ITTA BENA, Miss.— High school freshmen in the Greenville Public School District (GPD) who were brave enough to accept the challenge have become members of the inaugural class of the Greenville Public Early College High School (GPECHS) at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU).
GPECHS is a new initiative that includes a partnership between MVSU, GPD and the Mississippi Department of Education to provide an academically energizing environment where high school students can simultaneously earn a high school diploma plus transferable college credit through concentrated dual-credit opportunities.
MVSU is the first four-year Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning to participate in an early college high school effort.
As part of the initiative, select high school students will spend their days on the campus of MVSU completing high school and college courses. Ongoing plans have the first cohort of students, teachers, and classes coming to the University in August.
On Wednesday, July 18, those students who will be joining the program, along with their parents and guardians, visited MVSU to meet faculty, staff and tour the campus—including the Business Education Building where they will be taking courses.
Dr. Constance Bland, vice-president of academic affairs, shared her excitement with the students as well as encouraged them to do their best while explaining all the benefits of participating in the GPECHS initiative.
“I thank you so much for being brave enough to step out and be part of this adventure,” Bland said to the students and parents in attendance. You have the unique opportunity to gain college credits and get rewarded by knocking out possibly two years of college.”
MVSU Assistant Vice-President for Online Distance Education Dr. Kenneth Done then further explained what this unique opportunity will provide students.
“The impact for these students is great. They will be able to accumulate those hours and a high school diploma. When they complete high school, they will technically be a sophomore in college and all those hours are transferable,” Done said.
GPECHS Principal Pamela Ward said the initiative is a great way to prepare students for their postsecondary degree.
“This program is designed to help those students who may be first-generation college students to have the opportunity not only to earn college credit but be a part of a college,” she said. “…and the best thing is that they can earn those credits at no cost to the parents.”
To learn more about GPECHS, contact MVSU’s Office of Distance Education at (662) 254-3913.