Hundreds of high school students tour CTE programs at PRCC

Students learn about CTE programs at Forrest County Campus

Pearl River Community College’s campuses were busier than normal this week with more than 800 students from 12 area high schools visiting PRCC’s Forrest County and Poplarville locations. The focus was on Career Technical Education and Allied Health programs and how the students could potentially find their dream profession in one of those programs. 

Students were greeted with a warm welcome onto campus with music and dancing compliments of the Pearl River Pep Band, W.C. Rivers, and the 2022 UCA National Champions PRCC Cheerleaders.  

High School students sit in stands for welcome by PRCC Cheerleaders and the Pep Band

Students selected two programs that most interested them from the 19 CTE and 11 Allied Health programs available during the visit. Lead instructors for the highlighted programs shared information around what they would learn as well as potential career opportunities after graduation. 

“It was great to have high school students back on campus for our CTE and Allied Health days after taking a break due to COVID-19,” said Dr. James David Collum, Dean of Career and Technical Education at FCC. “Our recruitment team and instructors did a fantastic job giving these students a glimpse into Pearl River's programs and student life.  

“There is no substitute for students seeing first-hand what it is like to be a Wildcat in person. 

High School students watch demonstration of surgical tech skills by PRCC students

Several of the programs went well beyond, talking and demonstrating equipment students get to use while earning their certificate or degree. Allied Health students witnessed the “real-life” simulation of an emergency event and how a patient is successfully treated within the new Simulation lab on the Forrest County Campus. Sparks were flying as students watched welding in progress. 

“CTE Day was a great experience for our potential incoming freshman as well as our faculty,” said Dr. Amy Townsend, Dean of Career & Technical Education for Poplarville and Hancock Campuses. “Some sessions included opportunities for the students to interact with PRCC students as they explained projects they were currently working on. Also, some instructors invited recent graduates to share their success stories. 

“I personally enjoyed the opportunity to interact with our high school CTE folks who are critical in helping us make connections throughout the year.” 

They had the opportunity to take walking tours of each campus and speak with Recruiters about scheduling private tours in the future. On the Poplarville campus, they were also able to see the dorm options up close. 

 “We’re extremely happy to host these hundreds of prospective Wildcats on our PRCC campuses and know that these events will continue to cultivate an easy transition from our local high schools to PRCC,” said Kari Eve Valence, Coordinator of Recruitment and Marketing. “Through events like this we hope to give these prospective PRCC students a chance to see themselves in these CTE and Allied Health programs.  

“Many of these students are already taking these types of classes within their high school programs. Through events like this they see first-hand how they can continue their education and find success here at Pearl River as well as within their planned career path.” 

Students stand outside welding building to learn about the program at Poplarville CTE Day 2022

For some of the visiting students, attending PRCC will be the next step in their educational career.  

Kiln resident Paige Easterling currently attends Hancock High School where she is involved in the polymer science career tech pathway. She plans to attend PRCC in the fall and was visiting both the Electronics Technology and Business Marketing & Management Technology programs. 

“Visiting the programs today helped to finalize my decision,” said Easterling. “I want to get the skills for eventually making electrical prosthetics. And the marketing classes will be helpful for running my own business someday.”  

Another Hancock High School student, Levy Aidan, came to see what it will be like when he begins the Drafting and Design program this fall. The Bay St. Louis resident has already been taking classes in the field and plans to eventually pursue a degree in architecture. 

“Attending PRCC will help me transfer into a 4-year program and save money in the process,” said Aidan. 


Prospective Wildcats interested in visiting any of PRCC’s campuses for a tour can call The Office of Recruitment at (601)403-1197 or email

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG)

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.