Youth and parents in Prentiss County are served by a countywide school district and by two city school systems, one in Booneville and one in Baldwyn. Detailed enrollment and performance data are available from the Office of Research and Statistics of the Mississippi Department of Education.
The Prentiss County School System provides kindergarten through 12th-grade education for more than 2,200 students across the county. It operates these schools:
- Hills Chapel School
- Jumpertown School
- Marietta Elementary School
- New Site High School
- Thrasher School
- Wheeler Attendance Center
- Prentiss County Vo-Tech Center (Booneville)
The Booneville School District serves about 1,300 students attending three schools in the Booneville community:
In 2016, the Booneville School District was given the highest academic ranking awarded by the state of Mississippi – an “A” rating. Of the 146 public school districts in the state, Booneville was one of only 14 to attain the rating.
The Baldwyn School System serves about 900 students in the Baldwyn community, which straddles the line between Prentiss and Lee counties. The system operates three schools:
Northeast Mississippi Community College
Northeast Mississippi Community College (NEMCC), with its main campus in Booneville, serves Prentiss, Alcorn, Tippah, Tishomingo, and Union counties in Mississippi. It is a comprehensive, accredited community college offering college-transfer, career, and technical courses in conventional and online formats.
In addition, Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi offer upper-division classes on the Booneville campus. Through its participation in the Mississippi Virtual Community College consortium, NEMCC enables students to earn an associate’s degree through on-line instruction.
Workforce Training Programs
One of the college’s primary purposes is to provide employer-driven, industry-specific workforce education and training to business, industry, and individuals. The top-quality, targeted training and facilities offered through NEMCC’s Division of Workforce Training and Economic Development are highly prized by businesses and industries in Prentiss County. NEMCC is also the lead operator for five WIN Job Centers, including one on the Booneville campus and one located in Corinth, Mississippi, about 25 miles north of Booneville.
The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning board coordinates a system of eight universities across the state. Of the three largest, two — Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi —are within 90 miles of Prentiss County.
Mississippi State University is known nationally for excellence in engineering, business, life sciences, the humanities, veterinary medicine, agriculture, and forestry. Its Starkville main campus is about 85 miles from Baldwyn on the southern border of Prentiss County, accessible via four-lane highways.
As one of the state’s two land-grant institutions, it places special emphasis on outreach programs that extend the faculty’s expertise to industry, communities, agricultural producers, landowners, and others. Nine university institutes, centers, and other service units provide a wide range of specialized assistance to Mississippi businesses and industries.
The University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”) is widely respected for the quality and diversity of its programs in medicine, law, the humanities, and the sciences. Forbes.com has ranked it among the top 25 public universities in the United States. The main campus in Oxford, Mississippi, is about 55 miles from the western border of Prentiss County. The university also operates a campus in Tupelo, 30 miles south of Booneville, and offers some courses on the Booneville campus of Northeast Community College.
The university’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence brings together expertise from traditional disciplines with input from industry experts to create programs that help students acquire not only the technical skills needed for successful manufacturing but also knowledge of management, human resources, communication, accounting, and leadership.