11 Dec 2015

MDCC announces new military partnership

College leaders challenged at Marine Corps boot camp

Barnett and Nabors edited

Nabors and Barnett learn about new military aircraft during mini boot camp experience

Dozens of U.S. Marines scattered across the globe, and many thousands of miles from Mississippi Delta Community College’s Moorhead, Miss., campus, are now enrolled at MDCC.

Two Degrees Delta is an informal partnership among the U.S. Marine Corps, Delta State University, Mississippi Delta Community College and the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. The program allows active duty Marines to further their studies in geospatial analysis and intelligence, and by doing so, earn both an associate’s degree from MDCC and a bachelor’s degree from DSU.

“This program is unprecedented in the Marine Corps and our leadership here really appreciates the program of study MDCC and DSU have put together. This partnership provides an efficient enterprise approach for our Marines looking to obtain an education. It is like a dream come true thanks to the hard work of our partners in Mississippi,” says Neri G. Terry Jr., geospatial information and services officer at the United States Marine Corps headquarters.

The ongoing partnership between the Mississippi colleges and the military began after a series of meetings at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and at the DSU campus in Cleveland, Miss., resulted in the realization that, if integrated, the preparation process for all desired credentials would significantly reduce duplicative training and education and create a pathway for professionalization. It is an innovative, first of its kind, blended distance-learning approach to professional development for U.S. Marines, according to program developers.

“MDCC administrators Reed Abraham and Brent Gregory, along with our partners from Delta State, traveled to the Pentagon in 2014 to present a plan to Phillip Chudoba, assistant director of intelligence for the Marine Corps,” says Larry Nabors, president of Mississippi Delta Community College.

“Once the Marine Corps authorized the start of a program, MDCC’s Teresa Webster worked tirelessly with Abraham and Gregory on this initiative. As a result, 18 active duty marines just completed their first semester of study at MDCC. I’m thankful for the work of these individuals and for the opportunity to help our service men and women through this newly created educational partnership.”

In general terms, MDCC provides the core general education and DSU provides domain- specific courses. Students only apply once for admissions as both institutions work together to ensure enrollment at both as required. Once accepted, a program manager is assigned to the student, and that person is his or her point of contact for academic advising, and questions pertaining to administrative processes such as admissions, registration, and financial aid.

In conjunction with the new partnership, MDCC President Dr. Larry Nabors and Executive Vice President Dr. Charlie Barnett were invited to Parris Island to learn more about the United State Marine Corps. Earlier this year, the two MDCC leaders attended a five-day mini boot camp type program for educators. The USMC Educator Workshop allows educational leaders to witness and actively participate firsthand, learning how Marines are made, what they stand for, and the many benefits and opportunities that come with earning the title.

For more information about the program, visit www.twodegreesdelta.com or call MDCC at (662) 246-6322.

About the Author
D. Reed Abraham

D. Reed Abraham is the Associate Vice-President for Public Relations and College Advancement at Mississippi Delta Community College.  Contact Reed at rabraham@msdelta.edu