Jones County Junior College hits record enrollment

By Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)- President Jesse Smith says that JCJC is bigger than ever.

"We're still having folks that are enrolling on the online college that are still coming in, so yea we've hit our mark of crossing the six thousand mark," said Smith.

The economy may be a factor in the junior college's record enrollment, but president smith would like to attribute it to something else.

"We have spent a lot of time focusing on engaging with our student, which means everything that we do is about making sure we get on a plateau or a place the students feels comfortable with. In their class rooms, on the campus, in our offices and our support staff. So, we have taken great strides in doing that," said Smith.

Because of that, Dr. Smith anticipates more enrollment growth; however, he also has to consider the possibility of state cuts to their budget.

"The state doesn't have any money that's it, and so any cuts that we take at this point are going to be tough to handle. You have to do more with less and we have a strong track record, all fifteen community colleges in the state have had a very strong track record of being able to do a tremendous amount with nothing really," said Smith.

Whether more budget cuts come or not, Dr. Smith feels a sense of accomplishment with the number of students that are choosing to enroll at JCJC.

"We're reaching into the community and homes that we know we are making a positive impact and that is more satisfying than anything, " said Smith.