JSCC’s career & job fair opens to Jackson community for second year

It is once again time to host the Career & Job Fair, an annual event for students and community members to meet with potential employers, fill out job applications, and make great networking contacts for the future. Annette Deaton, Coordinator of Placement and Career Services, says this is the second year the fair will be open to the public. She says, “We want our students and the community to learn about different career options they may not otherwise be exposed to.”

This year there are more than 50 booths expected from employers in and around the Jackson community as well as several recruiters from various higher education institutions. Deaton says the goal is for attendees to leave with positive connections for their future, which may be to transfer to a four-year college, to get a job after graduation, or to change a current career path.

The TN Career Coach, a mobile service complete with computers and specialists, will also be onsite to assist those applying for positions online or those who need feedback with a resume or cover letter.

Deaton says the Career & Job Fair will be professional and it is highly suggested that attendees “dress for success”. The event is free and will take place on Wednesday, March 29 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

Anyone wishing to submit a resume for review prior to the event can contact Annette Deaton at 731-424-3520 ext. 50315 or by email at adeaton@jscc.edu for more information.

Emmitt Smith to Speak at Second JSCC Foundation Scholarship Banquet

The Jackson State Community College Foundation is excited to announce the keynote speaker for its second annual scholarship banquet. Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith will bring a message of leadership, teamwork, and what it takes to succeed in business and in life. The event will be Tuesday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carl Perkins Civic Center.

Smith is a well-known NFL icon, Pro Football Hall of Famer, businessman, TV star, and philanthropist. Additionally, Smith worked to prepare himself for a career and life after football by completing his college education while playing professional football.

“We are privileged to have Emmitt Smith for this event,” said Dee Henderson, Jackson State’s director of development and alumni affairs. “His message is definitely one that many of us can identify with. The event is to raise funds for student scholarships. We know Emmitt believes in education.”

The nonprofit Jackson State Community College Foundation is the school’s top fundraising arm and will sell sponsorships, tables and seating for the event to support various needs on campus.

“Our goal is to increase scholarships for our students who have financial needs that they cannot meet,” Allana Hamilton, JSCC president, said. “We offer educational opportunities, to citizens of West Tennessee and beyond, that effect not only their lives but have a strong economic impact on our region by providing an educated workforce.”

The Foundation’s board of directors chose to host Emmitt Smith as a guest speaker because he is a well-known sports personality with wide appeal in many facets of life including business, television, and philanthropic endeavors, Henderson said.

Emmitt Smith is known to many for his stint on the 2006 season of “Dancing with the Stars” TV show on ABC. He was the mirror-ball champion that year and also returned to the show in 2012 for the first-ever All-Stars season of the program.

Hamilton said she wants the community to attend the Jackson State Foundation Banquet to not only support the Foundation, but also to have an opportunity to hear Smith firsthand. The fundraising banquet is in its second year and is planned to be an annual event with keynote presentations from nationally recognized speakers.

The first banquet last year featured Lt. Col. Oliver North as the keynote speaker. “The response to Lt. Col. North last year was overwhelmingly positive and provided the college an excellent beginning for holding a banquet of this magnitude,” said Henderson.

The Foundation will continue to look for interesting speakers who can address important topical issues to provide value to the community while raising funds and awareness for the college, Henderson said.

“Jackson State Community College is proud to be a part of the West Tennessee community, and we are proud of our students and graduates,” Henderson said. “We’re also very proud of the relationships we have built with others in West Tennessee, including with businesses and industry.”

Tickets and tables for the event can be purchased by calling the civic center box office at 731-425-8587.

PTA information sessions to be held at JSCC

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Jackson State Community College will host two information sessions for those interested in learning more about the program. There will be a session on Wednesday, March 15 from 5 to 6 p.m. and on Friday, March 17 from 12 to 1 p.m. Both sessions will meet in room M234 of the McWherter Center on the college’s main campus at 2046 North Parkway in Jackson.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is designed for the student who does not intend to transfer to a baccalaureate degree program. Graduates of Jackson State’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program are eligible to apply for licensure in any state and, if approved by that state, sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Applications for the program must be submitted by a June 1 deadline. Students seeking admission to the PTA Program must submit separate applications for admission to JSCC and for admission to the program.

