JCJC enrollment growing

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2013-09-11 14:12:38

ELLISVILLE – Enrollment numbers at Jones County Junior College are on the rise this fall with 4,706 students. After a couple of years of lower enrollment numbers since a peak of 5,716 students in 2010, JCJC President Dr. Jesse Smith is happy to see the increase.

“In light of the national statistics projecting a three percent decrease in enrollment in the community colleges in the region, I’m glad we beat the national expectations,” said Smith. “It means we’re doing something right.”

One of the contributing factors Smith credits the gain of 170 students this fall is the new recruiting methods and a strategic initiative set to retain students. 

“We will continue to recruit and we will strive to continue to share the benefits of getting a college education at Jones. We’ve focused heavily on personalized recruiting and we’re doing a better job of getting our ‘story’ out to the communities we serve in our eight-county district,” said Finee’ Ruffin, JCJC Executive Director of Marketing. “Our advertising efforts and orientation process have also been fine tuned.”

One of the areas receiving attention over the summer includes the Tuition Guarantee Programs in Greene and Jasper Counties. Supervisors of theses counties are offering a Tuition Guarantee Program for its residents taking college courses at their local Center facilitated by JCJC or at the Ellisville campus.  

“The Tuition Guarantee Program is a pathway for the residents of Greene and Jasper Counties to attend JCJC tuition free while county funds are available. Among some of the requirements to be considered eligible for prospective students for the TGP program include applying for these funds by October 1st for the Spring semester, applying for scholarships offered at Jones, MTAG and Federal funds., as well as the usual admission requirements,” said Ruffin.

Jones administrators are focusing on the differing needs each of its citizens in its eight-county district and are trying to improve access to a higher education through Centers like the one in Leakesville and Bay Springs. The Wayne County Center recently opened and is providing some college courses, adult basic learning programs and some workforce development classes. The Waynesboro facility will also offer LPN courses and classes utilizing the industrial and welding training labs. Clarke County citizens are eagerly awaiting the opening of its new Center in Quitman, which is expected in 2014. Supervisors in Perry County are also exploring new educational options for its citizens with JCJC as a partner. JCJC also serves Smith and Covington Counties.

“Jones still offers a quality education at an affordable price. I believe more people are realizing the value of a higher education and they are investing in themselves, their county and their state with a college degree, and improved skills,” said Smith. “I hope more people will focus on their future and realize the importance of a college degree from Jones.”


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