Jones College offers all-inclusive program-based tuition structure 

ELLISVILLEIn an effort to make college more affordable and tuition costs easier to understand, Jones College has changed its tuition and fee pricing model to a program-based tuition pricing structure. Administrators took the concerns of students and parents to heart and developed a pathway to ensure the institution’s “open-door” mission continues, while also helping its students thrive.

“In the 2024-25 academic year, the average Jones College student will save $200 per semester. This is the ultimate impact Jones College is aiming to have on our students and community. Affordability has always been and will continue to be an excellent benefit of attending Jones College,” said Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith.

Students like practical nursing major, Shatara Keyes of Louin, said she really likes the idea of saving money and expects other students will be excited about the savings too.  

“It sounds like it’s going to be something great coming to school, especially for people with low-income families and like, mothers going back to school. I think it’s going to be great!” said Keyes. She added, “It’s also going to be easier going through the one-page, all-inclusive program-based tuition sheet instead of the 14-page fee document I had to go through this semester to find the cost of tuition.”

Currently, the program-based tuition pricing for all full-time academic students seeking university parallel programs, which includes 12+ credit hours, is now $2,350 per term. A part-time student will pay $196 per course hour. Each of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and medical programs will also have an all-inclusive tuition cost with everything a student needs for that class. Smith stressed there are no hidden fees with this tuition restructuring.   

“Our instructional team worked diligently to identify every possible cost a CTE, or professional student may experience at JC, and wrap those costs up into one, clear price per program. The new pricing for Jones College’s CTE and professional programs accurately reflects all costs associated with that program,” Smith explained. “While this improves clarity of costs for our incoming students, it also helps our students identify the powerful return on investment they earn by taking on the challenge and completing the program.” 

A few other changes students will notice include the credit hours to qualify as a full-time student is now 12 hours, but the full-time scholarship and state-aid requirements will remain at 15 semester credit hours. Dual Credit tuition for academic programs will be a flat rate of $195 per seat. CTE programs will be priced based on the program and format.

Additionally, this fall, Jones College students are transitioning to a four-day class schedule allowing students to have a longer weekend with classes being offered Monday through Thursday. Classes begin on Monday, August 19. For more information about these changes at Jones College, click on the link:

Jones College singer debuts Contemporary Christian single internationally

ELLISVILLE- He’s the first Jones College Music Industry & Recording Arts major to release a Contemporary Christian single and the first to debut the song to an international audience. Twenty-year-old Magee resident, Daniel Baldwin released his first single, “Instantaneous,” on June 15, 2024. It was recorded at the college’s music studio and on the college’s record label, Free State Records.

“I wrote it last summer in July and it’s about God’s forgiveness for us and how if we repent of our sins, the Lord is steadfast and insightful to forgive us instantaneously,” explained Baldwin. “I was always a perfectionist, so I always saw all the little things I did wrong, and it was harder for me to forgive myself, but I knew the Lord was steadfast to forgive us, even if we don’t forgive ourselves.”

The Meridian native wrote the song in July 2023, but he didn’t record it until March 2024. During a class with his Music Industry instructor, Matt McGuffie, he was called on to show off his piano skills. Shortly after, he shared the song, “Instantaneous” and recorded it in one-take before his entire class.

“He started playing and singing and myself, and the entire class were like, Wow! That’s really good and that was my first introduction to Daniel’s music,” said McGuffie. “I added an electric guitar part to add a little meat to the song, but he did all the rest; he wrote the song, performed it and did all the tracking of the voices, harmony, piano, and violin.”

But that was not the first time Baldwin performed his song, “Instantaneous” which is growing in popularity on Spotify with nearly 2,000 downloads and listeners. Shortly after writing it in 2023, Baldwin was in Poland on a mission trip and had the opportunity to perform the song before a live audience. Their response to his new song, dumbfounded him.

“They just started crying because they are craving Christianity, a different type of denomination than what they are familiar with and they were so happy that the younger people are passionately chasing the Lord,” said Baldwin.

