Higher education proves to be excellent investment

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By Glenn Boyce, Commissioner of Higher Education

In the first half of the 20th century, there were many good jobs available to Americans who held only a high school diploma. These jobs provided stability and an income that, though not lavish, was sufficient to provide for a family who lived modestly and saved prudently. After World War II, a shift began to take place and this shift has only accelerated in the 21st century.

The rate of change in the way businesses communicate, sell, distribute and provide goods and services is incredible. Automation impacts everything from assembly lines to distribution facilities and even our own homes. Innovation and adaptability are essential for businesses and also for the individuals in the workforce. As our economy continues to become more technologically advanced, our workforce must have more credentials of value if we, as a state or a nation, will be able to compete in the global economy in which we now live and work.

Two reports from Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce underscore the importance of earning a bachelor’s degree, both in terms of job availability and earnings potential.

In its report, Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, the Center estimates that 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school by 2020.

Those who invest in themselves by completing a bachelor’s or advanced degree will reap the benefits for the rest of their lives. The Center’s Report, The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings, finds that earning a Bachelor’s degree makes a significant difference in lifetime earnings. Nationally, the median annual income of those with a bachelor’s degree is $56,700, which equates to earning $2.3 million over a lifetime. When looking at lifetime earnings, bachelor’s degree holders earn 31 percent more than workers with an Associates degree and 74 percent more than those with just a high school diploma.

We all know Mississippi falls at the lower end when ranking states by median household income, but having a degree makes as much difference here as in other states. Census data shows that the median household income in Mississippi for a high school graduate is $25,954. The median household income in Mississippi for a college graduate is $40,952.

All 25 of the highest paying jobs in Mississippi require a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Holding a bachelor’s degree also brings stability in an uncertain job market. Unemployment rates for those with at least a bachelor’s degree are much lower than those with only a high school diploma and substantially lower than those who do not have a high school diploma.

Higher education is an investment that opens doors of opportunity for our citizens and enables our state to advance. Having more Mississippians with a bachelor’s degree makes our state more competitive.

Approximately 20 percent of Mississippians hold a bachelor’s degree or higher today, but we continue to improve this number. We have had an increase of 8.9 percent in the number of degrees conferred in the last five years, awarding 17,760 degrees, a record number, in 2017. While steady progress is good, we must raise attainment rates exponentially if we are to advance the state and grow Mississippi’s economy.

When Mississippians invest in themselves through higher education, they increase their own economic prosperity, which, in turn, increases the economic prosperity of the state. We all rise together.

Study in Jamaica this summer

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, International, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University Department of Art is offering a unique inaugural two-week study abroad opportunity in Jamaica open to all majors and community members.

The three-credit course, “ART492 03, Special Topics in Art,” will take place May 20-June 2, 2018.

Dr. Phyllis Hill, assistant professor of art at Delta State, will be hosting an information session about the trip Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. in Holcombe Norwood Hall, room 151.

“The focus of this trip is service learning and community based research,” said Hill. “This is a unique opportunity for two weeks of cultural emersion and engagement with local experts employed in the Jamaican education, historical and cultural sectors. Students will participate in a service learning project with a local educational institution, conduct historical and cultural research using diverse media such as film, painting, photography and sculpture — and share their findings via an exhibition upon return to DSU.”

The trip will primarily take place in the cities of Kingston and Montego Bay. Programming will also include historical tours, lectures, cultural events, local cuisine, music and cultural experiences.

“Study abroad provides a unique opportunity for DSU students to develop as global citizens in their chosen fields,” added Hill. “However, the majority of our students have not travelled outside of the U.S. The reality is that we exist in a globalized world, and those who are most successful are the graduates who have international experience, cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to discuss cultural issues from multiple informed perspectives. Study abroad makes our students more career-ready and competitive on a global scale, in that they are internationally savvy, adaptable within culturally diverse environments and are able to communicate with varying populations.”

The total cost for the trip and tuition is $3,243 per person, which covers round-trip airfare, lodging, in-country transportation, excursions and travel insurance.

“Jamaica is more than ‘sand, sea and sun.’ It’s a unique blend of people, cultural practices and beliefs,” said Hill. “It offers a wealth of opportunities for historical, cultural and educational collaborations.”

For more information about the trip, contact hill at phill@deltastate.edu.

Alumni Association to host Washington County event

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The Delta State University National Alumni Association will be traveling to Greenville for the Greater Washington County Area Alumni Event on Nov. 14, at 6 p.m.

The event will be held at the Delta’s only taproom, Mighty Miss Brewing Company, in downtown Greenville.

Speakers for the event include Delta State President William N. LaForge and Delta State’s National Alumni Director Jeffrey Farris. Additional staff, faculty and special guests from campus will also be in attendance. Entertainment will be provided by the Delta Music Institute’s student band, BKZ.

“We are excited to once again get together with our fellow Statesmen and friends of the university,” said Parker Lipscomb, Washington County Alumni Chapter volunteer. “The local alumni committee has reached out to local businesses, friends and alumni to make this event possible, and we are very grateful for them. The event is going to be a fun way to reconnect with friends and has also given us an opportunity to award some Washington County students with scholarships to Delta State.”

Guests can participate in brewery tours and a silent auction during the event, with all proceeds benefitting the Washington County Area scholarship fund. Alumni and friends will enjoy appetizers from the Cajun Shotgun House while sampling craft beers.

