TEAS Testing rescheduled; Practical Nursing applications accepted now

ELLISVILLE- The application deadline for the Practical Nursing program at Jones College is June 1, 2020, at 4 p.m. Students needing the required TEAS Test that was previously canceled, has been rescheduled for May 26, 2020, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

Applications and all documents (ACT score, transcripts, TEAS test score) need to be emailed to the practical nursing email: PracticalNursing@jcjc.edu   Students with any questions or concerns can use the email, PracticalNursing@jcjc.edu or call 601-477-4101 for assistance. For further information about the Jones College Practical Nursing program, the webpage  http://www.jcjc.edu/programs/practicalnursing/ describes the program and requirements for prospective students in detail.

Jones College offers discounted summer tuition 

ELLISVILLEAs Jones College students finish the spring semester online, college president, Dr. Jesse Smith is encouraging students to continue their education this summer by offering a tuition discount. The summer term tuition will be discounted to $75 per credit hour or 40% off the full tuition price.

“By offering courses at a discounted rate, we hope it encourages students to continue their college plans, even if those plans are being modified by the impact of COVID-19,” said Smith.

The tuition discount is open to anyone who enrolls in summer classes at Jones College. While some programs have a different charge per credit hour, all courses, including vocational, technical and academic courses will be discounted 40% off from the full tuition price. E-books will remain $35 per credit hour.

“For prospective students who are new to Jones College, we offer assistance through our Enrollment Management Office. Each student works with an Admissions Counselor to select the schedule of courses that meets their needs. To complete an admissions application, visit our website at www.jcjc.edu/apply or to contact an Admissions Counselor, call 601-477-4257,” said Jones College, Executive Vice President, Dr. Finée Ruffin. “For returning students, enrolling for summer is as easy as meeting with their academic advisor. Advisors are offering meetings virtually and through phone appointments.”

To view the summer course listing visit http://class-search.jcjc.edu/ for any of the three summer term options, including the two four-week terms. Summer Term I classes begin Tuesday, May 26, and ends Monday, June 22. Summer Term II classes begin Monday, July 6, and ends Friday, July 31. Also, Jones offers one full summer term with classes beginning Tuesday, May 26, and ending Friday, July 31.

Students should also be regularly checking their JC email for official updates and communication concerning the new Learn from Home Model, as well as any other campus updates.


Jones College student newspaper places nationally & wins MS General Excellence awards

ELLISVILLE- After winning the General Excellence Award and a total of 31 awards at the annual Student Better Newspaper Contest held with the O.C. McDavid Journalism Summit in Jackson in February, Jones College’s newspaper staff were hopeful they would do as well at the next national competition. After all, the group entered the National College Media Association’s David Adams Best of Show competition for the first time in 2019 and won. Additionally, this was the 12th consecutive year the Radionian student newspaper had earned the top award in the state. However, the Coronavirus and the college’s travel ban left JC students wondering if they could repeat as winners of the national contest because they could not attend the conference and awards banquet in NYC.

“Since this is a Best of Show competition, normally participants are required to attend the conference. However, because so many colleges enacted travel restrictions, the CMA decided to allow everyone who had registered for the conference the opportunity to compete, even if they did not attend the conference. This allowed hundreds of colleges the opportunity to compete even though they weren’t physically present,” said Kelly Atwood, JC student publications advisor and journalism instructor.

Last year, the Radionian won first place in the nation for two-year colleges in this competition. This year, the Radionian would have to settle for second place as Mercer County Community College of New Jersey beat the Radionian for first place. News editor for the Radionian, Tori Ellis of Laurel said she is still pleased with placing second place on the national stage.

“It’s so incredible that we are able to make a name for ourselves on a national level and show the important role of media. It says a lot about our state and Ellisville that we can hold our own and compete in the big leagues. I’m proud of how hard everyone worked, and I’m proud to be a part of that team,” said Ellis.

Atwood is also proud of her students and shared their competition was well-deserving of the honor.

“Their paper uses full color and the students covered controversial subjects. They definitely deserved to win. I hope we can step up our game for next year,” said Atwood.

The David Adams Best of Show contest is usually the final event held during the National Spring Convention, which typically hosts thousands of students and instructors to hear hundreds of guest speakers.

