African visitors learn from MCC

By Staff
Special to The Star
May 11, 2001
A delegation from the University of Namibia, Africa, visited Meridian Community College Thursday seeking information to help create a "community college" in the rural south African nation. The visit was sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
The visitors were particularly interested in the MathFirst program, the JumpStart Entrepreneur Development Program, the Student Success Center, Adult Education, and the Foundation at Meridian Community College.
The visitors' day began with an hour long meeting with MathFirst representatives. Dr. Mary Hooper discussed her Early Childhood Development program, Mrs. Sylvia Autry discussed the Success for All reading program implemented by city and county schools, Mr. George Meyers discussed the role of the Meridian Workforce Council in bringing businesses and schools together, and Dr. Scott Elliott discussed the role of MCC in community development.
Next, the Namibians met with Cathy Webb, director of MCC's Student Success Center, and Browning Rochefort, director of Adult Basic Education. They got hands-on experience with the computer-based Plato Learning System and with the ELLIS (English Second Language) system.
Anne Dowdle shared how to build a successful community college foundation. William Hatcher and Johnny Thompson explained the national recognized JumpStart program.
After lunch, the delegation visited a number of successful JumpStart businesses in the community.
Namibia is an independent, democratically governed republic that lies on the southwestern coast of Africa and forms part of the Southern African region. After having been engaged in a liberation struggle for more than 25 years, the country gained its independence from South Africa on March 21, 1990.
The country's total population is approximately 1.8 million, with the majority of residents occupying rural areas.

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