Since he began piano lessons as a six-year-old, his musical and singing career has flourished exponentially. In June, his mission trip to Oaxaca, Mexico offered him a unique opportunity to not only share his music there, but with the entire Mexican Radio audience and Facebook Live. The Mexican missionary family his church, Audubon Drive Bible Church in Laurel supports, also owns a Christian Radio Station which invited him to perform.

Additionally, the rising singer/songwriter’s first major performance was on the piano before 19,000 people in Disney World for the Beta Convention as one of the State Talent Show winners in 2017 when he was 13 years old. At the time, it was Baldwin’s dream to be a concert pianist. Besides piano competitions and leading worship in area churches, his next big live performance was for his cousin’s wedding last October, before 500 guests in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

From the beginning, his grandparents, Don Nobles, a band director and Mamie Nobles, a church organist, supported his musical talent in numerous ways. However, Baldwin’s true talents may not have been discovered and cultivated if it wasn’t for his Ellisville teachers.

“I was about eight years old when we moved to Magee and started taking piano lessons from Ellen Gunn. That’s when I really fell in love with music and realized I had an ear for it. She was the first one to tell me that she thought I had a talent in music, which meant a lot to me,” shared Baldwin. “At Jones, Mr. McGuffie helped me really cultivate my passion in music and helped me make my dreams kind of come to life. He showed me how to do this in a wise way. Knowing the technical and the business side of the music industry is vital to the success of any music career.”  

With Baldwin’s song, “Instantaneous” being available on every streaming platform and another single expected to be released later this fall, Baldwin’s future plans are not final.

“I’m definitely going to pursue the music industry, but I may go to Belmont University. It is one of my top options or I may just go straight into the music industry. I’m just not 100 percent sure at this point,” Baldwin shared. “Whatever direction I go, I want to thank the Lord for this opportunity because without Him, it would not be possible.”

Baldwin will return to Jones College in the fall to finish his sophomore year with plans to continue writing and performing on campus and wherever he finds an opportunity. Click on the link to listen to Daniel Baldwin’s first single: Instantaneous by Daniel Baldwin

Jones College FBLA earn 1st place in National competition

ELLISVILLE – Perhaps a little Disney “magic” helped Jones College’s FBLA students earn two, first-place trophies in national competition in Orlando, Florida recently. The 2024 Collegiate National Leadership Conference of Future Business Leaders of America, Inc., (FBLA) the nation’s largest Career and Technical Student Organization focused solely on business, attracted more than 1000 college students and educators from across the country, including 12 Jones College students.

Danielle Parker-Laurel, Advisor-David Ray and Jaythan Comegys-Laurel

“This is my 16th year as an advisor for FBLA at Jones College and this is the first time we’ve taken first place at national competition. The closest we’ve come is a second place win several years ago,” shared David Ray. “It was an amazing week with 12 talented Jones students. All of their hard work this year culminated in several top ten and two 1st place awards. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of students. I’m looking forward to displaying our national championship banners in our club room!”

Earning the top spot and ending the more than 20-year drought of first place wins for JC, were Laurel’s Jaythan Comegys and Vicksburg’s Barbara Ahlvin. They placed first in the nation in the Emerging Business Issues team event, beating out 35 other competitors. The Jones Team received the competition topic a few months in advance and prepared a slideshow discussing the positive and negative sides of the topic. Ray explained they decided to use two students bantering back and forth like it was friendly “debate” or argument, which the judges loved.

“My time in FBLA, culminating in this trip to Nationals, was the best of all of my time at Jones College. Our group grew in confidence, in professionalism, and in friendship, all while making joyous memories throughout the journey!” shared Ahlvin.

Comegys teamed up with another Laurel native, Danielle Parker in the State of Chapter event. Ray explained that teams from Co-Lin Community College and East Central Community College have dominated this event in the past and placed in the top ten at National’s multiple times. At the state competition, the Jones College team came in second place; just one point behind East Central and Co-Lin got third place. At national competition, East Central didn’t make the finals and Co-Lin didn’t compete.

