Sep 15th, 2017
Jackson State Community College's Paris campus began the Fall 2017 semester with 61 students and 16 courses - a significant growth from when it first opened in January with 21 students.
"This is phenomenal growth for a new higher learning location," said Patrick Davis, JSCC Dean of Academic Support. The college plans more growth for the spring semester with the expansion of science and mathematics courses, he added.
Davis also praised the support of the Paris and Henry County community, which provided space in the Central Community Service Center for the college to begin operations.
"The level of support from our community partners has been and continues to be extraordinary," said Davis. "We work closely with the city and county mayors as well as the chamber of commerce. We are also meeting with business, industry and healthcare leaders to develop academic programs that will specifically serve the residents of Henry, Weakley, Carroll, and Benton counties."
Dr. Larry Bailey, JSCC Vice President for Academic Affairs, has seen this opportunity as a long time coming for the college to be able to better serve and support the northwest counties of Tennessee.
"The geography of our 14-county service area presents a number of challenges in providing sufficient services to a number of our students," Bailey said. "Having such resounding support from government and business in Henry County has been a tremendous asset and one that we are resolved to build and grow."
Jackson State has full-service, off-site centers in Savannah, Lexington and Humboldt. Both Davis and Bailey said that Jackson State is on track to develop the Paris location into a fourth full-service center for the college.
"This is a process with many moving pieces," said Davis. "The next step will be hiring a full-time coordinator to oversee the operations and develop a strategy for growth. We will continue to explore the types of academic programs that are needed and to recruit and hire the faculty needed to lead the programs."
The process for developing a new full-service center will take a little time, he added. "The continued involvement and support of local government and business will make this process one that moves more efficiently and quickly."