College Presidents Address the Future and How to Prepare For It
(From left, back): John Lundy, Pat Taylor, Peter Jernberg, Cliff Kling, Matt Morgan, Steve McCartney; (front): Bill LaForge, Mark Keenum, and Lee Royce.
College presidents from three Mississippi institutions spoke to faculty and staff yesterday about higher education as part of Jackson Academy’s Professional Development Day. Bill LaForge of Delta State University, Lee Royce of Mississippi College, and Mark Keenum of Mississippi State University addressed the future of higher education and ideas for preparing students for college success.
All three presidents complimented JA on how incredibly well prepared for success our students are who enter their institutions. They also commended the school on the progressive teaching and learning that takes place at JA.
President LaForge discussed the redefining and rethinking that is underway in higher education, online versus traditional delivery, practical aspects of helping students discover their path, and the cost of higher education.
He noted that there is great demand for online education, as well as interest in student-centered and hands-on learning. Higher education is challenged to address online education effectively, in a way that is not a detriment to students. He mentioned the importance of time spent by faculty and students face-to-face.
President Royce presented a snapshot of what it takes to succeed in college. He noted that students are entering college with many challenges that in some cases prevent them from completing a college education. These may be financial, medical, emotional, or other concerns. He also noted that many students are not prepared in the fundamentals needed to succeed. To help students complete college degrees, Dr. Royce urged faculty to do three things: teach fundamental academic skills, teach fundamental study skills, and stress positive social and behavioral skills.