“This past year we tripled the amount of activities/meetings/speakers/campus awareness for the club, and we initiated several outreach programs and provided a ‘cool’ club room for members. Because of our intense refocus on the club, we decided to try our hand at that event, which basically showcases your clubs’ activities for the year,” said Ray. “We were beyond excited at the awards program to have all of our work and effort this past year recognized nationally!

On the first attempt to compete in this category, the Jones College team’s presentation with Comegys and Parker beat out 27 other states’ presentations, earning them first-place in National competition. With two first-place trophies, Comegys returned to Jones County, grateful for the experience.

“The entire trip was amazing, beginning to end. Spending time with such a fun group and getting to work with talented students made for an unforgettable experience,” said Comegys.

The two-time first place national winner, also placed eighth in Impromptu Speaking. Additionally, Ahlvin also competed in Job Interview and Parker made the finals in Future Business Executive.

Other Jones College student winners included Terry Rogers of Quitman who placed sixth in Impromptu Speaking, and he also made the finals in Public Speaking. Matthew Taylor of Richland placed 10th in Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition, and he competed in Foundations of Entrepreneurship along with Walker Dear of Florence. The team of Raleigh’s Ethan Hammons and Logan Ingram, and Hattiesburg’s Ethan Noffke placed seventh in the Computer Science Case Competition. Hammons also competed in Foundations of Computer Science, and Noffke competed in the Foundations of Technology category. Also competing were Lance Hamilton of Waynesboro-Public Speaking; Deja Baskin of Laurel-Computer Applications and Raegan Drummer of Laurel-Foundations of Computer Science and Retail Management

Twelve Jones College students earned the opportunity to compete at the 2024 Collegiate National leadership Conference of Future Business Leaders of America, Inc. Pictured left to right in the frong row are, Lance Hamilton-Waynesboro, Walker Dear-Florence, Deja Baskin-Laurel, Barbara Ahlvin-Vicksburg, Raegan Drummer-Laurel, Danielle Parker-Laurel, and Terry Rogers-Quitman. Pictured in the back row, left to right are, Matthew Taylor-Ridgeland, Logan Ingram-Raleigh, Jaythan Comegys-Laurel, Ethan Noffke-Hattiesburg, and Ethan Hammons-Raleigh.

FBLA’s National Leadership Conference brings together students to compete for cash prizes in dozens of competitive events over four days each year. Students also had the opportunity to engage in learning workshops, network with alumni, and meet with potential employers.

Jones College grad publishes poetry book while writing another

ELLISVILLE – Ellisville native, Hannah V. Warren has accomplished a lot of her academic and personal goals since she graduated from Jones College in 2014, including publishing her first poetry book, “Slaughterhouse for Old Wives’ Tales.” Published by Sundress Publications in January 2024, the full-length poetry book includes memories of Jones County. She explains how her home “bleeds” through the pages.

“As a woman who grew up in Mississippi, I have a complicated relationship with the Deep South, and these poems embody my struggle with gendered expectations of women,” Warren shared. “I never quite felt like I followed the path other people wanted for me, and I held a gentle resentment for this estrangement.”

The Fulbright scholar earned her Ph.D. in literature from the University of Georgia in May 2024, and her Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Kansas in 2018. A year later, Dr. Warren won the Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest with her poetry chapbook, “[re]construction of the necromancer,” and she authored Southern Gothic Corpse Machine (Carrion Bloom) in 2022. Over the last two years, research for her new book has led her to the famous Black Forest of Germany and throughout Europe.

“I’m grateful to have spent my last two years in and out of Europe pursuing my degree and writing projects. My research took me to graveyards, museums, libraries, and forests in Germany, France, Italy, England, Scotland, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Denmark. It’s been a whirlwind, and it feels nice to settle back in the American South for a moment. Humid breath in, humid breath out,” said Warren.

