Jackson State to hold open house in Paris facility

Potential students interested in enrolling in Jackson State Community College’s new educational site in Paris, Tenn., can attend an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec. 14 from 3 to 7 p.m.

Beginning with the spring semester, Jackson State will occupy five rooms in the Central Community Service Center at 55 Jones Bend Road, bringing new academic opportunities to an underserved area of the state.

“The open house is an opportunity to tour the facility and classrooms,” said Patrick Davis, dean of Academic Support for Jackson State. “But most importantly, it’s an opportunity to meet our exceptional staff and the instructors who will be teaching the classes they plan to take. Come by and see the classes that we’re offering, and if we’re not offering what you’re looking for, we need that information, too.”

Specific classes will be determined by need, but students will be able to take advantage of more than 20 general courses that span Jackson State’s educational spectrum, including business, math, humanities, social/behavioral sciences, and science. The college will also offer emergency medical technician courses.

Representatives from all areas of the college, such as admissions, financial aid and faculty, will attend to provide information on courses and programs. They will also help students enroll for the spring semester, said Dr. Larry Bailey, vice president of Academic Affairs for Jackson State.

“The Paris open house will provide a chance for residents of Henry County and the surrounding areas to learn more about Jackson State and what it has to offer in Paris and throughout the institution,” Bailey said.

The Central Community Service Center facility has two large classrooms that will be used for traditional face-to-face teaching. And, students will be able to take upper-level courses with distance learning software in three smaller rooms that accommodate a smaller class size.

The college expects 50 to 75 students the first semester and plans to grow the enrollment to as many 200. “We really want to start small and grow the program based on the needs of residents,” Davis said.

The Paris location will focus on nontraditional students – people who go back to school to start a new career or need additional training to advance into a higher-paying job – in addition to the traditional college-age students. The college will work with area employers to create courses to meet the needs of the Henry County workforce.

Davis said local officials, including City Mayor Carlton Gerrell and County Mayor Brent Greer, played an important role in helping the school establish a site in Paris. “They’ve been exceptional in making sure we’re off to a good start,” Davis said.

The location will allow residents in rural Northwest Tennessee to take advantage of Tennessee Promise – a last-dollar scholarship program for community colleges and colleges of applied technology – without driving to Jackson. Students will be able to take college courses in high school through dual enrollment or earn an associate degree and join the workforce or transition into a four-year university.

JSCC Innovation choral ensemble to perform holiday concert

Innovation, Jackson State Community College’s choral group, will perform its holiday concert on Tuesday, November 29. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. in Ayers Auditorium of the McWherter Center on the college’s main campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Now an annual tradition, the event has made strides to help others by raising funds and awareness for the JSCC Food Pantry. In addition to providing food to students in need, Jackson State’s food pantry also provides an emergency relief fund that supports students in need. The pantry also makes other essentials available such as clothing, personal hygiene products, and gas cards.

While admission is free, donations to the JSCC Food Pantry are suggested. Most people attending this event either bring items for the pantry or make a monetary donation.

The Food Pantry serves many students over the course of a year. Anyone can contribute to the food pantry year-round. Contact Student Services at 731-425-8820 to make a donation.

JSCC now offering winter term

Jackson State Community College is now offering a “holiday term.” The new term will allow students an opportunity to complete coursework online during the Christmas break from December 15 to January 11.

The initial offering for this term is 8 classes which includes accounting, English, computer, psychology, and speech classes. “We have been looking for ways to increase opportunities for our students to complete their coursework more efficiently and to stay on track to graduate,” said Dr. Larry Bailey, VP of academic affairs. “This also offers a great opportunity for transient students that are home for the Christmas break.”

Current students can register for the holiday term at the same time they register for the spring term. Students not currently enrolled at JSCC will need to complete an application. The courses being offered for the holiday term can be seen at www.jscc.edu/holiday.

For questions about the holiday term, contact the office of admissions at 731-425-8844 or visit the website at www.jscc.edu/apply.

JSCC nursing division to hold open house

The nursing program at Jackson State Community College is inviting anyone interested in learning more about a career in nursing to visit an open house in its Jim Moss Center for Nursing. The event will be held on Monday, November 21. The facility will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on that day.

Now in its 26th year, the nursing program at Jackson State has garnered a reputation as one of the state’s best and most respected programs. The Jim Moss Center for Nursing, opening its doors in the fall of 2015, is home to state-of-the-art labs and equipment that utilize the same technologies as hospitals.

