(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University President Carolyn W. Meyers, Provost James C. Renick and Dr. Priscilla Slade were joined by a host of faculty, staff and students on Tuesday for the grand opening of the new Community College Relations Office.
Community College Relations advances JSU by increasing enrollment and retention, attracting academically talented transfer students and creating opportunities for collaboration between faculty at JSU and community colleges.
Meyers said the opening of the office “was a new chapter” for JSU, adding that the state’s educational needs are great and must be addressed.
“It’s going to take entities all along the education continuum to help people achieve their academic goals,” Meyers said.
Slade heads the program as special assistant to the provost for community colleges. She said there are many pathways to college success and that most first-year students are choosing to attend community colleges. In 2011, freshman enrollment at community colleges was greater than 36,000, she said. That compares to around 15,000 at the state’s universities.
“We will not compete with Mississippi’s community colleges. We will become aggressive and valuable partners,” Slade said.
The remodeled office is on the first floor of the Jacob L. Reddix Building. The space has a lounge for students and offices where students can get information and complete the necessary paperwork to make their transition to JSU.
“Dr. Renick had a vision for a space where community college students could come and be relaxed and enjoy themselves,” Slade said. “He had a vision about how JSU could recruit. This is quite visionary. Not every university is doing this.”
JSU has an agreement with Hinds Community College focused on easing the transition from community college to a four-year university. And last fall, JSU signed an agreement with Holmes Community College that allows Holmes students to pursue a bachelor’s degree from JSU in selected fields, including elementary education and criminal justice, without ever leaving the Holmes campus.
LaTia Peavy transferred from East Central Community College to JSU in fall 2012. She now works in the Community College Relations Office as a “transfer success mentor,” helping other transfer students ease into university culture.
“We tell the transfer students about events on campus. We also attend the events with them,” Peavy said. “I wish there had been something like this when I first arrived.”
For more information about the Community College Relations, visit http://www.jsums.edu/transfer/.