Library to Present JFK Display

There are a few occasions in history when people can remember where they were when they heard monumental or life-changing news. The assassination of John F. Kennedy was definitely one of those events.

Beginning the week of November 11, the Jackson State Library will have a special display about the assassination of JFK and this iconic figure in American History. November 22 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination. For anyone who was alive and of school age at the time, this event is indelibly etched in their memories.

Scott Cohen, Library Director, has books, newspaper and magazine articles, flags and other commemorative items that will be on display through the end of the month. Do you have any collectibles or mementos you could share? If so, please stop by the library and see Scott or contact him at 425-2615 or via email at

Jackson State Offers Transfer Pathway to University of Phoenix

Jackson State Community College has completed an articulation agreement with the University of Phoenix that will allow future graduates and those who have graduated within the last three years to transfer their credits and pursue a four-year degree. Additionally, Jackson State graduates will receive a tuition reduction of 5% from the University of Phoenix.

The University of Phoenix offers the option for community college graduates to seamlessly transfer up to 66 college credits to an approved degree program. There is also an option to take a prior learning assessment that can save time and money by converting past work experience to degree program credits.

There are several degree pathways offered between Jackson State and the University of Phoenix which include business, social sciences, natural sciences, criminal justice and humanities. Students who have earned an Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Science or other associates degree are eligible to apply. Students interested in pursuing this option are encouraged to consult an enrollment advisor. More information on this program can be obtained at

Bobby Smith, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Jackson State states, Jackson State is committed to making education accessible to anyone in its fourteen county service area. This agreement with the University of Phoenix provides our graduates with an accessible option to continue their education. Many of Jackson States students have jobs and families and are unable to make some of the concessions necessary to attend other schools. This partnership with the University of Phoenix is just one more way that we are helping provide viable opportunities to our students.

JSCC Library to Host Open House

The Jackson State Library will host an Open House Wednesday, October 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Food and beverages will be served. This will be a good time to visit the Library, Writing Center and Academic Assistance Center. Staff will be on hand to answer any questions about these and any other resources available at the Library. For more information about this event, please contact Gloria Hester at 424-3520 ext. 50328.

JSCC Physical Therapist Assistant Program Achieves Score of Excellence

It was another year marked with great accomplishment with Jackson States Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program. 100% of the 2013 PTA class which took the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) passed.

Like most programs at Jackson State, the PTA program has a great track record. Over the past several years, the pass rate for the NPTE has always been high with an average well over 90%. According to Dr. Jane David, the national first-time pass rate is 87% and 86% for all test takers. For JSCC students, the first-time pass rate this year was 87% and 100% for all test takers.

Another testament of success for the PTA program is the number of students who actually complete the program. Over the past three years, the attrition rate for JSCC students has been slightly over 12%. The overall attrition rate for all institutions in 2012 was approximately 22%. Jackson States lower attrition rate coupled with a higher pass rate speaks volumes about the quality of the program and the commitment of the staff to ensure student success.

This was a great year for the PTA program at Jackson State. Congratulations and thank you to all of the students and staff for their hard work and commitment to excellence.

Jackson State Hosts Manufacturing Partnership Summit

Representatives from area manufacturers were in attendance today at Jackson State Community College’s McWherter Center for the 10th annual Manufacturing Partnership Summit. The event was originally initiated by Jackson State to place a special focus on the workforce and economic competitiveness. Many of the manufacturers that participate in this event have come to depend on Jackson State as a valued partner for workforce development.

Dr. Bruce Blanding opened the summit by welcoming the participants and talking about Jackson State’s role in making connections and meeting manufacturing workforce needs. Dr. Blanding alluded to the time when he used to work in production at the Chrysler plant. ‘Manufacturing is so dramatically different today,’ he said. ‘The job that I used to do was considered skilled labor. Those jobs don’t exist anymore. Jobs today are in the maintenance and programming of the machines that do the production jobs.’

