates to earn nine hours of college credit attached to credentials that transfer to the workplace. Instruction is given in Alcorn County Correctional Facility by qualified instructors from the colleges, and students must fulfill the same requirements as students taking classes in a traditional setting. Using distance learning, the college expects to expand these offerings to other correctional facilities in the state.
Every month, NISOD turns the spotlight on the effective ways member colleges use NISOD benefits. These member colleges exemplify NISOD’s mission of improving teaching, learning, and leadership, with the ultimate goal being to increase student success.