PRCC Honors Institute to serve top scholars

Pearl River Community College is accepting applications for its inaugural Honors Institute class.Beginning in the fall semester, the Honors Institute will give top students an opportunity to study with their peers in honors courses.Up to 30 students will be accepted on the Poplarville campus and up to 20 at the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg.Students in the Honors Institute will be in the company of other scholars who will provide intellectual stimulation, said Dr. John Grant, PRCC vice president for instruction. The instructors who are teaching these classes have been charged with inspiring these students to greater scholarly effort.Students accepted into the Honors Institute will take Honors core courses, including English, world civilization, biology, literature, psychology or philosophy, public speaking, sociology and aesthetics.Honors sections include the same material covered in regular sections of a course but in greater depth with more opportunity for students to pursue individual interests, said Dr. Becky Askew, PRCC chief planning officer and chair of the Honors Institute steering committee. The Honors Institute brings together award-winning faculty and highly motivated students.Honors Institute students also will take a special Honors Seminar each semester and attend the Honors Lecture Series.The lectures will be presented by PRCC faculty and staff to showcase their interests and scholarly pursuits. In addition, two to four high-profile speakers will be invited to present lectures annually.Applicants must have a minimum composite ACT score of 25 and a minimum grade point average of 3.4. Successful applicants will receive an Honors Institute Scholarship.Students admitted to the Honors Institute can participate at either of two levels. To earn the designation of Honors Institute Graduate, students must complete at least 25 hours of Honors coursework with a cumulative 3.4 GPA and a Capstone project. To earn an Honors Certificate, students must complete 15 hours of Honors courses with a 3.4 GPA.Honors Institute faculty, selected by committee, will serve on two-year rotations. The inaugural Honors Institute faculty are Cherie Alder, history and geography, Forrest County Center; Laura Berry, speech, Poplarville; Dr. Stephen Black, history, Poplarville; Dr. Ryan Ruckel, history, Forrest County Center; Mary Ann Stewart, speech, Forrest County Center; Greg Underwood, English, Forrest County Center; Jim Walsh, history and political science, Poplarville; and Dr. Justin Williamson, English, Poplarville.Black and Ruckel also serve on the Honors Institute steering commitee. Other members are academic counselor Wendy Abue`, Poplarville campus; Robin Nix, English and Spanish instructor, Poplarville; Dr. Terri Ruckel, English instructor, Forrest County Center; and Maggie Smith, director of the Hancock Center.Honors Institute applications are available on the PRCC website at

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.