Student Success at the Heart of O’Banion Presentation

The faculty and staff of Jackson State Community College had the honor of hearing and seeing educator and author Dr. Terry O’Banion. Dr. O’Banion’s message was on the importance of effective advising to student success.

Terry O’Banion has been a community college leader for over 50 years. In a survey of 11,000 higher education leaders in Change magazine he was named one of 11 “Idea Champions” who set the agenda for all of higher education—and the only community college leader on the list. Dr. O’Banion has authored 15 books and over 200 monographs, chapters, and articles on the community college. He has also consulted in over 800 community colleges in every state in the nation and in Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates.

As a part of the accreditation process, JSCC is currently in the process of creating a quality enhancement plan (QEP) that focuses on academic advising. Dr. O’Banion published a groundbreaking article on the topic in 1972: “An Academic Advising Model.” Since that time, this work has been most commonly known as the O’Banion model and has been the standard to which all advising is referenced.

Dr. O’Banion’s visit to Jackson State helped kicked off the newly penned QEP, and the presentations he made to faculty and staff left everyone inspired to get the academic year and the QEP off to a solid start. We are very fortunate to have an authority of this caliber visit our campus and share his expertise, and this certainly shows how dedicated we are to student success at Jackson State.

It was a true honor to have an authority of this caliber visit our campus and share his expertise. His presentation was a true inspiration and will guide our faculty and staff to better ensure academic success for JSCC students.

JSCC Receives Veterans Reconnect Grant

On Aug. 10, the Governor’s Office announced that Jackson State Community College was one of 11 recipients of a Veterans Reconnect Grant. The grant is an extension of the Drive to 55 initiative to increase degree and certificate completions in the state and create a more qualified workforce that will attract manufacturing and boost local economies.

The grant was created in the Governor’s FY 2015-2016 budget amendment. The General Assembly approved $1 million to be used for the Veterans Reconnect Grant. Up to $100,000 could be awarded to any one institution. Jackson State was awarded $94,151.

Veterans Affairs Coordinator Kristine Nakutis began the application process for the grant in June of this year. In the grant proposal, the goals established were to create a veteran outreach program, an on-campus veteran’s student center, transition programs to improve graduation rates, and a veteran’s student task force.

One specific goal of the grant is to create an on-campus veteran’s student center. “[the student center] will allow older veterans who have served 10, 15, or 20 years to connect with the younger soldiers who are still serving in the Guard and the Reserve,” states Nakutis. “This will help give them a sense of belonging like they had in their military units and allow them to better focus on their education.”

In addition to the student center, the veteran’s student task force will be a cross-functional team with an emphasis on supporting veteran students through recruitment, admissions, registration, academics, and completion. The goal of the team will be to identify opportunities as well as potential issues and to develop best practices in working specifically with veterans throughout the college experience.

Ultimately, the goal is to connect with veterans the best way possible and stay connected throughout their college experience and beyond. Nakutis sees the grant as a great opportunity for Jackson State to provide increased support for veteran academic achievement. Anyone interested in opportunities available to veterans at JSCC can reach Kristine Nakutis at (731) 425-2618 or

New and Prospective Students Welcomed to JSCC Open House

Jackson State Community College will host an open house event Saturday, August 15 on the main campus at 2046 North Parkway. The campus will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.

This is an opportunity for new and returning students to finalize details before the beginning of the term. Countance Anderson, director of registration and orientation, says, “It is also an opportunity for anyone interested in finding out more about Jackson State, take a tour of the campus and meet with faculty and staff.”

There are a number of things planned that will allow everyone to mingle and see what the school has to offer. Free snacks are being offered and drawings for door prizes. Many of the activities will be geared toward new and returning students. According to Anderson, “This is an opportunity for students to get their IDs, parking permits, buy books, and finalize financial aid.”

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. 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. The library will also be open along with the writing center and academic assistance center. Everyone is also encouraged to come by and visit the new fitness center located in the gym.

Anderson is excited to offer this event and hopes that it will become an annual event. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the folks at Jackson State to showcase what we have to offer our students,” she claims. Anyone attending this event should follow the signs on campus to the Student Union Building. Information about the campus along with guided tours will be located there.

For additional information or questions, contact student services at (731) 424-3520 ext. 50359.

JSCC Adds Class Locations to Service Area

Beginning in the fall semester, Jackson State Community College will offer classes in the communities of Dresden, Paris and Bolivar. The administration of JSCC has been very pleased with the enthusiasm and the welcome extended by each community.

“This is something that has been in the works for many months,” states Dr. Larry Bailey, VP of academic affairs. “The local governments and school districts have been great to work with and have made certain that these opportunities are available to their citizens. We are so excited that we are finally able to make educational opportunities more accessible to these areas.”

The classes being offered at all locations will consist of basic general education to start. Additional classes will be added as the demand and need becomes apparent. JSCC currently has satellite locations in Lexington, Humboldt, and Savannah. These locations have full time support staff along with a variety of other resources. “The decision to convert the new locations to a ‘full service’ facility will be dependent upon how well they are utilized,” explains Bailey.

In Dresden, classes will be held at the Adult Education Center. JSCC information technology personnel have been working to get computers and resources installed to support students. An open house at the Dresden location is being planned for Tuesday, July 28. This event will be announced in the local media. Classes in Paris will be held at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology.

The Hope Street Center in Bolivar will be utilized for classes. An open house was held at this location in May.

Anyone interested in applying to JSCC and registering for classes at any of these locations are encouraged to contact the admissions office at 800-355-JSCC or on the web at The schedules for each of the locations are accessible on the JSCC website at

Tennessee Promise Community Service Event at JSCC

Jackson State Community College is hosting a Tennessee Promise Community Service event this Saturday, July 11, in the JSCC Student Center. Activities will begin at 10 a.m.

