September 25, 2017

East Central Community College in Decatur has announced changes to its policy concerning Career & Technical Education Scholarships it hopes will boost enrollment in those programs while providing more skilled workers to the college’s service area and the state of Mississippi.

Beginning with the fall 2018 semester, students who receive a Career & Technical (CTE) Skills or Leadership Scholarship to attend ECCC must be enrolled in one of the college’s CTE programs to receive and maintain a CTE Scholarship.

The change did not affect students entering ECCC as freshmen in fall 2017, or current students who are already attending ECCC on a CTE Scholarship.

The policy change was approved at a recent meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees.

“The CTE Skills Scholarship and the CTE Leadership Scholarship were initially established at ECCC to encourage students to enroll in and receive a certificate or degree in one of our CTE programs to help fill the need for more skilled workers, not only in the five counties we serve, but across our state,” said ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart. “Unfortunately, over the past few years these scholarships have not positively impacted enrollment in these programs as nearly 70 percent of those receiving the scholarships are not enrolled in a Career & Technical Education program at the college.

“Our desire with this policy change is to ensure that the original intent of the CTE Scholarship program is met.”

Currently, students are only eligible to begin receiving a CTE Scholarship if they enroll at ECCC as a full-time student the fall semester immediately following high school graduation. Effective fall 2018, in order to receive a CTE scholarship, a student must also enroll in a CTE program or be admitted to a healthcare program as a full-time student the fall semester immediately following high school graduation.

Students who initially enroll at ECCC in a CTE program or are admitted to a healthcare program and receive the CTE scholarship, but then change from that program to an academic program at the college, will no longer be eligible to receive the CTE Scholarship at that time. In addition, students who initially enroll at ECCC in an academic program in the fall semester immediately following high school graduation, but then change to a CTE program in a subsequent semester, will not be eligible to receive the CTE scholarship at that time.

The current requirements for receiving and maintaining a CTE Scholarship can be found at

Stewart said that some 95 percent of all first-time, full-time students enrolling in ECCC benefit from some sort of financial support, including numerous scholarships awarded annually through the college’s Foundation.

Depending upon the availability of funding, the Slagle In-District Tuition Scholarship may also be available to students. This serves as a “gap filler” and awards several thousand dollars annually to ECCC students who are in need of funds to cover tuition expenses. Students interested in the Slagle In-District Tuition Scholarship must reside in the college’s five-county district and complete all the necessary requirements to be considered.

Career & Technical Education programs offered at ECCC include Cosmetology, Residential Carpentry, Welding & Cutting, Automotive Technology, Automation and Control Technology, Business and Office Technology, Accounting Technology, Business Management Technology, Administrative Office Technology, Collison Repair Technology, Information Systems Technology, Drafting and Design Technology, Architectural Engineering Technology/Technician, Early Childhood Education Technology, Electrical Technology, Heating and Air Conditioning Technology, Hotel/Restaurant Management Technology, Culinary Arts Technology, Precision Manufacturing and Machining Technology, and Surgical Technology.