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Matt Surrell earns doctoral degree from Ole Miss

Holmes Community College Director of Business Services Matt Surrell recently earned his Doctor of Education (Ed.D) with an emphasis on higher education and leadership from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Surrell’s dissertation was titled, “Exploring a Link between Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Continued Enrollment at Holmes Community College.”

“My dissertation was basically a two-part research project,” Surrell said. ‘First, I examined the EFC data of all first-time enrollees at the college for four fall to spring semesters to determine if there was any potential relationship between this information and early withdrawal between a student’s first fall and spring semesters. I was trying to determine if I could identify any cohort outliers (such as those identified as low income) so that a potential mitigation plan could be proposed to increase the continual enrollment of these specific students. The second half of the research focused on the feasibility of implementing a for-credit financial literacy program at the college to assist in the mitigation of the problem.”

Dr. Surrell holds a Master of Accountancy from the University of Mississippi as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Millsaps College. Prior to Holmes, he was employed as a senior auditor at HORNE LLP for seven years. He has served as Director of Business Services for the past 14 years and taught Introduction to Business online at Holmes for the past nine and a half years.

An active member of the community, Dr. Surrell is a member of the Red Hill Church of Christ, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the Community College Business Officers (CCBO) Association and the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College Business Managers (which he served as president of). In 2015, he was named Outstanding Business Officer for CCBO and in 2020, he graduated from the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy.

Dr. Surrell and his wife, Jennifer, have three sons: Paxton, Kasen and Rylan. Which involved following all three boys as they play baseball, soccer, tennis and perform in show choir. Dr. Surrell also enjoys hunting and fishing with his boys, running and drinking a cup of coffee with his wife.

“I am grateful for all the people that helped me reach this milestone,” Dr. Surrell said. “I want to thank my family for their patience and constant encouragement. I want to thank Dr. Haffey and Sonny Sparks for encouraging me to complete this program. And, last but certainly not least, I want to thank my staff in the Business Office. Without their hard work, which always gives me a peace of mind, I am not sure that I could have accomplished this goal.


Holmes Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, age, disability or genetic information in its educational programs and activities,
employment practices, or admissions processes. The following administrators have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies of Holmes Community College:

Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI, ADEA, and Title IX are coordinated by the Vice President for
Compliance and Institutional Research, Henry B. McClellan Administration Building, Post Office Box 369,
Goodman, MS 39079, Phone: 662-472-9429,

Inquiries regarding compliance with Section 504 and ADA are coordinated by the Disability Student Services
Coordinator, M.R. Thorne Vocational-Technical Building, Room 110, Post Office Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079,
Phone: 662-472-9088,
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