Equipment in the facility includes human obstetric, pediatric, and adult simulators that enable faculty to simulate real-life scenarios. “The new facility really does give our students an experience that better prepares them for what they will encounter in a real-world setting,” said Monica Ray, admissions director for nursing.

“While the program is rigorous, the rewards are great,” Ray states. “Our faculty work to ensure that our students are prepared to pass the NCLEX certification exam. Our pass rate in the spring was 100%.”

The 2-year RN program also has a high employment rate. “99% of our students are employed within a year of graduation,” stated Ray. “Nurses are in short supply and the opportunities in healthcare are abundant.”

While a career in nursing offers a good salary (projected income for an experienced RN is $63,374), Ray mentioned that a career in nursing opens the door of possibility for a number of other career opportunities in healthcare.

“Anyone that has ever thought about a career in nursing should come to this event,” stated Ray. “This is an opportunity to see what a career in nursing has to offer, and, more importantly, what Jackson State has to offer you.”

For more information about the open house or about Jackson State’s nursing program, call 731-425-2622 or email Connie Geary at cgeary@jscc.edu.

JSCC Awarded Military Friendly School Designation

Jackson State Community College has been designated as a Military Friendly School for 2017. This designation means that the college strives towards and succeeds in the areas that matter most in helping veterans make the transition from the military to school and, ultimately, satisfying careers in the civilian world. The designation shows that JSCC is better for veterans with the admissions, student support and career services in place to prepare them for graduation and gainful employment.

JSCC has taken several steps over the past two years to increase services to military students. A $94,000 grant through Tennessee Reconnect provided for the creation of a Military Student Center. The center provides the college’s military students an area to associate with other military students. The new center also contains a lounge, computer room with CAC readers, conference area, snack bar, and services such as tutoring.

Candidates in Jackson State presidential search narrowed to 4. Campus visits scheduled week of Nov. 14

Four finalists have been selected in the search for the next president of Jackson State Community College in Jackson, Tenn. Each will participate in campus forums and community receptions next week.

The finalists are:

  • Dr. David Alan Bathe, chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette, Kokomo, and Logansport Regions, Lafayette, Ind.
  • Dr. Jeffery S. Boyd, provost, Tidewater Community College-Norfolk Campus, Norfolk, Va.
  • Dr. Allana R. Hamilton, vice president for academic affairs, Northeast State Community College, Blountville, Tenn.
  • Dr. Jeffery Lane Sisk, director, Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Jackson, Jackson, Tenn.

The finalists’ resumes are available to view on the Presidential/Executive Searches section of the Tennessee Board of Regents website at https://www.tbr.edu/hr/executivesearches/president-jackson-state-community-college

Campus visits will be scheduled for the week of Nov. 14, with each candidate spending a day participating in meetings and open forums for various constituent groups, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community at large. Detailed campus visit schedules will be posted on the website as soon as they are finalized. The campus forums will be streamed live online via links available on the presidential search website.

The Tennessee Board of Regents, Jackson State’s governing board, approved criteria for the search for a new Jackson State president at its June meeting. The 16-member JSCC Presidential Search Advisory Committee was appointed in August and held its first meeting and open forum Sept. 1 on the campus. The committee included three members of the Board of Regents and representatives of faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community. Its charge was to identify and interview candidates and narrow the applicant pool to three to five finalists.

After the campus visits, TBR Chancellor David Gregory will gather feedback from committee members, the forums and meetings to select one candidate for nomination to the full Board of Regents for its consideration and approval, tentatively in December. The search committee worked with executive search firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates to help identify a broad range of highly qualified candidates from around the country. The process resulted in 51 applicants.

The next president will succeed Dr. Bruce Blanding, Jackson State’s fourth president, who retired in September after leading the college since February 2004. Horace Chase, JSCC’s vice president of financial and administrative affairs for 17 years, was named the interim president of the college on Sept. 2 and will serve until the next president is selected and begins his tenure, probably in January.

Jackson State Community College is a public, comprehensive, multi-campus college offering associate degrees and certificates in a learning-centered environment. Its primary service area encompasses 14 West Tennessee counties. The main campus is in Jackson, Tenn., with additional campus locations in Humboldt, Lexington, and Savannah. It also offers courses in several high schools and other sites across the region. Jackson State has been ranked as one of the most tech-savvy community colleges in the country.