JSCC Celebrates 50 Years of Student Success

The week of September 11 marked 50 years for Jackson State Community College. The week was a celebration of the success the college has had in the past, is currently experiencing, and the exciting promise that the future holds.

A reception was held on Monday where many faculty and staff, past and present, came to the student center to reconnect with old friends and to remember their time at the college. There was an opportunity to talk with many of the people there and to have them recount their favorite memories about JSCC. A very condensed version of these interviews can be seen at: https://youtu.be/pxbPxwMHe3k . Photos from the event can be viewed at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6pUYp1 .

The dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Jim and Janet Ayers Center for Health Sciences was held Tuesday, September 12. The Mr. and Mrs. Ayers are both stalwart supporters of education and have funded hundreds of scholarships for Jackson State students over the years. Mr. Ayers credits the beginning of the Ayers Foundation with the cooperative and supportive relationship he and his wife have enjoyed with the college. Read more at: http://www.jscc.edu/news/news-article.html?newsid=ayers-honored-at-dedication-of-health-science-building . Photos from the event can be viewed at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm62fHL2 .

The annual Welcome Back Bash for students was delayed this year until Thursday, September 14. The event was held on the newly-developed science quad from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and was well attended the entire four hours. Live music for the event was provided by Skeleton Krew. See images from the event at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm4CoWys .

The week ended with an employee appreciation event on Friday, September 15. The Dirt Pilgrims provided entertainment for the event. Employees in attendance were treated to ice cream from Maggie Moo’s and were given a commemorative glass mug with an imprint of the 50th anniversary logo. Everyone gathered at the end of event for a group photo that will be passed along in a time capsule to future JSCC employees. Photos from the event can be seen at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6tjtSA .

Alumni Profile: Lori Gambill

Lori Gambill enrolled at Jackson State to further her career. She was a teller for 17 years with BancorpSouth and took advantage of a company program that reimbursed employees for good grades.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University, and became a trust officer at the bank. She recently received her Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) certification, which is the industry’s recognized standard of excellence.

“I don’t think I would be where I am today had I not gone to Jackson State,” Gambill said. “The night school was perfect. For me being a full-time employee, it was excellent. Jackson State was great. It’s basically a big family where everyone is willing to help you out. Everybody wants you to succeed.”

JSCC Respiratory Care Program to host information sessions

The respiratory care program at Jackson State Community College will hold information sessions for those interested in learning about the program curriculum, admissions, and respiratory care as a profession. There will be a session on Wednesday, November 1 from 12 to 1 p.m. and a session on Thursday, November 2 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held in room 134 of the Jim and Janet Ayers Center for Health Sciences on the JSCC campus.

The 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 in the spring. 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.

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.”

“If someone 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.

MTSU, Jackson State reaffirm partnership to create smoother transition for transferring students

Reaffirming a partnership established in 2012, the presidents of Middle Tennessee State University and Jackson State Community College signed agreements Wednesday, October 18, creating a smoother transition for students wanting to transfer from the West Tennessee college to the Murfreesboro university.

The signing occurred at the Jackson Country Club, where MTSU hosted its annual True Blue Tour luncheon for high school counselors and community college staff and nighttime student reception.

The actions authorized by MTSU’s Sidney A. McPhee and Jackson State’s Allana Hamilton will:

  • Establish programs to promote successful experiences for Jackson State students seeking to continue their higher education at MTSU.
  • Develop dual admission and reverse transfer processes between them as seamless as possible.
  • Allow Jackson State students to interact with MTSU advisers and have access to faculty and programs within their proposed majors while at the community college.
  • Exchange additional ideas and information to further mutual understanding and cooperation between the parties.
  • Develop other objectives, as agreed upon by both parties.

In 2012, the agreement provided the framework for programs designed to enhance the educational experience of students attending both schools. It included but was not limited to dual admissions, concurrent enrollment, reverse transfer, consortium agreements and cooperative advising.

“We are pleased to reaffirm and continue our partnership with Jackson State,” McPhee said. “We are the number one choice of transfer students in Tennessee because we work hard to make the movement between institutions as seamless as possible.”

“We are always looking for ways to help our students achieve their educational goals,” said Hamilton, Jackson State president. “The agreement with MTSU will help to develop a seamless transition for Jackson State graduates to move to the next level in their educational journey.”

Working with administrators in the new agreement, a coordinator from each school will promote collaboration with the respective admissions staffs.

In addition to coordinating activities within their institutions as well as the other party, the coordinators will distribute information about faculty, facilities, research, publications, library materials and educational resources of their organization.

The coordinators will communicate periodically to review and evaluate past activities and work out new ideas for the future cooperative agreements.

The MOU is for five years. MTSU and Jackson State can be renewed for a five-year period and terminated by either party with 90 days’ notice.

MTSU is the number one producer of graduates for the Greater Nashville economy and vital partner in the state’s goal of 55 percent of its citizens having a post-secondary degree by 2025. It is the top destination for transfer students in Tennessee and number one choice for adult learners. MTSU offers more than 240 undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is widely known for its recording industry, aerospace, accounting, concrete industry, nursing and education programs and more.

Celebrating 50 years of higher education, Jackson State provides accessible learning opportunities, enhancing the lives of individuals, strengthening the workforce and empowering diverse communities by offering traditional and contemporary associate degrees (arts, science and applied science), certificates, continuing education and enrichment, and college-readiness programs. The college also has campuses in Humboldt, Lexington and Savannah, Tennessee, and provides educational opportunities in 33 area high school locations.