The Alumni Association is still accepting sponsorships for the event. Call 662-846-3780 for more information about sponsorship opportunities. Visit http://bit.ly/2gDVZjx to pre-register online. Walk-ins will be welcome the night of the event. To learn more about the Mighty Miss Brewing Company, visit https://www.mightymissbeer.com/.

Save the dates for upcoming alumni events: Homecoming (Nov. 11.), Rolling Fork area event (Onward Store) on Nov. 7,  and Brookhaven (Feb. 8, 2018).

For more information on the DSU National Alumni Association, call 662-846-4660 or email alumni@deltastate.edu. To stay up to date with DSUNAA activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Alumni Association announces Homecoming schedule

By | Alumni, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Sciences | No Comments
Members of the Golden Circle and Class of 1967 members working together to plan the the 2017 Alumni Awards Gala. The group met at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni & Foundation House to discuss strategies to help recruit their former classmates back to campus for Homecoming. The group was organized by Golden Circle President Ben Bailey ’64.

The Delta State University National Alumni Association has released the 2017 Homecoming schedule for Delta State alumni and friends.

Homecoming weekend will kick off with the Alumni Awards and Gala Dinner at the Cleveland Country Club on Nov. 10. The dinner is led by the National Alumni Association Board of Directors and recognizes the university’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, Alumni Hall of Fame, Distinguished Black Alumnus of the Year, and Service Award winners.

This event also recognizes the Golden Circle, which is made up of all 50-plus year graduates of Delta State, and the Class of 1967, which will be celebrating 50 years since graduating from Delta State College.

A social for the Golden Circle and Class of 1967 will be held prior to the Alumni Awards and Gala Dinner at the Cleveland Country Club from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Alumni Awards and Gala Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Immediately following the event, live entertainment will be provided. Tickets may be purchased at: http://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/homecoming2017.

A bonfire and pep rally, sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs, is set for 9 p.m. in Statesmen Park.

Saturday’s activities begin early with registration at the H.L. Nowell Student Union beginnning at 8 a.m. The Statesmen Stroll, sponsored by Student Affairs, will begin at 9 a.m. at the Union. The Robert E. Smith School of Nursing will celebrate its 40th Anniversary from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The College of Education and Human Sciences will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at James M. Ewing Hall and Wyatt Gymnasium.

A Veteran’s Exhibit will open at  9 a.m. at E.R. Jobe Hall. The Athletic Alumni Board Meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at Chadwick-Dickson Field House.

One of the highlights of Saturday will be the Delta State University Homecoming Parade hosted by the Office of Student Affairs beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the Quad. The parade will feature over 66 groups including several local marching bands.

The Alumni Association tailgate will be open at noon at Statesmen Park. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Statesmen Park will be the Delta State Black Alumni Reunion and the Lady Statesmen Basketball Reunion.

The Delta State football team will compete against Florida Institute of Technology at Parker Field-McCool Stadium starting at 2 p.m. For more details visit www.gostatesmen.com.

Homecoming 2017 will conclude with the annual Step Show sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs held at the Bologna Performing Arts Center at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Additional Cleveland attractions Homecoming weekend:

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, download the Delta State Alumni app and follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Make plans for the Washington County Alumni Meeting on Nov. 14, Rolling Fork Alumni Meeting at the Onward Store on Dec. 7, Brookhaven Alumni Meeting on Feb. 8, and Go Green Weekend on April 28.

COEHS to host annual Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture

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The College of Education and Human Sciences will host the fourth annual Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture at Delta State University on Nov. 6 at noon in the Jacob Conference Center.

This year’s guest lecturer will be Dr. Renée A. Middleton, dean of The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education at Ohio University.

Middleton is a distinguished educator with a strong commitment to transforming teaching and learning in schools. She has spent her career ensuring equity and excellence in education (P-20) and is a tireless advocate for ensuring that every student in America has the chance to learn and grow under teachers whose knowledge and skills have been verified through a peer-reviewed, performance-based process.

Dr. Leslie Griffin, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at Delta State, is thrilled to host Middleton as the keynote speaker.

“Dr. Middleton’s dedication to partnering with schools to ensure that teachers are fully prepared to assume their roles in the schools they will serve is well-regarded in the broad educational community,” said Griffin. “As faculty in the College of Education and Human Sciences reach out to local schools to understand how to better serve them through the preparation of quality teachers, leaders, and other school professionals, Dr. Middleton’s sharing of her experiences provides guidance. We look forward to learning from her through this lecture”

Middleton serves on the board of directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the voice of accomplished teachers in shaping a true profession and raising student achievement. She also serves on numerous other boards, including the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools.

She has 21 years of experience with consulting, working with issues like public school strategic planning for diversity and rehabilitation counseling and multicultural diversity, within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the Food & Drug Administration: Center for Devices and Radiological Health and the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling working on Ethics/Consumer Protection.

Middleton received her bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing with a minor in behavioral sciences from Andrews University in 1981. She received her master’s degree in clinical audiology with a minor in speech pathology and behavioral sciences from the University of Tennessee in 1983. Middleton received her doctoral degree from Auburn University in 1990, with a focus on rehabilitation administration and a minor in rehabilitation counseling and education.