GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - In the classrooms at Jackson County Technology Center, you won't see the typical book-and-pencil type learning.
"You actually get to get in there in classrooms or shops for other students here, and really experience what it's really like," said student Ciatoyn Ray.
That experience can be vital. In the teacher academy, students are preparing to enter the field of education. They also get the chance to work under the direction of a licensed teacher.
Instructor Gena Heffner said that could be the key to getting more teachers in the classroom, at a time when Mississippi needs them most.
"I believe that it does enhance the number of students that will actually finish college and will actually work in those fields," Heffner said.
That's part of the reason why Amy Prisock made a visit on Monday, trying to recruit students to join the Mississippi State family.
"Working with the teacher academies and all of the schools across the state is a great start because these students are already interested in entering the field of education and becoming teachers," Prisock said.
Director Dr. Jerry Morgan said that's the goal - getting students into the workforce - especially in high demand fields.
"These students who enter here in the tenth grade and finish that program of study for two years, have an idea of what they want to do. They know what direction they want to go in. They know that they want to go to the community college, or they want to enter straight into the workforce," he said.
A win not only for the school and the students but also for Mississippi.
"It makes sense that we prepare our students to enter the workforce, right here, stay at home and be Mississippi proud."
Mississippi State University will host a series of expos along the coast for potential students at four locations:
- Jan. 29: Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport
- Jan. 29: Pascagoula River Audubon Center in Moss Point
- Jan. 30: Chesterfield's Bar & Grill in Hattiesburg
- Jan. 30: Buttercup Cafe in Bay St. Louis
The expos begin at 3 p.m. and last until 7 p.m.