JSCC to host open house

Jackson State Community College will host an open house event Saturday, August 5 on the main campus at 2046 North Parkway. The campus will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.

Brian Gann, Student Services Vice President, sees this as an excellent opportunity for anyone considering the next step beyond high school or those wanting to further their careers. “Anyone interested in finding out more about Jackson State can take a tour of the campus, meet with faculty and staff, and learn more about financial aid options,” Gann said.

A number of 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. Prospective students will also be able to visit most all areas of campus and get a feel for the campus and what Jackson State has to offer. The library will also be open along with the writing center and academic assistance center.

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

For additional information or questions, contact student services at (731) 425-2601.

Jackson State offers new Certified Nurse Aide class

Jackson State Community College is offering a Certified Nurse Aide class and lab as an elective in its new Healthcare Technician Program.

Students who finish the class will receive six hours of college credit. The first class will begin Sept. 25.

“A certified nurse aide’s main role is to provide basic care to patients,” said Leah Gray, Jackson State’s director of program innovation. “They also assist patients in daily activities they might have trouble with on their own, such as bathing, eating or walking. A great nurse aide will show compassion, enjoy helping others and be confident in his or her job skills.”

Classes will be Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. The 10-week course will run until the end of the fall semester. Two weeks later, students will return to take a licensure exam administered by a third-party that is selected by the state of Tennessee.

The Healthcare Technician Program, offered for the first time in spring 2017, is designed for students pursuing a medical career who want to enter the job market equipped with multiple skills. Students will focus on the objectives required to become certified as clinical medical assistants, EKG technicians and phlebotomy technicians.

“It offers more opportunities for students who may or may not want to pursue some of our more selective programs,” said Dr. Tom Pigg, dean of Health Sciences and Computer Information Technology. “This is a good way to get your foot in the door as far as a career in health care goes. They can use this as a stepping stone to work into one of our more specialized programs.”

Patient care technicians work in hospitals, clinics and home health care environments.

“The idea is for someone to be able to perform many different tasks in medical clinics and hospitals,” Pigg said. “It gives them a bigger skill set to make them more employable.”

Students will receive a technical certificate of credit upon completion. The certificate recognizes skill proficiency in a specific specialty, and it is offered as part of Jackson State’s service role to business and industry.

The program is authorized for financial aid.

Other certificate programs at Jackson State include advanced and basic emergency medical technician (EMT), as well as an EMT-Paramedic certification.

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.

More Than $750,000 Awarded to Tennessee Colleges to Support Student Veterans

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) announced July 10¬†that 13 colleges and universities in Tennessee will receive additional funding and program support to serve veterans and service members and help them earn postsecondary degrees as part of Governor Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55.

THEC will award $760,781 in total Veteran Reconnect funds to support programs and services for student veterans at campuses across the state. The 2017 grant program is specifically focused on improving the assessment of prior learning for student veterans returning to college, helping them more easily convert previous military experience into college credit, and improving the transition between military service and postsecondary education. THEC will provide technical assistance and professional development to Veteran Reconnect campuses around prior learning assessment (PLA) for veterans.

Locally, Jackson State Community College will receive $44,500 in funding. Brian Gann, VP of student services has expressed how pleased the college is to receive this funding for its veteran students. “The grant will go a long way in improving credit for prior learning opportunities for our veterans and active duty military students,” said Gann. “This project will allow us to improve our services for those who have served our country.”

“In Tennessee, there are an estimated 83,000 veterans with some college credit but no degree, and we are committed to making it easier for them to transition into higher education and graduate,” Haslam said. “Veterans bring valuable experience and learning from their time in the service, and through Veteran Reconnect, we are helping them turn that experience into credit, earn postsecondary degrees, and move into quality jobs after serving.”

Institutions receiving the grants are required to develop and implement new evaluation processes for translating military training into academic credit, while also ensuring that prospective and incoming student veterans have easy, clear access to the information. This grant aligns with legislation passed earlier this year by the Tennessee General Assembly which directs THEC to develop an online web platform to assist veterans in translating their military experience to academic credit. The institutions that participate in Veteran Reconnect grant program will be partners in that effort by mapping the opportunities already available to students at their institutions.

