Hurricane Sally Statement 

Monday, September 14, 2020, 12:30 p.m.

All Jones College locations, including County Centers, will remain open Tuesday, September 15, until 4:00 p.m., at which time all Jones College classes will shift to a virtual online format. Classes will remain online through Wednesday, September 16. The dorms and dining hall on the main campus in Ellisville will remain open. Classes will resume the hybrid on-campus meeting options on Thursday, September 17.

Jones College campus operations will close at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15. All services and offices will shift to a virtual, work-from-home format Wednesday, September 15, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Normal campus operations will resume Thursday, September 17.

The Prometric Testing Center, located within the Advanced Technology Center in Ellisville, will remain open for scheduled testing on Wednesday, September 16.

The college plans to resume all regular operations on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

The Jones College administration will continue to monitor Hurricane Sally and will share more information as it becomes available. Official updates will be provided via the Jones College website (, official Jones College social media accounts, JC email, the college’s mass notification system, and local media outlets.

Jones College Wednesday, September 16, 2020, closures include:

Jones College Main Campus, Ellisville, MS

The Ronald Whitehead Advanced Technology Center, Ellisville, MS

Clarke County Center, Stonewall, MS

Greene County Center, Leaksville, MS

Jasper County Center, Bay Springs, MS

Wayne County Center, Waynesboro, MS

Jones College holds community-wide Blood Drive

File photo from JC Radionian Student Newspaper 2018: Jones College student, Olivia Harrison gives blood at the JC blood drive. Photo by JC student photographer, Sydney Dickerson.

ELLISVILLE – Jones College is hosting a community-wide blood drive on Tuesday, September 22, and Wednesday, September 23, in the D.O. Thoms P.E. Building located along Augusta Street in Ellisville. Vitalant strongly encourages blood donors to make and keep appointments to give blood between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Scheduling appointments can be done on the website, with the Sponsor Code: JC1. Appointments can also be made by contacting Jones College Blood Drive Coordinator and EMT instructor, Benji Sessums at 601-477-4704.

“It is very important that we have as many donors as possible at the upcoming blood drive at Jones College because donations are currently running short,” said Sessums. “Also, we have an exciting benefit for everyone who donates; they will receive the COVID 19 antibody screening. Individuals who have significant levels of antibodies will be contacted by the blood service and asked to schedule a time to give Plasma to treat patients with COVID 19.”

Following CDC guidelines regarding the prevention of the COVID 19 virus, all donors will be asked to wear masks and practice physical distance requirements to ensure the safest environment possible. Vitalant staff are also required to wear masks/face coverings and will have masks available for donors who do not have a mask of their own. However, if a donor is unable to wear a covering or mask, please plan on donating on a later date. Vitalant will need donations in the coming weeks and months.

“Additionally, we want donors to know their temperature will be taken at check-in. Those with temperatures higher than 99.5 will not be allowed to donate or remain at the site. We are setting up larger waiting areas with chairs six feet apart and providing individually packaged snacks and beverages. We are also limiting the number of people in the waiting areas to adhere to physical distancing guidelines,” said Sessums.

Donors arriving at Jones College are advised to wait for their appointments in their cars or other comfortable and convenient locations. Donors have the option to receive a phone call or text notification when it is time to donate when they make their appointment.

To view Vitalant’s current, up-to-date guidelines to support the health and safety of donors and staff, visit the Vitalant website, or call Vitalant Donor Recruitment Representative, Sara Dyess at 601-602-5969.

Jones College students return to campus

ELLISVILLE – Jones College students have returned to campus for the traditional campus life experience, including face-to-face classes. The fall semester began August 10, with all University-Parallel (academic) courses being taught completely online through Friday, September 4, to help lessen the spread of COVID-19. While some career and technical students and some students taking medical courses cautiously met on campus for the last month, most students waited until after the Labor Day holiday to return to campus. Students entering campus are still required to check-in at one of the 21 Health Stations before going anywhere on campus, including dorm rooms. Most students like Greene County’s Joshua Cook said they don’t mind the extra level of protection.

“I have loved being back on campus! I’m so thankful Jones is taking every precaution to give us a safe and enjoyable school year!” said the sophomore business major from Leakesville.

Like Cook, sophomores, Caidyn Crowder of Ellisville, and McKay Lee Bray of Leakesville are happy to be back living on campus and taking face-to-face classes. They said their science labs and classes are better “in person” but they appreciated the extra efforts their instructors made ensuring they were successful in their virtual learning.

“I am really glad to be back in class, seeing my teachers,” said Bray. “Jones’ science instructors did a great job of handling and overcoming the additional challenges of providing lab experiences, safely. I also appreciate they were open to our suggestions and that is what I love about Jones! They really want you to succeed!”

The biology majors, Bray and Crowder said they also really enjoy taking early morning strolls on campus before their classes.

“This is a return to ‘normal’ for us, waking up on campus in our dorm room, enjoying a walk around the lake before classes. I’m really excited to be back!” said Crowder.

