New and Prospective Students Welcomed to JSCC Open House

Jackson State Community College will host an open house event Saturday, January 9 on the main campus at 2046 North Parkway. The campus will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.

This is an opportunity for anyone wanting to learn more about what Jackson State has to offer or to just see the campus. It is also an opportunity for new and returning students to finalize details before the beginning of the term.

There are a number of things planned for the open house that will allow everyone to see what the school has to offer. Free snacks and drawings for door prizes are being offered. Many of the activities will be geared toward new and returning students. According to Countance Anderson, interim vice president of student services, “This is an opportunity for students to get their IDs, parking permits, buy books, and finalize financial aid.”

Prospective students will also be able to visit most areas of campus and get a feel for what Jackson State has to offer. Faculty members will be on hand to talk to students and discuss classes. Students and staff will give guided tours and answer questions about campus life. The library will also be open along with the writing center and academic assistance center.

Anderson is excited about the way this event has grown over the past couple of years. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the folks at Jackson State to showcase what we have to offer our students,” she claims. “The opportunities now being offered for the non-traditional student makes this event doubly exciting.”

Anderson states, “This year we really hope to encourage older, non-traditional students to come out and learn what opportunities are open to them. Jackson State makes a special effort to work with the busy schedules of working students to ensure they are successful at completing their degrees.”

With Tennessee Reconnect and the deferred payment option, there is a special emphasis on getting those students that never finished their degrees to return school to get this done. Jackson State offers the most affordable tuition in the region. According to school officials, the implementation of other options such as deferred payments helps to ensure that funding does not get in the way of student success.

Anyone attending this event should follow the signs on campus to the Student Union Building. Information about the campus along with guided tours will be located there.

For additional information or questions, contact student services at (731) 424-3520 ext. 50359.

Genealogy Course Offered for College Credit

Jackson State Community College is offering anyone the opportunity to learn about genealogy. LIB 1001, Introduction to Genealogy, is a comprehensive course available for both credit and non-credit through the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The online course is administered through JSCC’s eLearn software and takes students through an extensive 14-week journey of learning all the ins and outs of genealogical research.

Students in this in-depth course will become familiar with many online and print sources, will interact with one another and the instructors in discussion forums and email, and will complete weekly assignments to learn about important records and useful genealogical skills. Records and examples from Tennessee history will be used, but the skills learned are applicable to genealogical research in other states as well.

The course is offered online and students will be able to complete the weekly assignments at their own pace. There is no set class time and no textbook is required. Class participants will have access to Ancestry Library edition through ProQuest.

During the course, students will learn:

  • Why given names and surnames can be historically significant
  • How to preserve family treasures and stories that have been passed down
  • How to chart what they already know about their ancestry
  • How to use software to organize and manipulate family data
  • How to use the records common to genealogists, like the census and vital records
  • The value of military records and where to find them
  • How to locate and use court records, immigration, and land records
  • Best use of records found online, in print, in courthouses and in manuscripts

Registration is now open. Classes start on January 19, 2016 and end on May 6, 2016. Registrants must first apply for admission to the College, online at http://www.jscc.edu/admissions. Individuals not seeking college credit may enroll as an audit student to avoid transcript and testing requirements.

Also, prospective students may also enroll as a non-credit student through the Office of Lifelong Learning. https://registration.xenegrade.com/jscc/courseDisplay.cfm?schID=14687

Visit http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/events/genealogycourse.htm for additional information about the course.

Tuition Payment Plan Eases Financial Stress

Jackson State Community College is piloting a tuition payment program for the Spring 2016 semester. The payment plan will provide students the opportunity to spread the payment of tuition into four payments over the course of the semester.

JSCC has been designated by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) as a college to test a deferred payment plan. The goal is to help relieve some of the financial pressures students have in attending school and to ultimately increase the retention and completion of students. “This program is designed to help students better manage expenses associated with attending college,” explains Countance Anderson, interim vice president of student services.

While this program is open to all students, it is hoped that non-traditional students needing to upgrade credentials or transition to another career will be able to more easily access higher education.

