MAYHEW — Members of the public are invited to attend an Oct. 19 open house at East Mississippi Community College’s Golden Triangle campus hosted by the Mississippi Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training, or MI-BEST, program, which helps students earn their High School Equivalency diploma while providing additional skills needed to enter the workforce.
“Everything we offer in the MI-BEST program is free to our students,” MI-BEST Career Navigator Jeremy Tate said. “The open house is a good way to introduce the program to those who could benefit from the services we offer. We encourage those in need of their high school diplomas to come out and chat with us and enjoy the day’s festivities.”
The outdoor event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. adjacent to the CMTE building. There is no cost to attend. MI-BEST students, navigators and administrators will be hand to answer questions about the program and provide additional information. Refreshments will be served.
Activities will include a basketball challenge and three-on-three tournament, a health walk and horseshoes, among other things.
“Not only are we encouraging the public to attend but we are inviting all EMCC students to come out and participate as well,” Tate said. “We are all Lions.”
The MI-BEST program is operated under the umbrella of EMCC’s Adult Basic Education Launch Pad. In addition to High School Equivalency courses, students are taught Manufacturing Basic Skills, such as blueprint reading and precision measurements. They also earn certificates for completing training in CPR and OSHA guidelines.
Many MI-BEST students also simultaneously enroll in Career Technical programs or noncredit programs offered through the Workforce Services Division. Information will be available at the open house on programs such as Manufacturing Skills Basic, Certified Nursing Assistant and Commercial Truck Driving.
The open house is scheduled to coincide with MI-BEST week, which runs Oct. 16-21. Community colleges across the state will spotlight the MI-BEST program during the week.
Adopted by the Mississippi Board of Community Colleges, MI-BEST was implemented last year at all 15 community colleges in the state and is funded statewide, in part, by a $6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Tate said the program can be life-changing.
“We see people come through the MI-BEST program who felt hopeless and left out because they did not finish high school,” Tate said. “We help them get their GED and provide them the skills to get a good paying job. Many of them go from earning minimum wage to making a good living as commercial truck drivers or industrial factory workers. That can make a huge difference in their lives and the lives of their families.”