New Partnership Pathways agreement to benefit Jones County Junior College, MSU-Meridian students

MSU PHOTO ID: Mississippi State University Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner, left, and Jones County Junior College President Jesse Smith sign a Partnership Pathways agreement that will make it easier for students to complete baccalaureate programs. (Photo by Lisa Sollie)ELLISVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University and Jones County Junior College leaders are making it easier for students to complete baccalaureate programs.

Officials from both institutions signed an agreement Wednesday [June 28] creating a Partnership Pathways program that will ease the transition to a bachelor’s degree for JCJC students. The partnership allows students to enroll concurrently at JCJC and MSU. Additionally, MSU will place academic advisers at JCJC to assist students and ensure efficient degree completion and maximum transfer of credits.

The programs of study featured in the partnership include accounting, business administration, criminology, history, psychology, Bachelor of Applied Technology in healthcare services, Bachelor of Applied Technology in event and hospitality services, elementary education (early childhood and middle school concentrations), kinesiology, social work, secondary education (English and social studies concentrations) and special education.

“Our innovative partnerships with Mississippi community colleges enhance accessibility to higher education and help students earn a degree in the most efficient way,” MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner said. “It is an honor to work with JCJC to grow educational opportunities in Mississippi. This partnership is a win-win for both schools and for the students.”

 “We are very grateful that our leading land-grant and research university has an interest in developing pathways through Jones County Junior College to the University,” JCJC President Jesse Smith said. “The agreement with MSU will help those who only need a few classes to complete their baccalaureate degree because students can be enrolled at both JCJC and MSU-Meridian.  It could mean getting a better job in a shorter amount of time, especially for our non-traditional students.”

Students in the selected programs will be given course and program-specific registration guides that highlight classes to be taken at JCJC and MSU in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. MSU-Meridian Administrative Director and Head of Campus Terry Dale Cruse said partnership pathways “take the guesswork” out of transitioning from a strong community college to a leading research university. MSU has similar agreements with Meridian Community College, East Mississippi Community College and East Central Community College.

“Mississippi State shares a common goal with Jones County Junior College in helping students complete programs of study,” Cruse said. “Through clearly articulated academic programs, concurrent enrollment opportunities, financial aid consortiums, and MSU advisers based at the JCJC campus, we hope to provide the support network needed to assist students in reaching their educational goals.”

For more on MSU-Meridian’s partnership pathways, visit

Jones County Junior College, located in Ellisville, inspires greatness by providing educational opportunities for its students, employees and surrounding communities. For more, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

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