The Deferred Payment Option only requires students to make 25% of their tuition payment to confirm registration. After that, students have 3 additional installments during the semester to complete payment.

“While we hope this payment option helps all of our students, we sincerely hope that this will be an encouragement for those thinking of coming back to school to go ahead and take that first step,” Anderson states. “Anyone interested in furthering their education should apply and determine what other financial aid might be available to them. Our financial aid personnel can help students find a way to achieve their goals.”

Current students wishing to apply to the payment program should visit www.MyCollegePaymentPlan.com/jscc. To learn more about degree and career options available through JSCC should contact recruitment at (731) 425-2601 or (800) 355-JSCC ext. 52601.

Open enrollment for the spring term began November 30 and continues through January 18. Anyone interested in enrolling in the spring semester should apply for admission as quickly as possible. An application can be made at www.jscc.edu/apply or the admissions office can be reached at 731-425-8844 or (800) 355-JSCC ext. 58844.

JSCC Announced as 2016 Bellwether Award Finalist

Jackson State Community College has been announced as a finalist to compete for the 2016 Bellwether Awards. The Community College Futures Assembly announced ten outstanding community college programs from each of the three standard categories as the Finalists. The Assembly had issued a call for Bellwether Award nominations in the fall of 2015, and 30 finalist colleges in three categories were competitively chosen from the applicants.

The field of Bellwether nominations was very competitive this year with nearly 300 Bellwether applications. Prior to the application process, over 1,000 community college programs were nominated from a wide range of agencies including peer institutions, conferences, and the media. The ten finalists were selected in each category: Instructional Programs and Services, co-sponsored by the National Council of Instructional Administrators; Planning, Governance and Finance, co-sponsored by the Council for Resource Development; and Workforce Development, co-sponsored by the National Council for Continuing Education and Training.

Jackson State will compete in the Institutional Programs and Services category for its work in the Great Expectations college orientation program. According to Countance Anderson, director of registration and orientation, “We strongly believe that getting a great start to college is essential to student success.” All new, degree-seeking students are required to attend one of the Great Expectations sessions before they start their first semester. “We have great expectations that students will accomplish their educational goals at Jackson State,” Anderson states. Great Expectations is seen as the key to unlocking the door to future success.

All finalists will present at the Assembly on January 25th, 2016 in Orlando, Florida, and one winner will then be selected from each category by a panel of national experts within each category. The winners will be announced on Jan. 26th at the annual meeting in Orlando.

Nakutis Completes Leadership Jackson

Jackson State’s Kristine Nakutis was one of 30 local business professionals that graduated from the Jackson Chamber’s Leadership Jackson. The group was honored Thursday, December 10 at a special banquet at Union University’s Carl Grant Events Center.

The Leadership Jackson program was created by the Chamber 37 years ago. It was designed as a way for business professionals to better understand the way local government works and to be better engaged and connected in the community. The program lasts for 3 months and gives participants an opportunity to build relationships with others in the cohort as well as meeting a host of other key stakeholders in the community.

Nakutis has held the position of veterans affairs coordinator at JSCC since January. Kris has served as an adjunct at JSCC for the past few years in developmental writing and Philosophy. She obtained her B.A. in Political Science from Marist College in New York and her M.A. in Philosophy from University of Massachusetts.

Prior to teaching as an adjunct faculty member at JSCC, Nakutis worked at the Milan Army Ammunition Plant, where she served as the Military Commander. She brings extensive leadership and management skills from her 20 years of various military leadership positions, along with her prior experience in higher education to her new role.

In the U.S. Army, Nakutis attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She held a number of leadership roles while in the military. Several years were spent as an Assistant Professor of English at West Point Military Academy.

Acknowledging her contributions and service, Dr. Bruce Blanding states, “Everyone at Jackson State is proud of the leadership that Kristine is providing for our veterans and we are especially proud of her successful completion of the Leadership Jackson program. We are fortunate to have Colonel Nakutis on our staff as the coordinator of veterans affairs.”