“There were some tears shed by students who’d planned to attend, and even though NYC only had a small number of cases at that time (March 10), it was the best decision the college could have made,” said Atwood. “By the final day of the conference, there were fewer than 400 attendees for a conference that normally has thousands. And for weeks after, those of us on the scheduled attendee list continued to receive email updates as students, faculty and guest speakers who attended the conference tested positive for COVID-19.”

Atwood said she was just as disappointed she would not be able to take a group of conference attendees to the Facebook headquarters in NYC and tour the Bloomberg offices because all visits were canceled due to the pandemic. The day before the JC students were scheduled to leave for the conference on March 11, Jones placed a travel ban. Hopefully, soon, Atwood plans to take students to NYC as things get back to normal to explore the numerous educational opportunities in NYC.

Students interested in joining the newspaper staff are encouraged to apply for next fall by contacting Kelly Atwood at kelly.atwood@jcjc.edu and check out the April edition of the Radionian https://issuu.com/bobcatpress/docs/combinepdf   Click the link to see the list of winners for the College Media Association David Adams Apple Awards 2020: http://www.collegemedia.org/news/article_0648d112-6540-11ea-84fc-876ed239aa17.html


Jones College students learn from Broadway actors in virtual classroom

Jones College cast of “Mamma Mia!”

ELLISVILLE – When Jones College’s Theater department had to cancel their spring musical theater production, “Mamma Mia!” because of the Coronavirus, Fine Arts Director and former Broadway performer, Bruce Smith invited a few of his friends from Broadway to pay a “virtual” visit to share their various experiences with Jones students.

“This started as an opportunity to give our students something uplifting in this challenging time, but I think we all agree, ‘Learn from Home’ gives us unique opportunities to bring world-class performers right to our students. They can get insight from anyone in the world that can be beneficial to our students,” said Smith.

Travis Cloer

His friends included Travis Cloer, who starred for ten years in the lead role as Frankie Valli in the Broadway hit, “Jersey Boys” in New York and when it opened in Las Vegas; Regina LeVert who is starring in “Rock of Ages” in Los Angeles and was in the original cast of “Fame” and other hits; Gaelen Gilliland, the 2019 Best Actress in a Broadway musical for her work in “Next to Normal,” and whose credits include “9 to5” and Wicked,” along with one of her current “Mean Girl” castmates, Fernell Hogan, a 16-year-old rising star who made his Broadway debut in, “The Prom.”

“Guests have often visited the theater department at Jones College,” said JC Theater instructor and Fine Arts Division Chair, Dr. Jennifer Bruton. “However, this virtual class with current Broadway performers was a special treat. This is a great way to keep students engaged and technology allows us to do this in a new way. Drawing on people who are actively pursuing their careers offers a unique perspective for our students.”

The Jones College students jumped in with questions wondering if having a college degree and an agent were important assets on Broadway. Surprising the students, each cast member did not have an agent as they emerged on the scene, but all agreed education is vital, and an agent eventually becomes a necessity.

“It is very important to get an education,” said Regina LeVert. “It’s where I learned to be a performer and where I learned to get the courage to explore in a safe place. You find out more about who you are in college.”

While on the set of, “Jersey Boys,” Cloer said he had weekly voice lessons with his voice coach. Gilliland explained the intense training in college helped to build her confidence. With a performing arts high school degree, Hogan said he continues to learn by auditioning.

Fernell Hogan

“I went to a performing arts high school in Houston,” Hogan shared. “I knew dance was my weakness so I would go to auditions to get experience. That is how I made my debut on Broadway. I was bored my second semester in college as a business major in New York. I could not afford dance classes, but auditions are free. I thought of it as a dance class and had fun.”

Everyone agreed Hogan’s story is rare. Cloer reminded the Jones theater class, “This business is tough, and it takes a tough person to succeed in it and to live in it. My best advice is to know who you are, don’t take things personally and work on your craft as much as you can.”

Freshman Josarah Slover of Laurel said she thought the virtual class was so interesting for several reasons.

“Today’s class definitely made me consider pursuing Broadway. How Fernell got into Broadway was my absolute favorite. What stood out to me the most was when Regina told us that we are enough, and we will always be enough regardless of the circumstances.”