“Receiving proper credit for military training was a frustration we heard from veterans, and Veteran Reconnect is one of the ways we are easing that frustration,” said THEC Executive Director Mike Krause. “Veterans and service members are often forced to decide on a program of study before they know how their military training will be applied to academic coursework. As a state, we’re¬†working to make this process as transparent as possible so veterans know how their military service will translate before enrolling.”

Veteran Reconnect will provide funding from August 1, 2017 until January 31, 2019. The current round of funding marks the third time THEC has awarded Veteran Reconnect grants to institutions. The 2015 grant provided support to 11 campuses to focus on developing enrollment, retention, and graduation of veteran students. The 2016 grant provided funding to six campuses, focused on expanding existing student veteran programs and bringing successful programs to scale.

Veteran Reconnect is part of Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025. The grants were included in Haslam’s FY 2017-18 budget.

Jackson State to offer Respiratory Care program next spring

Jackson State Community College is launching a Respiratory Care program to fill a growing demand for respiratory therapists in West Tennessee and provide a new alternative for students pursuing a career in health care.

The five-semester program is undergoing the accreditation process and will begin classes next spring. The college is accepting applications, and the deadline for the first cohort to enroll is Oct. 1. Graduates will receive an associate degree in applied science.

Jackson’s growing health care presence, along with the number of respiratory therapists approaching retirement, has created a need for more students to pursue the profession, said Respiratory Care Program Director Cathy Garner. The growing elderly population with long-term respiratory care needs is also driving demand.

“Here in West Tennessee, we are seeing a great demand for respiratory care therapists, and there is no program outside of Shelby County,” Garner said. “After graduation, our students will take a national exam, and then they will get a job.”

Students must also be licensed before they are employed.

Nationally, employment for respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Respiratory therapists focus on patients with breathing difficulties, from newborns with underdeveloped lungs to elderly patients with a chronic disease like emphysema. There are many specialties respiratory therapists can pursue, such as critical care, home care, case management, pulmonary rehabilitation, pulmonary diagnostics, sleep medicine, and surface and air transport. The work environment is often fast and fluid, Garner said.

“We work under the direction of a physician, and we provide an assessment of a patient to determine the kind of therapy a patient needs,” Garner said. “We focus on the cardiopulmonary system – any patient having any difficulties related to the lungs.”

Respiratory therapists work with mechanical ventilators and artificial airways, respond to code-blue resuscitative efforts and can be found treating patients from the front door of the hospital to the back, Garner said. Students who want to pursue a medical career but want an alternative to nursing should consider the program.

“If they are someone who is interested in bedside patient care but doesn’t want to be a nurse, this is the field they should really investigate.”

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. For more information, visit jscc.edu.

WGU Tennessee and Jackson State Community College Renew Agreement

WGU Tennessee Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Estep and Jackson State Community College President Dr. Allana Hamilton celebrated today the re-signing of an articulation agreement that continues to allow Jackson State faculty, staff, and graduates to further their educations at a reduced cost.

“We are very happy to extend the agreement between Jackson State and Western Governors University,” said Hamilton. “WGU provides our students with a very viable and affordable option for continuing their education while maintaining work and familial obligations.”

The agreement, which was first signed in 2014, will continue to provide Jackson State graduates and staff with 5 percent discounts on WGU Tennessee’s already-low tuition of $3,000 per term. The partnership has already led to more than 50 Jackson State graduates enrolling in WGU Tennessee. In addition to reduced tuition costs, graduates are eligible for WGU Tennessee’s Fulfilling the Promise Scholarship – the staple scholarship for a recently launched initiative that aims to empower graduates of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise to earn affordable bachelor’s degrees at WGU Tennessee.

“Our Fulfilling the Promise initiative gives Jackson State and other Tennessee community college graduates an opportunity to advance their postsecondary educations without worrying about taking on a lot of debt,” Estep said. “We are proud of our strong partnership, and look to continue providing accessible, affordable educations to their graduates and staff.”

Graduates of Jackson State or other Tennessee community colleges who choose to enroll in WGU Tennessee will benefit from 24/7 access to coursework, one-on-one support from an assigned mentor, and a competency-based approach to learning, which allows students to focus on what they need to learn and leverage what they have mastered on the job.

All of this gives students the flexibility they need to balance education, employment, and family.