Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured from left are CCC Collision Repair Dual Enrollment students Cartea Smith (Friars Point, MS); Jakendra Jones (Friars Point, MS); Fredtashadra Williams (Jonestown, MS); Lauren Bryant (Frairs Point, MS); Instructor Joe Giles (Clarksdale, MS); and Javicka Henderson (Friars Point, MS).
CLARKSDALE – For several years now, Coahoma Community College Division of Career and Technical Education has opened up its wide range of programs as a dual enrollment option for local high school students.
Traditionally, this option has been particularly popular among male students who have interests in trades like welding, auto mechanics, collision repair and carpentry.
So imagine the surprise on CCC Collision Repair Technology Instructor Joe Giles’s face when he learned his roll this semester included five high school female students.
“I’ve had a female student here and there in the past, but never as a dual enrollment students, so it was kind of surprising to pick up five all at once,” said Giles.
The students, all Coahoma Agricultural High School seniors, said they decided to enroll in the program to try something different outside of the traditional classroom setting.
“It’s something new that girls don’t usually try,” said Cartea Smith of Friars Point.
“But we wanted to do some hands-on work and thought this would be an good opportunity,” added Lauren Bryant, also of Friars Point.
So far, the girls have already had an opportunity to sand down parts of an old car and re-paint them.
“Mr. Giles has been letting us actually work on some projects,” said Jakendra Jones of Friars Point. “It’s been a lot of fun, and I think it’s a good skills to have.”
And although they’re a minority in the shop, the girls said they don’t get any special privileges.
“Mr. Giles doesn’t treat us different because we’re girls,” said Fredtashadra Williams of Jonestown.
Javicka Henderson of Friars Point agreed.
“He lets us get out there and work just like the rest of his students.”
Giles said he’s been impressed with the girls’ performance so far.
“They all were able to pass the safety course successfully and by the end of this semester I’m looking for them all to be able to sand, prime and paint,” said Giles.
While the girls remain unsure if they’ll seriously pursue a career in Collision Repair after high school, Giles said it’s definitely a very real option, citing a May 2016 female graduate who has already landed an entry-level job in Southaven making about $40k per year.
According to CCC Dean of Career at Technical Education Anne Shelton-Clark, interest in CCC’s Career and Tech’s dual enrollment program spiked across the board this semester with 48 local high school students enrolled compared to about ten in recent years.
Clark said premise of the dual enrollment program is to spark the students’ interest in a possible future career.
“In addition to providing these high school students with training, we ultimately hope that will decide to enroll in CCC and complete the program after they graduate from high school,” she said.
For more information about Collision Repair and other programs offered by CCC’s Division of Career and Technical Education, contact counselors Tolernisa Butler at (662) 621-4188 or Marcia Gatewood at (662) 621-4849.