College-Readiness Boot Camp 2021

Jackson State Community College will offer a free, college-readiness boot camp at four West Tennessee locations!

The 4-day boot camp will help you improve your reading, writing, math and computer skills most used at JSCC. If your ACT sub-scores are a little low, you will have another chance for full-college admission. Accuplacer tests will be given to measure your newly acquired skills. Passing scores will enable you to take college-level classes in the fall.

JSCC wants students to be successful. Students who come to this boot camp for four days will be paid for their attendance! Lunch is also provided every day.

This is a great opportunity to sharpen skills and be in great shape for college-level classes. It is a chance to get ahead of the game and on a fast track to success!

Don’t miss out! Register for one of the boot camps below by visiting, calling 731-425-2632, or emailing

JSCC Jackson Campus – June 14 -17

JSCC Lexington Campus – June 21 -24

JSCC Savannah Campus – July 12 – 15

JSCC Humboldt Campus – July 19 -22

(8 am to 3:30 pm each day)

Determination, Hard Work Describe Student’s Life

Hard work, late nights studying, and little free time have described Shiann Cupples’ life since she graduated from Chester County High School in 2012.

With a job at Piggly Wiggly in Henderson, she paid her way through Jackson State Community College; she earned her two-year associate of science degree, graduating in May 2014. She continued working as she earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies at the University of Memphis, graduating in December 2015.

After earning her master’s from Memphis in November 2020, she started her doctorate there in January. Her long-time goal: teach history at Jackson State.

These days, pursuing her doctorate and working full time as the pickup manager at the same Piggly Wiggly keeps her busy. “School and work take up all of my time,” said the 26-year-old. “It’s a lot to juggle. It feels like I have two full-time jobs.”

Her journey to get her education took determination to keep going when others said she couldn’t do it. She’s been encouraged by her teachers, her boss, and her husband, Tyler.

She’s happy she started her journey at Jackson State. “My professors wanted me to learn; they cared. I would definitely recommend Jackson State.”

She didn’t know what she wanted to do with a career, so she took a variety of classes at Jackson State. “It was a place where I could figure out who I was,” she said.

By the time she had her bachelor’s degree, she had decided she wanted to be a paralegal. But after working as a paralegal for a year, she said, “I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do, and I went back to my old job as a cashier at Piggly Wiggly in January 2017.”

That’s when her boss strongly encouraged her to go on to graduate school to find a career she liked. “I didn’t know if I could do it,” Cupples said. She decided it was a good time in her life to try.

She discovered a new passion in graduate school. “I love to write. I love to research. I want to be published someday.” She graduated with a Master of Arts in history.

As a doctoral student, her special interest is mental health during colonial America.

And, though it may take her five to six years to get that doctorate, she’s determined to finish. “I am excited to see where I can go with my life,” Cupples said. “I would love to teach at Jackson State. It was such a great place for me to start college.”

All 2020 Nursing Graduates Pass National Exam on First Try

The nursing graduates at Jackson State Community College have done it again.

Every student who graduated from Jackson State’s nursing program in 2020 passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) on his or her first attempt.

The 100 percent pass rate on the first attempt is an accomplishment the nursing graduates have achieved many times in the nursing program’s 30-year history. The NCLEX-RN is the national exam all nursing school graduates must pass to obtain a license to practice as a registered nurse. It is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

The Jackson State graduates, who earn a two-year associate degree in nursing, take the same licensing exam as students who attend a four-year university and consistently exceed the national norm on the exam, said Dr. Leslie West Sands, Dean and Program Director of Nursing.

“Jackson State’s nursing program is one of the most respected programs in the state,” she said.

West Sands said that registered nurses who earn their degree in two years at Jackson State save both time and money. “The associate degree route is the fastest and least expensive avenue to become an RN.”

Jackson State graduates a new group of potential registered nurses each May and December; new students are admitted every semester. All graduates who decide to go to work have jobs waiting for them, she said. “We need more nurses. There are unfilled positions for registered nurses in our community.”

The college generally graduates 70 to 80 nurses a year.

“Nursing is a challenging career that is also incredibly rewarding,” West Sands said. “Nurses have an impact in people’s lives in times of crisis and also in times of great joy. When you are in the hospital, it is a nurse who monitors your health around the clock.”

