JCJC offers more flexible class schedules

ELLISVILLE, MS (JONES COUNTY JUNIOR COLLEGE) - Jones County Junior College is offering new hybrid classes in an attempt to help students attend classes and maintain a job.

The hybrid online class involves a combination of traditional and online class meetings.  Students also now have the option of meeting on Saturdays or during the week for their traditional class meeting. 
"One major benefit of the hybrid online format is that it provides a student with the opportunity to have face-to-face contact with their instructor on a weekly basis while minimizing the amount of time required to meet on campus," said JCJC academic dean, Dr. Shannon Campbell.  "This option is particularly beneficial to commuting students and working adults." 
The new hybrid online format only requires a student to attend one 50-minute session per week with the remaining coursework conducted online.  Forty-two year old Susan Kelly of Ellisville believes that 'face-time' will help in her hybrid online English class. She said this will be her first attempt at taking an online class.  "I am a little scared about taking an online class because I need to see my teacher and have that interaction," said Kelly.  "My teacher, Patti Smith, reassured me that she would always be available either by email, text or in person when I need her."
Kelly explained this option will give her more free time to do homework and eventually help her get an associate degree in nursing.  "This opens a world of opportunities for those of us who have other obligations during the week," said Kelly.  "These hybrid classes will make life a little bit easier and help me feel more comfortable with the online option, because I know I can see my teacher each week."

Holding classes on the weekend is a wonderful idea for 23 year-old Kasey Hodge of Collins.  With a ten-month old baby and a full class load she said it has been a challenge.  The Saturday class option is a perfect fit, Hodge explained.  "I'm at Jones Monday, Wednesday and Friday but this Saturday class option allows me to save on daycare," said Hodge.  "I will have family watching my son while I go to school on Saturday."
Hodge is trying to finish her pre-requisites for the radiography program.  These options, she said will help her reach her goal. 
"I wanted to come back to school to have a career so I can go to my son's ballgames and school activities," Hodge explained. "Now is the time to do this while my baby's young and I have help taking care of him. I think these class options at Jones will be a good thing for young moms who want to take advantage of getting an education online and on the weekends."
The combination of a traditional, face-to-face class time allows the opportunity for teachers and students to go more in depth and discuss complicated issues that may be difficult to do online, as well as saving students' time and money. 
"It also helps the student who may feel like they're lost online to have someone to help them or make sure they are on the right track," said JCJC English instructor Dr. Patti Smith.  "If a student feels lost they will drop out, which wastes their time and money, so this option should help keep them on track, while offering the convenience of being online for the majority of the class time."
Jones will be offering the flexible class schedule options for the fall 2010 semester.  Courses such as English Composition, World Literature, Geography, Philosophy and Psychology are among the popular courses being piloted.   To get a complete listing of the newest hybrid online classes offered, and the Saturday hybrid online classes, check the web page at: www.jcjc.edu/elearning/onlineclasses.php.  The JCJC eLearning can also offer assistance with online class questions at 601-477-5454 or email at online@jcjc.edu.