While in Kansas earning her MFA degree, she taught college creative writing and wrote a lot about the Midwestern prairie, other people’s histories, and mountains. “It wasn’t until I moved back South to Georgia that I started composing my own story, my own Southern Gothic. Slaughterhouse is a testament to this shift.” However, she admits, “Regardless of where I go, or how long I spend away, the pine trees feel like home. I’ve accepted that I can live in a liminal space between belonging and non-belonging, ownership and distance.”

Jones College, Rho Sigma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa 2014 Officers are pictured seated in the front row, left to righ, Lewis Bateman-Regional President; Hannah Pruitt-Director of Project Submission; Zack Warren-Director of College Project & Information Technology; Karie Mooney-PTK member and award winner and Patrick Campbell-Chapter President. Pictured standing in the back, left to right is PTK Advisor, Julie Atwood; Kristen Hallman-Director of Chapter Meetings & Coordinator of Service; Kaylie Bradshaw-Director of Honors in Action; Tera Busby-Secretary; Skylar Dailey-Director of Campus Activities and Gwen Magee-PTK Advisor.

After graduating from South Jones High School, the young lady with big dreams and goals worked in the Belk department store while she earned her Associate Degree in English at JCJC. She managed to juggle her roles and responsibilities with ease as a 4.0 student and as the Director of Project Submission for the International Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa. Warren’s work earned her the HEADWAE honor, representing JCJC students at the legislative luncheon honoring education, educators and the top college students.

Hannah & Gwen Magee

Then, her PTK peers awarded her the Order of the Golden Key at the Regional Conference for her exceptional work as Director of Project Submission and as a student. Additionally, her fellow PTK officers were recognized as a Top 30 Distinguished Chapter Officer Team and Most Distinguished Officer Team and Rho Sigma Chapter was awarded the Top 10 College Project Award. Fondly, she recalls her many conversations with PTK Advisors, Julie Atwood and Gwen Magee and credits them for being a pivotal part of her personal, educational, and professional growth.

“Jones was the first place where I felt I could take ownership of my own intellectual goals. Before, I felt like I’d been following someone else. My PTK advisors, Gwen Magee and Julie Atwood pushed me to find new opportunities for the future. My favorite memories at Jones include sitting in their offices between classes and chatting about the next PTK goal. I felt heard and seen, which meant the world to me,” shared Hannah.

Last summer, when students from Jones College’s Charles Pickering Honors Institute were visiting Strasbourg, France, Warren lived in the German Black Forest, only a brief train ride away. She had the opportunity to meet the group for dinner and enjoyed recounting warm memories from her time as a JC student.

While working on her Ph.D., she explained her writing was heavily theoretical, and this theory informs her poetry. She now reports it feels delightful to stretch outside the confines of an academic end goal post-graduation.

“I’m finishing final edits on a new poetry book that compares my experiences with the Southern Gothic to my experiences with the German Gothic while I lived in Germany. If you could take an abandoned white church in Mississippi and combine it with the Cathedral in Freiburg im Breisgau, the poetry looks something like that hybridity. Decay, monstrous figures, a few hauntings,” said Warren.

Other projects in the works include writing about what it means to be a woman who backpacks alone in the backcountry for days or weeks at a time. “For me, the most exciting part of writing a book is feeling it turn into an object, rather than just an idea when it becomes a living document outside of yourself,” she said.

Currently, the poet, storyteller and speculative literature scholar is teaching public writing workshops for adults through different writing organizations across the country and she’s gearing up for a long book tour. She’ll be at the Mississippi Book Festival in September, reading from her book.  

Zack & Dr. Hannah Warren

Personally, Dr. Warren has been married to her high school sweetheart, Zack Warren since 2015. He was the Valedictorian, and she was the Salutatorian at South Jones. Both are thriving in their careers with Zack working at Holland & Knight, an Am Law 30 firm as the Information Governance Manager.

“We thrive in polar opposite worlds. I love that our days never look similar. When we have difficult tasks or problems at work, the other person brings an entirely fresh, outsider perspective,” she shared.

Both Warrens have enjoyed attending the same paths for their higher education with one lady who has cheered them on from her professional role at Jones College and from afar, when Hannah and Zack both attended Mississippi State University and beyond.