There are two sessions. The first begins at 10 a.m. and the second begins at 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided at 12:30 p.m. TN Promise Students entering college this fall are welcome to attend both sessions and can satisfy up to 4 hours of their community service requirement. For any questions regarding this event, contact High School Initiatives at 731-425-2601.

Achieving the Dream Reform Network Continues to Grow with Addition of Jackson State Community College

Jackson State Community College is one of 16 community and technical colleges selected, this year, into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network. Faculty, staff, and administrators from JSCC will participate in the 2015 Achieving the Dream Kickoff Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“We realize that we are the only hope for many students in West Tennessee, especially first-generation, low-income, and non-traditional students who find their way to our door,” states Dr. Bruce Blanding, JSCC president. “It is our responsibility and moral obligation to help them navigate the maze that college life can present to them by removing barriers and making that maze a straight line. We enter our Achieving the Dream partnership with enthusiasm and optimism. Working together, we hope to develop a culture in which student learning and success is the number one priority.”

“We are delighted to welcome Jackson State Community College into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network and congratulate them for taking this next step in operationalizing their commitment to improving student outcomes,” said Achieving the Dream Vice President for Community College Relations Cindy Lenhart.

At the 2015 Kickoff Institute June 23 – June 25, Jackson State Community College will work in teams with coaches to increase its data analytic capacity to inform decision-making; understand how guided pathways can improve the student experience; identify opportunities to improve teaching and learning; and understand equity challenges on campus.

JSCC is joining a network of over 200 colleges that are working to preserve access and assure that their students, especially low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity.

“To become an Achieving the Dream College, applicants must demonstrate an institution-wide commitment to spend at least three years working with Achieving the Dream experts to implement reforms designed to improve student success and completion rates on their campuses. Such a huge commitment to fundamentally rethink educational and student support is unusual and should be applauded because their work will result in a much larger, better educated, and productive workforce,” said Achieving the Dream President and CEO William E. Trueheart.

Introducing the 2015 Cohort Colleges:

TBR Sets New Tuition, Fee Rates for Colleges and Universities

The Tennessee Board of Regents met June 19 and approved increases in tuition and fees that are among the lowest on average since 1996.

The action raises hourly maintenance fees/tuition an average of 3.3 percent across the six TBR universities, 13 community colleges and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.

Last fall the Tennessee Higher Education Commission recommended tuition increases between 0 and 4 percent if dollars were provided in the state budget this year for the higher education funding formula that allocates funds based on a variety of metrics to encourage student success through outcomes, like graduation and retention. The outcomes in the formula were funded.

As a result, students at Austin Peay State University will see a 2.4 percent maintenance fee/tuition increase, East Tennessee State University – 3 percent, Middle Tennessee State University – 3.1 percent, Tennessee State University – 2.8 percent, Tennessee Tech University – 10.9 percent (TTU is also reducing its mandatory fees this year, so the result is actually a 3.9 percent total revenue increase), and University of Memphis – 3.7 percent.

Students at community colleges will pay 3.4 percent more for maintenance fees, and TCAT students will see a 4 percent increase.

In addition to maintenance fees/tuition, which are charged by the credit hour, all students pay a set of mandatory fees that are unique to each campus, like athletics fees, student activities fees, health services fees, etc. Mandatory fees were approved in March, but one additional change at ETSU was approved today as well. ETSU will add a $290 student-approved mandatory fee to fund renovations to its Culp University Center.

When the increased maintenance fees/tuition are combined with the previously approved mandatory fees, the total proposed price increases for in-state students taking a full-time course load of 12 credit hours would amount to the following per year:

APSU $333
ETSU $486
MTSU $204
TSU $181
TTU $332
UoM $284
CCs $120
TCATs $129/trimester

Statement from TBR Chancellor John Morgan:

“We are pleased that the tuition levels are the lowest they have been in decades, but we do understand that every time fees are raised, someone may be priced out of an opportunity to attend one of our institutions.”

“Tennessee is fortunate to have state leaders who recognize the integral connection between an educated workforce with affordable access to post-secondary education and the economic growth of our state. Our Hope lottery scholarship, the Tennessee Promise last-dollar scholarship and the Tennessee Reconnect grant, along with other state and federal aid programs, make higher education a more realistic option for more people today than ever before, but for those who must cover the full cost of attendance, any increase is unfortunate.”

“Our institutions are more efficient now than ever, and they continue to focus their resources on ways that support student success to help more complete their credentials faster and more effectively.”

“We hope that in the coming years our state leaders will continue to find a way to make higher education a funding priority.”

How fees are calculated:

Maintenance fees (often referred to as “tuition”) are the charges based on credit hours for in-state students. For example, a student pays a flat rate for the first 12 hours of class credits and a discounted rate for any additional hours. Only out-of-state students are required to pay tuition in addition to maintenance fees. Mandatory fees vary by institution, fund specified programs, and are paid by all students regardless of the number of hours they take.

A list of increases for 2015-16 and historical tuition data is available at

Other actions at today’s meeting:

In other business, the Board approved committee actions authorizing new degree programs at ETSU, Northeast State Community College and the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. ETSU will add a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy studies, a doctor of education degree in global sport leadership, and several graduate-level certificates to address the changing field of nursing. Northeast State Community College will offer a new associate of applied science degree in entertainment technology. And the TCATs will offer 15 new programs at locations across the state.

The Board heard a report on efforts TBR institutions are making to increase engagement with business and industry. Highlighted were programs the TCATs are initiating in response to the state’s Labor and Education Alignment Program grants, the Chattanooga State Community College hospitality and tourism industry management program, and the MTSU concrete industry management program.