“In 1965, Coahoma Junior College opened its doors to all students regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability.”
Coahoma County Agricultural High School was established in 1924 becoming the first agricultural high school in Mississippi for Negroes under the existing “separate but equal” doctrine. The junior college curriculum was added in 1949, and the name of the institution was changed to Coahoma Junior College and Agricultural High School.
During the first two years (1949-1950), the junior college program was conducted by one full-time college director/teacher and a sufficient number of part-time teachers from the high school division. A full-time dean and college faculty were employed in the third year of operation.
During the first year of operation (1949), Coahoma Junior College was supported entirely by county funds. In 1950, Coahoma Junior College became the first educational institution for Negroes to be included in Mississippi’s system of public junior colleges and to be eligible to share in funds appropriated by the Mississippi Legislature for the support of public junior colleges. Other counties also began to support the junior college, including Bolivar, Quitman and Sunflower.
In 1965, Coahoma Junior College opened its doors to all students regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability.
During its history, Coahoma Community College and Agricultural High School has been headed by eight superintendents and four presidents: M. L. Strange, 1924-25; J. M. Mosley, 1924-29; J. W. Addison, 1929-37; J. B. Wright, 1937-45; B. F. McLaurin, 1945-66; J. E. Miller, 1966-79; McKinley C. Martin, 1980-92; and the incumbent Vivian M. Presley, 1992 to June 2013. With her appointment as superintendent/president on January 6, 1992, Dr. Vivian Presley became the first female to head Coahoma Community College and Agricultural High School and the first woman to head a community/junior college in the state of Mississippi. Dr. Valmadge Towner was named Coahoma Community College’s fifth president to join an esteemed group of college leaders, July 2013.
With the approval of the Board of Trustees of Coahoma Junior College and the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, Coahoma Junior College’s name was changed to Coahoma Community College, effective July 1, 1989.
In the spring of 1995, after many years of not having an official district, a bill was introduced to and passed by the Mississippi Legislature and signed by the Governor Kirk Fordice giving Coahoma Community College a district. Effective July 1, 1995, the Coahoma Community College district became Bolivar, Coahoma, Quitman, Tallahatchie, and Tunica Counties.