Mississippi’s community and junior college systems are celebrating the success of a first-year program.
‘Complete 2 Compete’ is a statewide initiative focused on encouraging Mississippi adults who have completed some college but have not earned a degree, to return to college and finish what they started.
“The Complete 2 Compete initiative has been a great success in its first year helping hundreds of Mississippi adults finish obtaining a degree in higher education,” Governor Phil Bryant said at a ceremony in Jackson. “This is an accomplishment they should be very proud of and is to be commended. We look forward to growing the initiative in the years to come.”
In the first year of implementation, 486 degrees have been earned through the program, including 323 associate degrees and 163 bachelor’s degrees. The effort is a partnership between the Institutions of Higher Learning, the Mississippi Community College Board and the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges.
“The lives of the nearly 500 people who have earned their degree through the Complete 2 Compete initiative are forever changed,” said Dr. Andrea Mayfield, Executive Director of the Mississippi Community College Board. “These individuals are now college graduates, and with the degree comes countless opportunities that can be quantified in terms of employment and wage gains. The Mississippi Community College Board and the community colleges are proud of the success of the program this first year. We are collectively proud for the students who seized this unique opportunity to complete their degree, and we look forward to the many successes that will come in the future.”
The initiative has been made possible through resources provided by the Governor’s office, Mississippi Department of Human Services, Mississippi Department of Employment Security and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“The Mississippi Department of Human Services appreciates the opportunity to assist individuals and families eliminate barriers which prevent independence,” said John Davis, Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Human Services. “Our partnership with the Institutions of Higher Learning, the Mississippi Community College Board and the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges continues to provide very positive results. We look forward to continued growth in the Complete 2 Compete as we work with families holistically and from a Generational Plus approach.”
Adults across Mississippi continue to show interest in participating in the program. To date, there have been 38,770 visits to the website, 13,000 total applications and 858 adults enrolled.
“The Complete to Compete initiative has been very successful in its first year of implementation,” said Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education. “Thanks to support from Governor Bryant, our funders and partners, hundreds of Mississippians have earned a degree and thousands more are in the pipeline to completion. This program makes a tremendous difference to these individuals and the state.”