Classes requiring face-to-face instruction and hands-on training, are meeting in smaller groups and students are spaced six feet apart in classrooms. Check out the Jones College website at for more information.

UWA gives Jones College students incentives to complete their degrees

ELLISVILLE – The University of West Alabama is giving Jones College students extra incentives to become UWA Tigers upon completion of their associate degree at Jones. UWA’s new partnership with JC guarantees admission for Jones students who have a 2.0 GPA and 45 transferable credit hours or an associate degree from Jones College. Other perks include scholarships and one-on-one advisement for Jones students.

“We are offering very personalized advising before Jones students move to the University of West Alabama. They will know what courses to take, when and with whom. We want to make their transfer seamless, by taking a lot of pressure off students when they’re moving to a new location. In fact, we are incentivizing the transition by beefing up our academic scholarship for this kind of a partnership,” said UWA President, Dr. Ken Tucker.

Jones College students with a 3.0 GPA are now eligible for a renewable, $3,000 to 4,000 scholarship for up to four semesters. Additionally, these students qualify for a unique $2,000 Housing Scholarship for the first year. Tucker hopes the Housing Scholarship will encourage students to live on campus.

“We’re urging students to continue their education with financial support. Research shows the more education you get the more successful you will be and the more money you will make. It all leads to increased success throughout life,” said Tucker.

After the presidents signed the new Memorandum of Understanding, Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith gifted Dr. Tucker with a unique Scotsman Heirloom hammer made by Jones alumnus, Ben Napier, who stars with his wife and Jones alumna, Erin in the HGTV Hometown TV series. Smith said the hammer is symbolic of building relationships, which he looks forward to building a great relationship with the University of West Alabama.

“Offering pathways beyond Jones is very important for our students,” said Smith. “What UWA is willing to invest in our students, and what they’re doing is, opening their doors. It is a perfect, natural fit because they focus on a student-centered approach to education just like Jones. Our students will feel like they’re a part of something special at UWA and they’re being taken care of like they are at Jones.”

Career and Technical graduates of Jones College also have opportunities to segue into four-year technical degrees, like industrial maintenance and engineering technology. President Tucker said these programs are hands-on, application-oriented as opposed to just pure theory. He also noted UWA’s Nursing program will be expanding to include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree beginning in January.

“Jones students who qualify for these scholarships will be exempt from out of state tuition, for another financial incentive for them to afford college. Jones has such an excellent reputation and we want to encourage more Jones College students to come to UWA,” said Tucker.

For more information about the incentives for Jones College students contact Brenda K. Jones, the University of West Alabama Transfer Admissions Counselor-On Campus by calling her office at 205-652-5431 or cell phone at 205-651-2322 or by email at

The University of West Alabama President, Dr. Ken Tucker (front row left) and Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith (front row right) pose for pictures with (standing left to right) Richard Hester, VP for Student Affairs at the University of West Alabama, and Jones College officials, Dr. Tessa Flowers, VP for Student Affairs; Joel Cain, VP for Advancement, Alumni and Athletics and Dean of Students; Dr. Finee’ Ruffin, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and Paul Spell, VP of Enrollment Management after signing a new agreement between the schools offering Jones students new incentives to transfer to UWA.

Jones College students return to campus

ELLISVILLE –Jones College students who want to meet in person for classes will be able to do so come Tuesday, September 8. The hybrid format allows students to meet in small groups that rotate based on an instructor assigned meeting pattern. Students enrolled in fall 2020 classes should check their Canvas course shell for face-to-face small group meeting assignments. All Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs will continue in small group meeting patterns after the Labor Day holiday.

“It will be great to have students back on campus. However, we want to remind everyone, our efforts to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus will continue. Face coverings are required on campus along with physical distancing protocols and daily health checks,” said Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith.

All Jones College students and employees are required to download “Power Apps” to complete their daily health checks. In addition to stopping at one of the 21-Health Stations across campus daily, including everyone meeting at the Jones College County Centers, temperature checks will be required for anyone accessing the campus in Fall 2020.

“It is encouraging to see our students are not giving up on their educational goals and are committed to completing their degrees. Our enrollment has remained level, with 4,893 students enrolled. That is down by only four-one-hundredths of a percentage point from last fall. Students are also taking about the same number of credit hours to stay on track for completing their degrees with 65,136 credit hours being taken by our students,” said Executive Vice President, Finee’ Ruffin.

When the fall semester began on August 10, all University-Parallel (academic) courses at Jones College were taught completely online because of the high rates of the Covid-19 virus in the Pine Belt reported by the state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs. Smith said because the rate of infection has gone down because of everyone’s diligent efforts, more students will now be able to come to campus for face-to-face classes.

Jones College is also offering 8-week classes beginning October 19, in addition to 4-week classes beginning November 16. Apply online at

For a list of campus health screening stations or how to download the required app, visit