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