Co-Lin marketing program scores highest in state

Published 12:23 am Sunday, October 7, 2007

NATCHEZ — The Business and Marketing Management Technology Program at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez recently earned the distinction as tops in the state.

For the first time, the program headed by Melinda Laird, received the highest scores of any community college in Mississippi. Students were recently graded in a variety of areas; their composite scores edged out 10 other community colleges on the Mississippi Career Planning Assessment System exam.

“I was thrilled. I was very proud of our graduates and excited that they had performed so well,” Laird said. “Our graduates last year were a great group of students and I know that they have a bright future ahead of them. We worked hard last year in a series of 10 study sessions leading up to the exam and I was thrilled to see that hard work had paid off.”

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“We are very proud of our students for their commitment, dedication, and outstanding achievement,” Natchez campus Dean Teresa Harrison said. “We have a strong Business and Marketing Management Technology Program which is a great asset to our community.”

“I am very proud of our program and the continued improvements and progress that we are making,” Laird said.

“For Co-Lin, I think this represents just one more example of our school’s ability to compete successfully with larger, better-known and perhaps better-funded colleges in the state.”

The students who took the exam are Conswella Cade, Sherrillia Dunbar and April Lowery of Natchez; Theodore Anthony and Jerri Proby of Woodville; Cameron Arnold of Roxie, and Chad Wactor of Washington.

“For my current students, I hope that this would encourage them to feel confident in the education, knowledge and experience they are receiving here,” Laird said. “I want them to understand that in this way, their program is the best in the state and is continuing to build this foundation.”

The honor is particularly important to Laird because she began teaching only in the fall of 2006, so her first class outperformed her counterparts’ classes in Mississippi.

“Being a relatively new instructor in the fall of 2006, I emailed other Business and Marketing instructors in the state to see what they did to prepare their students for CPAS. I received about four responses and a nice wealth of material that they shared with me,” Laird said.

“From that I planned a series of study sessions that prepare students in the weeks leading up to the exam. These sessions were a review of everything from basic test-taking skills to a review of their first semester course work.

“I tried to make the sessions fun and interactive since we met at times outside of their normal class times. We are continuing the sessions this fall for a new group of graduates and plan to retain our top spot status.”