PRCC shows off allied health programs to high school students

HATTIESBURG – About 300 high school students explored career options Wednesday, Sept. 28, when they toured Pearl River Community College Allied Health Center at the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg.The students, all enrolled in a health-related program at their high schools, learned about PRCC ten allied health programs and got the chance for some hands-on participation.I learned from the respiratory therapy how you get the infection out of the lungs, said Ariel Ross, a 10th-grade student at the Jefferson Davis County Vocational-Technical Center.PRCC holds the annual event in hopes of recruiting some of the high school students to the college, said Dr. Cecil Burt, vice president for Forrest County operations. The day also gives PRCC students good communication experience as they explain the programs to the younger students, he said.The physical therapist assistant technology program, with its variety of exercises and equipment, intrigues most of the students.Everything that they used is really interesting, said Jessica Gabrielle, a senior at the Picayune Career and Technology Center.PRCC offers ten one-year or two-year allied health programs – dental assisting, dental hygiene, medical laboratory technology, medical radiological technology, nursing assistant, physical therapist assistant technology, practical nursing, occupational therapy assistant technology, respiratory care practitioner technology and surgical technology.I liked seeing inside, said Emily Whitfield, a sophomore at the Picayune Career and Technology Center after seeing the radiology lab. It different.PRCC dental hygiene students learn by treating patients in the PRCC Dental Hygiene Clinic, but the high school students were limited to using the instruments on life-like mannequins.I liked the dental because I got to play with real teeth, said Jasmine Griffith, an 11th-grade student at the Jefferson Davis County Vocational-Technical Center.Schools participating in the tour included Lamar County Center for Technical Education, Greene County Vo-Tech, Perry County Vo-Tech, Poplarville Career Development Center, Covington County Vo-Tech, Picayune Career and Technology Center, Forrest County Agricultural High School, Carl Loftin Career and Technical Center (Marion County), Pearl River Central, Jefferson Davis County Vo-Tech, Walthall County Career and Technology Center and Hancock, Bay, Pass Christian, Petal and Hattiesburg high schools.For information about any of the allied health programs, telephone counselors Deborah Hewitt at 601 554-5503, Angelia Ryals at 601 554-5473 or Dr. Joe Wesley at 601 554-5529 or visit 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.