Nov 23rd, 2016
Potential students interested in enrolling in Jackson State Community College's new educational site in Paris, Tenn., can attend an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec. 14 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Beginning with the spring semester, Jackson State will occupy five rooms in the Central Community Service Center at 55 Jones Bend Road, bringing new academic opportunities to an underserved area of the state.
"The open house is an opportunity to tour the facility and classrooms," said Patrick Davis, dean of Academic Support for Jackson State. "But most importantly, it's an opportunity to meet our exceptional staff and the instructors who will be teaching the classes they plan to take. Come by and see the classes that we're offering, and if we're not offering what you're looking for, we need that information, too."
Specific classes will be determined by need, but students will be able to take advantage of more than 20 general courses that span Jackson State's educational spectrum, including business, math, humanities, social/behavioral sciences, and science. The college will also offer emergency medical technician courses.
Representatives from all areas of the college, such as admissions, financial aid and faculty, will attend to provide information on courses and programs. They will also help students enroll for the spring semester, said Dr. Larry Bailey, vice president of Academic Affairs for Jackson State.
"The Paris open house will provide a chance for residents of Henry County and the surrounding areas to learn more about Jackson State and what it has to offer in Paris and throughout the institution," Bailey said.
The Central Community Service Center facility has two large classrooms that will be used for traditional face-to-face teaching. And, students will be able to take upper-level courses with distance learning software in three smaller rooms that accommodate a smaller class size.
The college expects 50 to 75 students the first semester and plans to grow the enrollment to as many 200. "We really want to start small and grow the program based on the needs of residents," Davis said.
The Paris location will focus on nontraditional students - people who go back to school to start a new career or need additional training to advance into a higher-paying job - in addition to the traditional college-age students. The college will work with area employers to create courses to meet the needs of the Henry County workforce.
Davis said local officials, including City Mayor Carlton Gerrell and County Mayor Brent Greer, played an important role in helping the school establish a site in Paris. "They've been exceptional in making sure we're off to a good start," Davis said.
The location will allow residents in rural Northwest Tennessee to take advantage of Tennessee Promise - a last-dollar scholarship program for community colleges and colleges of applied technology - without driving to Jackson. Students will be able to take college courses in high school through dual enrollment or earn an associate degree and join the workforce or transition into a four-year university.