Most all of the presentations for the day focused on the need to change the ways we are educating our children starting as early as elementary schools. The subjects that students are taught in school need to translate to real world skills. Jason Bates, Manager of the TOYOTA|Bodine facility in Jackson, suggested that education needs to incorporate real work experiences in with education so that students can really know what a job entails. According to Bates, education needs to be totally redesigned so that traditional academics, practical skills and soft skills are taught as part of one cohesive program. One of the recommendations mentioned was having work skills taught as part of a work-study program where school work is done for two days of the week and actual on-the-job training is done the other three days of the week.

Other speakers at today’s summit included Dr. Richard Rhoda, Executive Director for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Mr. Nicholas Hanson, Program Manager for Pathways to Prosperity Network & Industry Partnerships for the State of Tennessee, Department of Education, and Ms. Chelsea Parker, Executive Director for the Tennessee Council for Career & Technical Education.

The summit this year takes on a special significance for Jackson State since it recently received a $443,784 grant to update technology at the McWherter Center. This grant will help to ensure that the college is on the cutting edge of technology by upgrading the advanced manufacturing industrial technology lab at the Center. Jackson State is partnering with Toyota and other employers in the area to redesign the industrial technology curriculum utilizing the automotive manufacturing technical educational collaborative (AMTEC) standards. The ultimate goal of the grant will be to increase the number of multi-skilled industrial maintenance technicians and skilled production workers necessary to meet the needs of manufacturers in the rural area of West Tennessee and to attract new industry to the area by providing a qualified workforce.

This is a key element in Governor Haslam’s ‘Drive to 55’ initiative which has the goal of having 55% of the state’s workforce with certificates or degrees beyond high school. This goal will be necessary in order to have a qualified workforce for Tennessee to attract industry and jobs to the state.

After the presentations, a tour of local manufacturing businesses was also a part of the day’s activities. Area tours included ARJ Manufacturing, Stanley Black & Decker and the TOYOTA|Bodine facility.

Jackson State Students Participate in EMS Disaster Drill

Jackson State Community College medical technology students participated in a mock disaster drill for area EMS personnel and the Jackson Madison County General Hospital. The purpose of this exercise is to provide first responders a realistic setting to help them prepare for chaotic, out of the ordinary events where there are mass casualties. This gives participants a sense of realism instead of simply going thorough the motions.

This drill was started at the former Jackson Clinic facility on West Forest Avenue. Once EMS personnel had gone through and tagged all victims, the victims were taken outside to transport vehicles and were taken to the emergency room across the street at Jackson Madison County General Hospital. At that point, hospital personnel were tasked with properly identifying victims and routing them through the ER for treatment.

Those participating as victims were made up to look as though they had gunshot wounds or other serious trauma inflicted. Each participant was given instructions about the nature of their injuries and asked to act out that scenario. Having victims with realistic makeup and getting into the role of a seriously injured person adds more drama to the scene. This chaotic environment becomes distracting and can cause a first responder to overlook important details or simply be more prone to making mistakes. This is a learning experience to give EMS personnel valuable feedback so they will be better prepared should something like this actually happen.

There were a number of people onsite who were there as observers. While those simply watching found the delirious moans and groans humorous, it was the unexpectedly convincing portrayal that made everyone smile. Someone from outside of this event would be more prone to see this as very believable. Participants were instructed about the believability of their performances and how they could be perceived as real by someone from the outside. For that reason, no one was allowed to have cell phones during the drill and potentially post photos via social media. Local media was allowed to observe, take photos of and report about the event. It is a public relations event that will help bolster public confidence for emergency preparedness.

Twelfth Annual Bagels & Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour Held at Jackson State

The 12th Annual Bagels and Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour began at Jackson States main campus on Saturday, October 12, 2013. In addition to a bicycle ride, there was food, bluegrass music and plenty of fun for the entire family.

The annual event helps to fund JSCC scholarships as well as a portion of the proceeds going to Friends of Chickasaw State Park and Pinson Mounds State Park. These two nonprofit organizations work hard throughout the year inside the parks and are a great help in making Bagels and Bluegrass a success.

