Jones College students begin classes cautiously

ELLISVILLE – While all University-Parallel (academic) courses are being taught completely online through Friday, September 4, at Jones College, some students taking medical courses and Career and Technical programs are cautiously meeting on campus. All students entering campus must meet a strict list of requirements to ensure the safety of everyone working and taking courses at any Jones College facility and to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“The administration and faculty have been preparing for this possibility all summer. The online course plan is designed with students in mind as an effective, educational method,” said Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith.

Classes requiring face-to-face instruction and hands-on training, are meeting in smaller groups and students are spaced six feet apart in classrooms. Hattiesburg’s Brianna Frierson, an associate degree nursing major said she’s happy Jones College is making an extra effort to ensure their safety.

“Doing a daily health check, wearing a wrist band to easily identify those who are cleared to be on campus and having plenty of sanitizer available is great. This is what I have been doing before COVID-19 because I have family members that I care for at home. I do miss not being able to hang out on campus like before, but these extra measures are for the greater good,” Frierson noted.

Associate degree nursing major, Jenna Hillman of Greene County said the virus will not keep her from fulfilling her dream of being a nurse. Despite the extra precautions required to meet on campus like taking the health assessment, cleaning the classroom desks and wearing a mask.

“There are a lot of diseases out there. We can’t dwell on it. We must take precautions all the time and hope it doesn’t affect us as we progress forward. I know COVID-19 is a serious virus but my biggest concern is not getting to do clinical experience; simulations are not the same as the clinical setting,” said Hillman.

It is also virtually impossible to learn precision machining and manufacturing skills through online instruction. Laurel’s James Walters came to Jones College to learn how to use a drill press, lathe and CNC machine after finishing three years at Mississippi State University as a mechanical engineering major. He said he is glad to be in class, wearing a mask.

“It is what it is,” said Walters. “My concern is spreading the virus, so I’ll do what I have to in order to take classes.”

Precision machining and manufacturing instructor, Chase Elmore said he is better able to assist students coming to the machine shop at Jones College to not only learn skills and troubleshoot but to also teach them how to be good employees. Learning how to operate high-tech machinery and perfecting his skills, Walters said will help him earn his engineering degree while also having a better understanding of what works best when designing as a mechanical engineer.

“Having machining skills will also look good on a resume’ and knowing how to work these machines will help me better design useful tools, like the firearms I want to make,” said Walters.  “I still plan on finishing my degree at MSU but this way, I can save money and learn skills to help me after just one year of machining courses.”

For more information about how to register for MVCC online classes which begin August 24, check out the Jones College website at