Irish Folk Musicians, Paul Brock Band, to perform free concert at JSCC

Internationally recognized Irish folk musician Paul Brock and his band are scheduled to appear at Jackson State Community College on Monday, October 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the college’s Ayers Auditorium. The performance is free and open to the public.

Paul Brock has previously performed at Jackson State as a part of the Brock McGuire Band. Brock returns to Jackson along with other Brock McGuire members of which include Shane Ferrell on banjo, Denis Carey on piano, and Dave Curley on guitar, bodhran (Irish drum), vocals and dancing.

As a part of Brock McGuire, Paul Brock has performed with bluegrass great Ricky Skaggs on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Accolades include “Instrumental Band of the Decade” from Irish American News and 5-star recipient of “Top of the World” award from the prestigious world music magazine Songlines.

The band will conduct three short master classes at the college earlier that day. “Our students have a great opportunity to learn about music from such accomplished musicians,” said Mary Wadley, associate professor of Spanish. “The international education program at Jackson State brings world-class talent to campus from diverse backgrounds and a variety of creative disciplines.

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.

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.

Jackson State to launch new robotics training program

Jackson State Community College will receive about $175,000 to purchase cutting-edge equipment and create a unique robotics training center for manufacturing students and workers at companies in West Tennessee.

The funding allows Jackson State to become a certified trainer for FANUC robots – the primary brand used by manufacturers throughout the region. The community college will add three vision-equipped robots to its industrial technology program and become the only certified trainer in the Mid-South. The nearest program is in North Carolina.

“If you have the proper number of robots equipped the proper way, and your instructor has the proper training, you can be a certified site,” said Jack Laser, Jackson State’s director of workforce development. “It gives us one more thing to attract companies to the area and help existing companies upgrade their workforce.”

The training center will allow manufacturers in Southwest Tennessee to enhance their competitiveness and provide opportunities for current workers to increase their skills and qualify for higher-paying jobs. It will also help recruit a major manufacturer for the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County, as it differentiates the region from other competitive sites.

“When companies are looking for a site, they’re looking more and more at the workforce,” Laser said. “The more we are able to upgrade skills, the better off we’ll be.”

The project is a partnership with the Southwest Tennessee Development District, which serves an eight-county region and will administer a $200,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority. The authority is a federal-state venture that works to create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development. The regional authority recently announced $2.9 million in funding for nine projects in Tennessee.

Jackson State has one certified FANUC trainer and plans to add another, Laser said. The robots will be procured in the coming months, and the robotics training program will be added next year. Classes will be offered during the day as well as the evening to accommodate students and people with full-time jobs.

“We want to be able to offer whatever is convenient for our area manufacturers,” Laser said.

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.

Jackson State to host diversity conference

To better prepare students to be successful in an ever-diversifying work environment, Jackson State Community College is offering its first Identity and Difference Conference on Oct. 27.

The objective of the conference is to hear perspectives on diversity and difference and contribute to the discourse surrounding social and cultural identity, said Dr. Liz Mayo, associate professor of English. It is a chance for students and faculty to share scholarship, teaching methods, curriculum ideas, student success strategies, and classroom experiences that expand their understanding of diversity and identity in the classroom.

“One of the things employers are looking for is a student or employee who is capable of working in a multi-cultural environment,” Mayo said. “College classrooms and campuses provide unique opportunities to encounter diverse groups of people, and those cross-cultural experiences can be both enriching and challenging.”

The conference will promote ways to create a culture of inquiry, fairness and equity in classrooms. It will also help professors reach students from diverse backgrounds.

“We’re really happy we can give them access to information to better serve our students,” Mayo said. “We’re here to serve everybody, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The full-day conference will feature Dr. Chicora Martin, who will facilitate workshops that focus on addressing diversity issues in the classroom and on campus. Martin is vice president of student life and dean of students for Mills College in Oakland, Calif. The conference will also feature student presentations and panels that focus on their experiences with diversity, identify and difference.

The inaugural event was organized by Mayo; Dr. Anna Esquivel, associate professor of English; and Tammy Prater, assistant professor of history.

“We’re looking forward to making this a campus tradition,” Mayo said.

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.

Students will tour area facilities for Manufacturing Day 2017

Students from 22 high schools will visit 15 area companies for Manufacturing Day 2017 to learn about a career in a growing industry that expects two million job openings over the next decade.

Co-sponsored locally by Jackson State Community College and the Jackson Chamber, Manufacturing Day is a national celebration of modern manufacturing held each year on the first Friday in October. However, the West Tennessee event had to be scheduled over two days because of a high level of interest.

Student tours of facilities will be Oct. 6 and Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon.

“Today’s manufacturing industry is highly technical with various career opportunities,” said Terri Messer, Jackson State’s dean of business and industry. “It’s also safer and more advanced with the growing use of computers and robots. It’s a very solid career move for anyone who wants to work in a tech-savvy environment that is ever-changing.”

Wages are also growing, she said. For example, the average manufacturing wage in Tennessee is $61,000, which is $20,000 higher than the state’s median income.

And, because the industry is always adapting to new technology, it engages Millennials who want to work in a cutting-edge field, she said. It also provides workers with the satisfaction of making things that are a part of everyday life.

During the event, each day will begin at a manufacturing company in its conference or training rooms. Jackson State staff and faculty members will share a 30-minute presentation about manufacturing. The companies will also give a presentation, as well as a tour of the facility for students and representatives of the college and the chamber.

Lunch will then be provided by the manufacturers for most of the tour groups at their location. High schools will provide transportation for students.

The Manufacturing Day events raise awareness about the industry across the country. Nationally, more than 2,000 communities with more than 265,000 students will participate this year.

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.