JSCC Humboldt Students Receive Honor

Each year the Rotary Club of Humboldt awards scholarships to students in attendance at Jackson States Humboldt Center. Johnnate Jones and Kenneth Hollis were recipients of this years award.

Both Johnnate and Kenneth are actively involved in the community and have helped to organize the H2O Wellness Club. While H2O is best known as the chemical formulation for water and something that is essential to life, the Humboldt students have declared another meaning: Humboldt Helping Others. The purpose of this club is to increase and promote the seven components of wellness among JSCC students as well as the community. The organization recognizes that true wellness is much more than proper diet and exercise. They take in to account the need to find balance in physical, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, social, and intellectual health.

The H2O Wellness Club has already been very active. The organization held its first official meeting in October where several were in attendance. The first official order of business for the club was to initiate a service project that would collect clothing for Helping Hand of Humboldt. Club president Johnnate Jones and club secretary Kenneth Hollis are excited that they began with a project that is inline with the club mission of addressing several of the seven components of wellness. They have noted that there is nothing more humbling than helping provide affordable clothing for those in need. Warm clothing during an unusually cold winter has certainly met that need.

Congratulations Johnnate and Kenneth! Keep up the good work.

Lumina Foundation Grant Furthers Tennessee Higher Education Efforts to Boost Degree Completion in Transfer Students

An estimated 1,300 students who transfer each year from Tennessee community colleges to four-year institutions before finishing their associate degrees will soon be able to get that degree credential thanks to reverse transfer and a partnership involving every public and a range of private higher education institutions in the state.

A joint venture of the University of Tennessee System (UT), Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) and Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) will make it possible for students who transfer from Tennessee community colleges to four-year institutions to receive an associate degree when requirements are met in pursuit of a bachelors degree.

Typically, a student who transfers from a community college before completing all the requirements of a two-year associate degree does not receive that degree credential, even though all the courses may transfer to the four-year institution. An associate degree is seen as a valuable job-seeking credential for undergraduate students working their way through college. Studies also show a 10 percent increase in four-year graduation rates for students awarded associate degrees by reverse transfer.

A nearly $400,000 grant from Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation dedicated to expanding access to and success in education beyond high school, is accelerating the launch of the reverse transfer process, expected to be fully implemented in spring 2015.

The grant provides funding for a software system to centralize and automate college credit review and to notify transfer students if and when they complete requirements for the associate degree. Students then will have the opportunity to receive the associate degree while enrolled at a four-year institution.

Nine public universities, 13 community colleges and eight private, regionally accredited institutions from within the UT, TBR and TICUA systems are participating. At least 12 additional TICUA schools are expected to join the partnership.

Currently, only 32 percent of Tennesseans have certificates or degrees beyond high school, and studies show that by 2025, that number must be 55 percent to meet workforce demands, Gov. Bill Haslam said. Our Drive to 55 initiative is focused on increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary credentials, and reverse transfer is another tool to help us achieve our goals.

In September 2012, the University of Tennessee System convened and charged a statewide taskforce with creating a reverse transfer process, at the recommendation of the legislature. In 2013, the governors budget included a one-time, $300,000 appropriation to partially underwrite start-up costs.

UT Knoxvilles Center for Business and Economic Research will manage the centralized software being obtained through a competitive bid process. The center already runs various longitudinal data projects for the state and has the ability to develop and implement the reverse transfer process and to facilitate data collection that will complement other long-term education and economic outcome studies.

The University of Tennessee shares the states commitment to seeing a greater percentage of Tennesseans earn college degrees, said UT System President Joe DiPietro. We also recognize the numerous challenges transfer students face, and were pleased to help find solutions to overcome those challenges.

Its important that these students have the opportunity to receive the degree theyve earned, said Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan. The reverse transfer program is another demonstration of the quality education provided at our community colleges. The credits earned there, and the success students achieve through their hard work will soon be recognized with a formal degree. That degree then opens up a world of opportunity for students and helps Tennessee grow its educated workforce. We appreciate Lumina Foundations support of our efforts to support student success.

Lumina Foundation awarded the University of Tennessee System a $392,800 grant to further facilitate and accelerate creation of a reverse transfer process. Grant funding from Luminas Credit When Its Due program was awarded to a total of 15 recipients, including the partnership involving public and private Tennessee higher education institutions.

Approximately 2,300 students transfer each year from Tennessees community colleges to four-year universities with at least 45 of the 60 credit hours required for most associate degrees. Initial projections estimate at least half, about 1,300, of those students will be eligible for a reverse transfer associate degree once the process is fully implemented.

Initially, the reverse transfer process will involve only the 40 majors in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway program. While the40 in existence also are the most commonly pursued, all other associate degree majors will be added as soon as possible.

