Tompkins, Dixon Complete Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy

Monica Thomkins and Chequita Dixon

Tompkins, Dixon Complete Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy

Dr. Chequitia Dixon, assistant dean of Health Sciences and Monica Tompkins, Computer Information Systems instructor, recently completed training in the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy. They created an action plan that would enhance Coahoma Community College.

Tompkins, Dixon Complete Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4057 - Melody Dixon


Fri May 15, 2020

Monica ThompkinsMonica Tompkins, a Computer Information Systems instructor, adopted a new view on leading during her participation in the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy.

She picked up a profound piece of advice: Go to work to make a difference, not a living.

Tompkins joined the faculty of Coahoma Community College in 2012. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Delta State University and received an education specialist in instructional technology from Mississippi State University.

“The MCCLA is about leading in whatever capacity you serve and doing what is right for the institution,” said Tompkins.

Having participated in the program with Dr. Chequitia Dixon, the assistant dean of the Division of Health Sciences, the two created an action plan that would enhance Coahoma Community College.

“Our project was to implement wayfinding signs throughout the CCC campus and to add the College’s name to the Health Science buildings in the city of Clarksdale, Mississippi,” Tompkins said of the program requirement.

The signs would aid new students and visitors in navigating the campus. The solution for the Health Science buildings was to position a sign that reads ‘Coahoma Community College’ between the Robert Mason Health Science Building and the Rena Butler Health Science Annex.

Coahoma Community College president Dr. Valmadge T. Towner approved the plan before it was presented to MCCLA participants.

In a retreatment style setting, community college presidents in the state of Mississippi gave their accounts on how they learned to lead. 

“One president that stood out to me was Dr. Adam Breerwood, who went from assistant coach to president of Pearl River Community College,” said Tompkins, adding that his story was an inspiration to her.

“His entire career has been at Pearl River Community College. He told of his career and what it meant to strive for excellence when you come from less.”

While the presidents came from different backgrounds, they entered their current role with varied strategies for carrying out their duties.

The cohort of personnel from post-secondary colleges fellowshipped over meals. Those that served as group leaders learned the value of maintaining communication as due dates were assigned for projects.

Tompkins says learning how the community college system operates was eye-opening. She admired the way presenters made sure to mention their support system.

“We worked in groups to resolve issues and define issues in court cases that involved employees and education,” said Tompkins.

Towner deems it an exceptional honor to complete the MCCLA leadership training.

“Graduates of MCCLA have an amazing track record in that most graduates continue a professional trajectory of securing significant positions in leadership,” said Towner. “Coahoma should feel encouraged by having Dr. Dixon and Mrs. Tompkins as colleagues and contributors to missional pursuit we embrace daily.”

He looks forward to the positive value they will continue to add through the lessons learned and knowledge attained in the leadership academy.

“I hope that we will continue to have faculty and staff who are desirous of completing MCCLA in the future," Towner added.

Chequita DixonDr. Chequitia Dixon, who joined Tompkins in completing the training, began her tenure in August of 2011. Starting out as a practical nursing instructor, she currently serves as director of the practical nursing program. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Rust College as well as an associate’s in nursing from Phillips Community College. Dixon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Delta State University and a master’s from William Carey University. She also holds a doctoral degree in nursing education and administration from William Carey.

The Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy was established in the spring of 2009. It is centered on the development of future community college leaders.

Coahoma Community College faculty and staff who, in recent years, have completed the MCCLA program include Fran Howard-Noah, Lanika Johnson, and Adrian Allen.