Jeff State’s growing presenceBy Staff Reports Published 5:24pm Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Anyone who has lived in Clanton just a couple of years knows Jefferson State Community College is growing.
Just driving by on Alabama 145, you can see two state-of-the-art buildings that were not there just a few short years ago.
But how much the campus has grown may be a surprise to some and should be a source of pride for us all.
Jeff State’s director of Institutional Development spoke Tuesday at the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon.
Guin Robinson told the group of civic and business leaders that Clanton’s campus is the fastest growing of any the college has started anywhere Jeff State operates campus in Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Chilton counties.
Robinson said as far as enrollment goes, Clanton’s campus is about 18 months to two years ahead of where school leaders had planned to be in early 2011. He called the impressive growth “unbelievable.”
The numbers reveal what a great need Chilton County had for a source of higher learning. The 522 students enrolled at Jeff State this semester vary in about every demographic imaginable, but they all have one goal in common: to make something better of themselves.
These students are learning a trade or skill to prepare them for a career or college preparatory requirements to ready them for the rigors of a four-year institution.
Not considering these students, the campus has offered much in the way of workplace development and other non-credit courses.
During the last several months, we have written several stories concerning the iCADEMY program, which offered healthcare and welding classes to community members. Jeff State also has partnered with LeCroy’s Career/Tech Center and its healthcare students, among other projects.
We should be proud of Jeff State’s growth — their students are ultimately our community members and the education, skills and training they are receiving close to home will benefit us all now and for years to come.