That advice also encouraged broadcast communications major, Kyra Lampley of Petal. Realizing both industries are difficult to succeed in, Lampley was inspired to pursue her dream with more determination after hearing from the Broadway stars.

“Personally, I have always struggled with believing in myself and my potential. They reassured me that everyone struggles with that at some point and it takes time and experience to get better. I can apply the tips they gave me today toward my career because even in broadcast news, there is always something to work on!” said Lampley.

Many members of the cast of “Mamma Mia!” are not majoring in theater or the performing arts. Bruton said important life skills can still be learned by participating in a play, as the Broadway stars confirmed.

“Not everyone who takes Biology goes into a science-related field, but in every subject, there are valuable skills that our students learn; everything from how to be a good colleague and work together toward a common goal to how to manage time, deadlines, and balance school, work, and family. Watching and listening to professionals who are in the midst of successful careers encourages our students to work hard and to set goals. That is a message that all of us need to be reminded of periodically,” said Bruton.

Jones students also learned casting directors may not always choose the most talented person auditioning and many Broadway plays offer eight performances a week. Hogan told students he wished he knew how rigorous the schedule was and how much preparation is needed, daily. Gilliland explained one show hired a physical therapist to help performers maintain strength and avoid injuries.

Gaelen Gilliland

“You have to be stronger than your show; train outside of the show to have the strength and stamina to perform a 2 ½ hour show, sometimes twice a day for eight shows a week,” said Gilliland.

“Audition etiquette” was another concept LeVert emphasized. Initially, she admitted her audition etiquette needed improvement because first impressions are important.

Regina LeVert

“How you walk in the room speaks volumes before you even say a word. They have an idea of who you are and if they want you. Choose a song that your accompanist can play; make sure it is not in a complicated key signature with lots of flats or sharps and it is a readable copy. Also, be kind and friendly to that accompanist because you will probably see them at future auditions and you want them on your team,” said LeVert.

Additionally, Cloer said the hardest part about being a performer may be the business part. As LeVert mentioned, making connections, and keeping in touch with casting directors and other performers is vital to succeeding. Smith and Bruton said offering the virtual class with Broadway performers was the perfect example of how important business and personal friendships are long into the future.

“I appreciate my friends sharing their life lessons with our students. My hope is that our students will realize that their goals are truly attainable by seeing and getting first-hand experiences from mentors like the ones they met today,” Smith said.

Jones College’s Student Affairs offers virtual student services

ELLISVILLE- As Jones College students embarked on a new journey off-campus Learning from Home, the Student Affairs Office knew it had to change too. Traditionally, students needing assistance with overcoming obstacles sought help in the Administration’s Student Affairs Office for issues concerning library services and housing or help in coordinating tutoring or counseling. Now, students can find the virtual services by looking for the Student Affairs “class” in the online portal, Canvas.

“We felt it was important to provide students with the services they were used to receiving so we had to adapt and carry Student Affairs into the virtual world,” said Jones College’s Assistant VP of Student Affairs, Dr. Tessa Flowers. “We have also enabled a chat feature where students can ask questions. A student affairs professional is monitoring the chat box from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day. Additionally, students can use the provided links to schedule a virtual meeting with someone in our department.”

Director of Counseling, Sarah Jones said students have reached out to her looking for help. However, she said, because of confidentiality, conversations are private.

“Virtual counseling is simple and very accommodating. Students love to be on their mobile devices so this gives them an opportunity to put it to use for a good cause.”

Additionally, Jones said she would be posting useful information in the module on a weekly basis.

“I want all students to know that academic and personal success is still possible on this modified journey. I would encourage students to take it one class, one day and one moment at a time. This will give them confidence in their ability to practice daily self-care,” Jones shared.

Students can schedule an appointment for counseling by logging on to the Student Affairs module on Canvas, then click the counseling button or email Jones directly at sarah.jones@jcjc.edu.

To reach the Office of Student Affairs via email, officeofstudentaffairs@jcjc.edu  For more information regarding Jones College and the Corona Virus updates, visit the website at https://www.jcjc.edu/collegeupdate/