West Sands, who started Jackson State’s nursing program in 1990, said that students in the program have smaller classes and more individual attention to help them master the challenging work. Clinicals, where the students observe and help treat patients, start three weeks into the first semester.

On campus, students learn in the Jim Moss Center for Nursing, which opened in 2015. It features state-of-the-art labs and equipment that use the same technologies as hospitals. Equipment in the facility includes human obstetric, pediatric, and adult simulators that enable faculty to simulate real-life scenarios.

Jackson State is taking applications for the nursing class that starts in January 2022. The August class has been accepted, West Sands said.

“I am proud of our program,” she said. “We want to encourage people to become nurses. We would love to talk to anyone who is considering a career in nursing.”

Quest provides support and guidance for African-American male freshmen

As a first-generation college student at Jackson State Community College, Kelan Jones didn’t have a clear understanding of how to be successful in college. A standout basketball player in high school, Jones saw the sport as his ticket to success.

Then he was introduced to the Quest program at Jackson State. Quest offers support to African-American male freshmen as they begin their college careers. During their first semester, participants have workshops on several topics, including accessing online class resources and study tips. Jackson State offers a similar program for African-American women, called Journey.

“I had come to Jackson State to play basketball,” Jones said, “but the Quest counselors broke down the process of going to school and helped me to understand what I needed to do to be successful.” The Quest cohort became his college family.

“We had each other’s backs,” said Jones. “If someone from the group was having trouble with finances or food, we were there to help. No one was left out.”

Jones first met with the advisors from Quest before he started at Jackson State. He knew at that point where his educational journey would begin. “It felt like family,” said Kelan. “Everyone I met treated you like they really cared about you.”

Jones said that he kept to himself when he first came to campus. Quest, however, encouraged him to be more social with group members and to make friends with students outside of the athletics program. He learned about accountability and supporting others in the program.

He completed an associate in business in December 2020 and is working on a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Blue Mountain College in Mississippi.

His Quest “family” at Jackson State, he said, “still checks on me and lets me know that they are there for me. They truly care.”

His positive experience in college encouraged others in his family. His mom completed her degree. His siblings have made plans to continue their education, too.

“Quest has been a positive experience,” Jones said. “It prepared me for the college experience and gave me the confidence I needed to be successful. I feel I am now much better equipped to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself.”

To apply for the Quest and Journey programs, visit Each has a separate, selective application process. Participants who meet the attendance requirements for the programs receive a stipend. For questions about the programs, contact Joretta Ellison at ext. 50318 or at

JSCC and TCAT-Jackson create pathway to stem skilled labor shortage

Jackson State Community College and Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Jackson signed an articulation agreement on May 14, 2021. The agreement will allow for TCAT students in the Industrial Maintenance Integrated Automation program to have a more seamless transfer of credits to JSCC’s Engineering Systems Technology (EST) program.

According to TCAT-Jackson president Dr. Jeff Sisk, students will be able to pursue an Associate of Applied Science from JSCC without duplicating coursework from their TCAT program. “Perhaps the most important aspect for a manufacturing operation to be successful is the availability of a well-trained maintenance staff who are continuing to upgrade their skills with continuing education,” said Sisk. “This agreement creates a pathway to do just that.”

The EST program at JSCC has a 30-member consortium of area manufacturers that works to provide technical or technical-management-oriented professionals for employment in many business sectors. JSCC dean of business and industry Terri Messer notes the extreme shortage of skilled labor not only locally, but nationally and even globally. “We are looking for ways to help meet this demand,” said Messer, “and facilitating this pathway from TCAT to JSCC is one of several ways we are rising to meet this challenge.”

Graduates from the EST program typically find employment in areas such as an industrial technician, robotics technician, mechanical drafter, multi-craft maintenance technician, control systems technician, and PLC programmer. To learn more about the opportunities in Engineering Systems Technology at JSCC, visit

Green Jays Baseball Camp at JSCC

The Jackson State Community College athletics program will host a baseball camp this spring on the Jack Martin Field for children ages 6 to 12. The camp will be held from June 2 to June 4 from 8 a.m. to noon each day. The cost of the camp is $75 per child. The application form can be downloaded at Contact Coach Michael Winders at 731-424-3520 ext. 50273 or for questions.