Student Success at the Heart of O’Banion Presentation

The faculty and staff of Jackson State Community College had the honor of hearing and seeing educator and author Dr. Terry O’Banion. Dr. O’Banion’s message was on the importance of effective advising to student success.

Terry O’Banion has been a community college leader for over 50 years. In a survey of 11,000 higher education leaders in Change magazine he was named one of 11 “Idea Champions” who set the agenda for all of higher education—and the only community college leader on the list. Dr. O’Banion has authored 15 books and over 200 monographs, chapters, and articles on the community college. He has also consulted in over 800 community colleges in every state in the nation and in Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates.

As a part of the accreditation process, JSCC is currently in the process of creating a quality enhancement plan (QEP) that focuses on academic advising. Dr. O’Banion published a groundbreaking article on the topic in 1972: “An Academic Advising Model.” Since that time, this work has been most commonly known as the O’Banion model and has been the standard to which all advising is referenced.

Dr. O’Banion’s visit to Jackson State helped kicked off the newly penned QEP, and the presentations he made to faculty and staff left everyone inspired to get the academic year and the QEP off to a solid start. We are very fortunate to have an authority of this caliber visit our campus and share his expertise, and this certainly shows how dedicated we are to student success at Jackson State.

It was a true honor to have an authority of this caliber visit our campus and share his expertise. His presentation was a true inspiration and will guide our faculty and staff to better ensure academic success for JSCC students.

JSCC Receives Veterans Reconnect Grant

On Aug. 10, the Governor’s Office announced that Jackson State Community College was one of 11 recipients of a Veterans Reconnect Grant. The grant is an extension of the Drive to 55 initiative to increase degree and certificate completions in the state and create a more qualified workforce that will attract manufacturing and boost local economies.

The grant was created in the Governor’s FY 2015-2016 budget amendment. The General Assembly approved $1 million to be used for the Veterans Reconnect Grant. Up to $100,000 could be awarded to any one institution. Jackson State was awarded $94,151.

Veterans Affairs Coordinator Kristine Nakutis began the application process for the grant in June of this year. In the grant proposal, the goals established were to create a veteran outreach program, an on-campus veteran’s student center, transition programs to improve graduation rates, and a veteran’s student task force.

One specific goal of the grant is to create an on-campus veteran’s student center. “[the student center] will allow older veterans who have served 10, 15, or 20 years to connect with the younger soldiers who are still serving in the Guard and the Reserve,” states Nakutis. “This will help give them a sense of belonging like they had in their military units and allow them to better focus on their education.”

In addition to the student center, the veteran’s student task force will be a cross-functional team with an emphasis on supporting veteran students through recruitment, admissions, registration, academics, and completion. The goal of the team will be to identify opportunities as well as potential issues and to develop best practices in working specifically with veterans throughout the college experience.

Ultimately, the goal is to connect with veterans the best way possible and stay connected throughout their college experience and beyond. Nakutis sees the grant as a great opportunity for Jackson State to provide increased support for veteran academic achievement. Anyone interested in opportunities available to veterans at JSCC can reach Kristine Nakutis at (731) 425-2618 or knakutis@jscc.edu.