Hannah & Bonnie Warren

“I often tell Zack I won the mother-in-law lottery. Bonnie (who has worked at JC for 45 years) has been incredibly supportive of us both as we pursue our goals, wherever those may take us. I think she was the most delighted of everyone when I got the Fulbright, not least because she spoke dreamily of a multi-country European vacation. Wish granted-she herded us like sheep in Venice when Zack and I had too much limoncello and nearly drowned in the canals,” Hannah recounted laughing.

More information about Dr. Warren’s literary works can be found on her website,

Three Jones County High School students earn Workforce Welding Certificates at Jones College

ELLISVILLE – A partnership with Jones County High Schools and Jones College’s Workforce Welding program allowed three Jones County High School students to earn a Workforce Welding Certificate as part of a pilot program. For the first time this spring, high school seniors who completed their academic courses were allowed to learn welding through Jones College’s Workforce Welding’s four-month training program because of new guidelines through Accelerate MS. Josh Crosby from South Jones High School, and Northeast Jones High School students, Jena McCardle and Nick McLain took part in this new training opportunity which prepares students for entry-level welding jobs. The high school seniors learned stick, metal inert gas (MIG), and structural welding skills and now have OSHA 10, Forklift and CPR certifications along with their Workforce Welding Certification.

Josh Crosby

“I have enjoyed learning stick welding. This style of welding can be used in the pipeline industry or even outside on farming equipment,” said Crosby. He added, “This program is a great tool for someone to have under their belt because there are many opportunities available after completion.”

McCardle shared, “Learning wire welding and overhead welding techniques were fun to do. It is a skill that can be useful at work or in personal projects.”

The students in Workforce Welding use their skills to assist with various projects on the college campus. McCardle said there was one project she was especially proud to participate in.

Jena McCardle

“Building the cattle gates for the new, Jones College Livestock Show Barn was a project I won’t forget. It was really neat to see how something we made can impact an entire program,” said McCardle.

McLain said he appreciated learning skills that he’ll use on the jobsite. “I have enjoyed learning stick welding. This style of welding is used a lot in manufacturing and companies like Ingalls. It took three weeks of studying to learn the basics of stick welding and since I’m able to practice daily, I’m improving my skills.”

After completing the Workforce Welding program at Jones College, McCardle and McLain said they plan to accept job offers extended by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Additionally, McLain said he also plans to purchase a personal welding truck to offer independent welding services locally.

Crosby plans to continue building upon his skills by taking the welding course at Jones College this fall.

“I will be able to take the skills I have gained through the Workforce Welding program and apply for course credit at the School of Welding at JC. After I complete that program, I am considering enrolling in nursing school with the overall goal of becoming an ICU nurse,” explained Crosby, who used his welding skills to participate in FFA competitions on South Jones High School’s team. His group placed first in the District and Federation competitions, and recently competed for the State championship.

Nick McLain

Workforce Welding instructor, Tracy Warden said his welding course is an excellent opportunity for individuals who want to learn a trade for employment purposes or for personal growth. Oftentimes, professionals in other fields learn how to weld for art and practical purposes for their home and farm. The Workforce Welding program is offered year-round with courses at day and night.

Next fall, Jones College’s Workforce College and the Jones County Career Coaches plan to implement more certificate programs for high school seniors in electrical technology, fiber/broadband, commercial truck driving and advanced manufacturing programs offered through Jones College at the Advanced Technology Center in Ellisville. To learn more, call 601-477-5408 or email,


Jones County Junior College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Jones County Junior College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 3033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Statement of Non-Discrimination and ADA Statement: Jones County Junior College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability in its programs, activities, or employment practices. The (ADA/ Section 504) ADA Coordinator, Student Affairs, phone 601-477-2673, and (Title IX) Title IX Coordinator, Hutcheson Hubbard Administration Building, phone 601-477-4127, have been designated to handle inquiries and grievances regarding the non-discrimination policies. Jones County Junior College, 900 South Court Street, Ellisville, MS 39437.