Features of the reverse transfer program include:
An automated reverse transfer credit-review system
An online portal where students and their advisors can monitor degree progress, reverse transfer degree status and course options for completion
A robust database that identifies and tracks course-taking patterns, persistence and degree completion among participants at a four-year institution before and after obtaining an associate degree

A website to further explain and promote reverse transfer in Tennessee is being developed and is expected to launch for public viewing in summer 2014.

New JSCC AMT Program Provides Real-World Experience With Pay

The Business and Industry division at Jackson State Community College is now offering an innovative new educational opportunity for upcoming high school graduates. The Advanced Maintenance Technician (AMT) program provides a new approach to attaining an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Multi-Skilled Maintenance Technician.

The Multi-Skilled Maintenance Technician is a highly trained individual with special skillsets that work in manufacturing environments. Due to their specialized training and skills, they command much higher salaries than typical manufacturing positions. A multi-skilled maintenance technician has a broad foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of electrical and electronic circuits, robotics, instrumentation, programmable logic controllers, motor controls and hydraulics/pneumatics equipment.

The advantages of the AMT program include a completed AAS degree in Industrial Technology that is complemented by two years of invaluable, relevant work experience. Also, participants will have a stable, good paying part-time job while earning their degree. This can help them to complete their college degree with little or no educational debt.

After completing the AMT program, JSCC Industrial Technology graduates can earn $37,000 or more per year starting salary, according to consortium members as well as other local manufacturers. Their earning potential can rapidly increase to $50,000 or more. This is very significant considering that the median household income in Tennessee is only $41,000.

A consortium of 15 area manufacturing partners working with Jackson State have developed the AMT program as a way of attracting highly qualified applicants into the field of multi-skilled maintenance technician. The AMT program is a selective admission program targeting high school graduates that have excelled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. Applicants will be selectively admitted as co-op students.

This program allows students to enroll at JSCC, take college classes two days a week on the Jackson campus and work at one of the consortium partners the other three days. The AAS degree in Industrial Technology is completed in five straight semesters. While working, the cooperative student will be paid a minimum of $12 per hour for the 24 hours they work each week at the manufacturing partner. Salary increases will be provided to advancing students, allowing participants to earn $14 per hour by their fifth and final semester.

Jason Bates, Administrative Manager at consortium member TOYOTA|Bodine Aluminum, Inc., has commented that during the economic slowdown over the past several years, individuals who have had the technical training and expertise to maintain manufacturing operations have had no unemployment issues. According to Bates, the number-one unfilled job opening during the Great Recession has been skilled technicians. What is worse, there are not enough people being trained or seeking to be trained to fill these positions.

The AMT Program offers participants a great opportunity to earn an AAS degree, to get their foot in the door of area manufacturers, get trained at a high-tech job, and to get paid while doing it. This is a bold new approach at how we educate the workforce of tomorrow, says Terri Messer, Dean of Business and Industry.

Additional information about the admissions process and an application for the AMT program can be found at www.jscc.edu/amt or by contacting Cathi Roberts at 731-425-9584or emailing her at croberts7@jscc.edu.

New Computer and Network Career Development Classes Offered at Jackson State

Beginning in January, Jackson State Community College has a new offering of classes in its Computer Information Systems Program. There are courses that enable IT professionals the ability to prepare for CompTIA A+ Certification and also Ciscos CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification.

The A+ Certification by CompTIA demonstrates competency as a computer technician. CompTIA A+ certification is a vendor neutral certification that covers numerous technologies and operating systems from such vendors as Microsoft, Apple and others.

According to Dr. Tom Pigg, Dean of Computer Information Systems at JSCC, the A+ certification is an excellent way for individuals to get their feet wet for those who feel they may be interested in a career in information technology but dont want to commit to an actual degree program to find out. Dr. Pigg continues, many people are intimidated at the prospect of taking courses in computer technology and talk themselves out of it before they have even given it a chance. Anyone who feels they may be interested in pursuing a career in IT should talk to us before giving up on the idea.

The CCNA certification is an entry-level network engineer certification program. With a CCNA certification, an individual will be validated on the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks.

Dr. Tom Pigg has cited these courses as an excellent opportunity for current IT professionals to help bolster their credentials and possibly giving them a competitive edge. This is also an excellent way for organizations to offer their IT staff training to ensure that they are better equipped to setup, configure and maintain computer networks.

The coursework taken in these classes will give individuals the tools they need to successfully sit for both the CompTIA A+ and Cisco CCNA certification exams. Dr. Pigg explains, the classroom setting with experienced and qualified instructors provides students with a definite advantage in preparing for the certification exam as opposed to preparing for a test with only a manual at hand.

The spring semester at Jackson State begins January 16. Anyone interested in pursuing these courses should contact Dr. Pigg at (731) 424-3520 ext. 50201 or email him at tpigg@jscc.edu.

Registration for these or any other Jackson State classes continues through January 16. Visit the colleges website at www.jscc.edu. General registration questions should be directed to Admissions at (731) 425-8844.