Gov. Phil Bryant announced Tuesday that 2,400 former students who never completed their bachelor’s degree but may not need additional course work are just a click away from receiving their degree by accessing the new Complete 2 Compete program online.

“A little boy that grew up in a blue collar world would grow up to be the governor of the state of Mississippi. You can’t hardly do that without a degree,” said Bryant.

In November, Bryant and state education officials introduced Complete 2 Compete, an initiative that would help former students return to the classroom to complete their college degree programs.

Complete 2 Compete could award 200,000-plus Mississippians with college degrees, including 28,000 students who have enough credits to earn an associate’s degree with no additional course work and more than 100,000 former students who can earn either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree with some additional course work.

There is no cost for accessing the Complete 2 Compete portal.

This program created the first partnership between the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi Community College Board, said Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the MCCB. The Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges is also partnering in the project.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security provided funding grants for the project.

“This is a program that’s designed for exponential change, not a program designed for small incremental growth,” said IHL Commissioner Glenn Boyce.

“We believe this is one opportunity to grow the tax base by helping individuals move from dependents to self-sufficiency,” said John Davis, executive director of the MDHS.

The initiative will target four classifications of people:

  • Former adult students eligible for reverse transfer associate degree with no additional coursework
  • Former adult students eligible for baccalaureate degree with no additional coursework
  • Former adult students with some college and no degree who may complete an associate degree with some additional coursework
  • Former adult students with some college and no degree who may complete a bachelor’s degree with some additional coursework

See how close you are to completing your degree here.

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Ashley F.G. Norwood

Ashley F. G. Norwood, a native of Jackson, earned a bachelor's degree in English from Jackson State University and a master’s degree from the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi. Norwood, who specializes in multimedia journalism, has been recognized nationally for her documentary film the fly in the buttermilk, which covers the history, perceptions and principles of black Greek-lettered organizations at the University of Mississippi.