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Shana Jackson talks about her achievements and inspiration to become NSCC's first African-American female president

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Allison Decker

Nashville, Tennessee — Shana Jackson is the first African-American female president at Nashville State Community College and is an honor she has worked hard on.

She said she saw the power of education and sought to help students through her journey from teacher to president. Becoming a president entails the responsibility of allocating resources and setting up education to better serve students. She added that students with support tend to perform better in the classroom than those who do not.

She led her to academia by answering a paper ad to teach part-time business class at a community college in Knoxville in the 90’s. “I wanted to help people get into their financial mobility and their career goals, so I led me to the executive branch from teaching between 2003 and 2004,” Jackson said. I did. “Nashville aims to help people in the community. I’ve always been a leader. As a little girl, I wanted to be the first female black president. Becoming president of Nashville was like the little girl reaching her dream. Being president isn’t about me, but it’s about students. “

Jackson previously worked at the Volunteer State Community College and Columbia State Community College, teaching business administration.

Tennessee Reconnect is a scholarship for adults who attended before 2011 for the last chance to return to school. To qualify, you must be present full-time or part-time and have completed your FAFSA application for the year. This is a program that helps students who have previously attended school and are not FAFSA qualified to attend a community college for free. FAFSA is a Pell Grant that provides free federal assistance for tuition, books, and additional education costs such as teaching materials, laptops, and online textbooks.

Seniors who graduate from high school for the first time qualify for Tennessee Promise, a sister program of Tennessee Reconnect. Tuition fees are up to 5 years and are beneficial for family and part-time students at work. Nashville Flex — A National Grant for Part-Time Students is a new support program for students.

Many high school graduates and adult students returning to school can feel overwhelmed by the workload of the course. The Nashville Grad (Getting Results by Advancing Degrees) program, implemented on December 5, 2018, is a sponsor-funded program launched in the fall of 2019 for freshmen in Davidson County.

The program is run through the Nashville State Community College Foundation, a financial supporter, and assists students with non-tuition fees such as textbooks, transportation, tools and equipment, and industry certification fees.

“Today is a very important step in bridging the fair gaps in our city, increasing economic opportunities and investing in the workforce through access to quality education,” the NSCC press release at the time said. Mayor David Briley said. “We know that getting a bachelor’s degree or qualification after graduating from high school can increase your lifetime income by a third, and by 2020, 60% of your work will require some higher education. Providing the people of Nashville with the support they need to achieve this goal is essential to the long-term prosperity of Nashville. “

“I knew that my journey to become a community college president was non-traditional, and my success was given to my predecessors and mentors throughout my life. I didn’t have time to figure out how to reach my goals. Since 2000, I’ve been driving and commuting like many students, staying in the same house while raising my family. I tried to connect myself with the right experience, the people who help me navigate diligence and trust in God. I don’t know how to get to where I want to go on a non-traditional journey. But I knew I would succeed with patience, “says Jackson.

Nashville State University is a state-sponsored school that uses several resources to assist students at very low rates compared to private four-year colleges and public four-year colleges.

NSCC offers scholarships, and the Foundation constantly raises funds for existing and new programs such as the NSCC Wardrobe, which provides clothing for internships and job applicants to dress appropriately for interviews. I am doing.

In addition, NSCC’s medical department plans to increase the number of students it can accept. The program includes nursing, occupational therapy, surgical techniques, and central sterilization.

NSCC will implement a new data analysis program in the fall of 2022. Jackson relayed. “COVID has delayed some of its plans to extend and introduce new programs, but apart from work, the school was held during the pandemic HCA (Hospital Corporation of America). We have a partnership-based patient care program through. ”

The point of the program is to gain hands-on experience in healthcare so that you can grow into a position beyond the PCT (Patient Care Technician) while re-enrolling in the Nursing Program.

Ground tutoring is available on campus and in the learning lab. NSCC has continued its journey to provide students with holistic support.

“We are trying to provide students and scholars with non-academic resources to reach barriers beyond the classroom,” said Jackson.

The ribbon-cut ceremony for NSCC’s new Madison campus was honored at 9 am on April 19, one of NSCC’s seven campuses in central Tennessee. The campus will open in the summer semester and will host eight classes, from English composition to statistics. Full-course meals for the next fall semester, starting August 22, 2022, will be available. Applications are accepted at In addition, NSCC has a career path with a four-year public school. In other words, credits from a two-year career at NSCC will be transferred to a four-year state university. Advisors and recruiters frequently come to the NSCC campus to discuss the programs they offer and transfer scholarship opportunities.

Jackson said: The state of Nashville where I arrived focused on enrollment and graduation rates, but today it focuses on student success. We have launched the Vision 2030 Plan and a university for students. Our strategic main focus is to complete the transition to a university that expects students to be ready, a university that can serve students coming here from all disciplines. We want to be that resource. “