Co-Lin is an asset for the Miss-Lou

Published 12:02am Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Over the years, I have observed that alumni of Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Mississippi State tend to look down their noses at students who transfer in from community colleges.

That is not a judgment, just a statement of fact. However, since I have been in Natchez I have had the privilege of taking a few courses at our own community college at Co-Lin. And I want to take this opportunity to report to all other alumni of the so-called “big three” that our little community college is a very fine institution of higher learning.

One of the arguments used against community colleges is that their faculty is not as highly educated, therefore, not as able to teach as that of universities.

My experience at Mississippi State and Co-Lin has shown that the exact opposite is the case.

The truth is that many lower level courses, freshman and sophomore, are taught by graduate students at universities. And these graduate students may or may not have developed the skill to teach the material.

Whereas the community colleges have teachers that already have earned their master’s degrees and usually have years of experience in teaching their subjects.

I have taken three courses at Co-Lin: one in history, one in English and one in math. I suppose it could be coincidence that three of the best instructors I have ever had in all my 193 hours of undergraduate and postgraduate study have been at Co-Lin, but that would stretch the limits of probabilities to the point that it would be very suspicious.

But a Mrs. Jones performed a miracle at Co-Lin! I had failed college algebra three times at Mississippi State, and trig twice; but I managed to earn a B in Algebra at Co-Lin. I tell you, I’ve not gotten smarter; it was due to better instruction.

Furthermore, Mr. Jim Wiggins is quite possibly the best instructor — overall — that I’ve ever sat under. And that is saying a bunch! He makes history come alive. You feel as though you are right there, experiencing it.

And, though I was most regrettably not able to finish the course due to illness, I saw enough to know that Ms. Jan Pickle is far and away the best English teacher your children will ever be likely to have — even if they, too, wind up with nearly two hundred hours of college credit.

So, for those of you who are trying to decide where to attend, consider this: your freshman and sophomore years could not be better spent than at our little community college.

Co-Lin truly is a great asset to the entire Miss-Lou.


Billy Johnson

Natchez resident


  • Shawn

    As the cost of higher education continues to increase in this country and the availability of Pell Grants and scholarships decreases, community colleges and votech schools are going to play a more important role in America.  The privatization of the Federal Student Loan Program places students in the clutches of firms such as Sallie Mae, who charge fees and interest rates far above what were charged when the loans came directly from the government. If the current trend continues, a four year college education will be only for the wealthy.

  • Anonymous

    Economics is not your thing, I see.  Neither is reality.  College enrollment is at an all-time high.  When supplies are limited but demand increases, prices goes up.  Add to it that the government is paying for a full third of all college tuition in this country and the schools can pretty much charge what they want.  The government will pay.  For those who won’t be covered by the government, they can always get loans.  No need to drop prices.

    Tuition is as high as it is because government pays for it and it is not a free market with real competition.  Your assessment is completely backwards.  If college were a cash only deal, it would be dirt cheap.

    There are too many people in college.  They go and learn nothing.  They come out even less skilled than when they went in.  Colleges are raking in government grants and loans and turning out students who can’t get jobs.  That is cost prohibitive.  When the education bubble bursts, tuition will plummet but many “majors” that are nothing more than navel-gazing will go away.  They too are cost prohibitive.  You might like late 17th century Thai sculpture but the days of spending 4-8 years on the dole to learn no usable skills are almost over.

    That said, yeah.  Community colleges are great.  I have not noticed anyone looking down their noses at me, though.

  • khakirat

    I hope Obama does what he said that he was going to do by cutting federal aid to these major colleges if they didn’t start reducing cost of going to get a education !!!