The bicycle ride features Southwest Tennessees State Parks and scenic roads. There are 14, 32, 62 and 100 mile routes to accommodate different levels of riders. The 100 mile route has a total climb of greater than 7,000 feet. The ride began with a breakfast of bagels at the staging area located at Jackson State. Featured stops included Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Area, the largest Middle Woodland Indian Complex in the Southeast, consisting of at least 15 earthen mounds; and Chickasaw State Park, near Henderson, Tennessee. Participants in the ride ended the day with dinner at the college.

Jackson State Community College Hosts 4th and 5th Grade GEMS Students

Jackson State Community College Math and Natural Sciences department hosted a neuroscience field trip for gifted fourth and fifth graders from the Jackson-Madison County School Systems GEMS program. There were two groups over a two-day period. These students first came to the Frank Dodson Science Auditorium at JSCC where biology faculty gave a PowerPoint presentation on nerve cells and impulses. Also discussed were reflexes, basic neural sensory and motor pathways, sensation and perception. A highlight for the students was the dissection of a sheep brain that was projected onto the auditorium screen.

The students also went to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital where they were introduced to imaging technology. Students were able to view brain structures and see how medical professionals use this technology to detect and diagnose disease. Ginger Hemrick, GEMS Director for JMCSS, mentioned how impressed hospital staff were with the students in attendance. According to Hemrick, their questions indicated very keen and perceptive thought.

The professors at Jackson State felt the program gave this gifted group of elementary school students good insight into the field of biology and hopefully motivated them to pursue studies in the field of science.

Jackson State Signs Articulation Agreement With WGU

Jackson State Community College and Western Governors University Tennessee,, signed an articulation agreement that allows Jackson State graduates and staff to receive application fee waivers and discounted tuition to WGU Tennessee.

‘This partnership provides great opportunity to our students and graduates,’ said Dr. Bruce Blanding, president of Jackson State. ‘WGU Tennessee and Jackson State share a goal of helping all Tennesseans achieve their education goals at an affordable price.’

The agreement between the two institutions also allows for credits from Jackson State to seamlessly transfer to WGU Tennessee.

‘Today’s agreement is the beginning of a great relationship between Jackson State and WGU Tennessee,’ said Dr. Kimberly K. Estep, chancellor of WGU Tennessee. ‘WGU Tennessee provides a smooth transition for community college graduates who want to complete a bachelor’s degree. With this agreement, it will be easier and more affordable for Jackson State graduates to meet their educational goals and advance their careers. We are also pleased to extend the application fee waiver and 5 percent discount to Jackson State staff members, too.’

Launched by Gov. Bill Haslam earlier this year, WGU Tennessee is an online, accredited, nonprofit university aimed at expanding access to higher education for Tennesseans. Established to meet the needs of working adults who need to further their education to advance their careers, WGU Tennessee offers accredited bachelors and masters degree programs in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU Tennessee was created through a partnership between the state of Tennessee and nationally recognized Western Governors University.

WGU Tennessee uses an innovative learning model called competency-based education. Rather than earning degrees based on credit hours or time spent in class, students are required to demonstrate competency in degree subject matter. They advance by writing papers, completing assignments, and passing exams that demonstrate their knowledge of required subject matter. This allows students to move quickly through areas where they have prior work or academic experience and focus on the areas they still need to learn. Learning is individualized and guided by the one-on-one support of a faculty mentor. Degree programs are rigorous and challenging, but designed to allow students to schedule their studies to accommodate work and family obligations. Tuition is affordable, approximately $6,000 per year for most degree programs, regardless of how many courses a student completes.

WGU Tennessee has been established by the state of Tennessee as an online, competency-based university to expand access to higher education throughout the state. Formed through a partnership with Western Governors University, WGU Tennessee is open to all qualified Tennessee residents. The university offers 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.

Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).*

In addition to WGU Tennessee, there are four other WGU state-based, state-endorsed universities: WGU Indiana, established in June 2010, WGU Washington, established in April 2011, WGU Texas.