Additional information about the PTA program at JSCC can be found at www.jscc.edu/pta. For more information regarding the information sessions, contact Jane David, PTA program director, at 731-424-3520 ext. 50214 or jdavid@jscc.edu

Jackson State’s New OTA Program Receives Accreditation Certificate

Jackson State Community College’s new Occupational Therapist Assistant program has been certified by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

The accredited status means graduates can obtain a license and find a job, said Julie Bezold, Jackson State’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Director. It will also help fill a shortage in the region, as many medical facilities have difficulty finding occupational therapy assistants to hire.

“There is a huge need for this program,” Bezold said. “The number of occupational therapy assistants has grown by 43 percent in 10 years, in part because of the aging elderly population. It will be the top job in 2017.”

Occupational therapy assistants work with occupational therapists to help patients at all stages of life develop or improve the skills needed to participate in everyday activities. Their patients are often living with an injury, illness or disability.

Jackson State submitted a letter of intent to the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education in February 2013, indicating the college’s desire to develop the program. Bezold was hired in August 2014 and submitted a 300-page candidacy application in January 2015, which the council voted to accept.

“It meant we were able to officially accept students, and the first class started in August 2015,” Bezold said.

The school then completed an extensive self-study addressing 176 standards of the program and submitted it in December 2015. The council accepted the study and sent three evaluators to visit the campus for an in-depth, three-day review in September.

The council approved accreditation in December for five years through 2022, and Jackson State received its official certificate this week.

The 12 original students entered the program knowing that its accreditation status, while underway, was not certain.

“We were very forthcoming and very honest with students every step of the way,” Bezold said. “They were just as committed to making this project successful as we worked on getting accreditation.”

The program, which added 12 new students in 2016 and plans to add 12 more next fall, will be housed in the new 40,000-square-foot Health Sciences Building when it opens this spring. Students from other health care tracks will be able to collaborate.

“It gives us a really good opportunity to work together with joint labs and learn each other’s skill sets and what they’re responsible for,” Bezold said.

The first class of Jackson State’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program will graduate in May, and their degrees will carry the full weight of an accredited program when they enter the workforce.

“It’s just a really exceptional time for the college,” Bezold said. “We have a top-notch educational program here, and the students that leave here get a really good education.”

Jackson State Community College provides accessible learning opportunities that enhance the lives of individuals, strengthen the workforce and empower the diverse communities of West Tennessee. The institution offers traditional and contemporary associate degrees, certificates, continuing education and enrichment, and college-readiness programs.

Irish Band, Brock McGuire, returns to JSCC for free concert

Internationally recognized Irish folk band Brock McGuire is scheduled to appear at Jackson State Community College on Monday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the college’s Ayers Auditorium. The performance is free and open to the public.

The band performed on campus last fall during International Week at JSCC. The band is returning to campus this spring as part of a short US tour. Mary Wadley, JSCC professor and International Education sponsor, stated that the group had very popular appeal with both students and staff during the fall performance. “We are so excited to have them with us once again,” she says.

The Brock McGuire Band performs on occasion with symphonies and has even performed with bluegrass great Ricky Skaggs on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. The band has received accolades such as “Instrumental Band of the Decade” from Irish American News and was recipient of a 5-star “Top of the World” award from the prestigious world music magazine Songlines.

Brock McGuire is fronted by Moving Cloud founding members Paul Brock and Manus McGuire. Residing in County Clare, button accordionist and melodeonist Paul Brock and fiddler Manus McGuire are two of Ireland’s most celebrated traditional musicians. Special guest member Shane Ferrell will perform with the group. Ferrell is a multi-talented musician and will play banjo with the group at this appearance.

As they did in the fall semester, the band will conduct a master class for students in music appreciation and humanities. As Wadley explains, “These types of experiences add so much more depth to the educational experience for our students. They have the opportunity to see and experience opposed to just reading and hearing about it third hand.”

For more information regarding this performance or other opportunities in international education at JSCC, contact Mary Wadley at 731-424-3520 ext. 50252 or email her at mwadley@jscc.edu.