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March 2020 Issue

Continuing Education

By Tracy Spence, Student Support and Retention Specialist

True or False? Only about half of students who start college finish a bachelor’s degree. 

True. 

Well, sort of. The probability of completing a bachelor’s degree varies depending on your family’s place on the socioeconomic ladder. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 63 percent of students from high income families, 40 percent of college students from middle income families, 28 percent of students from moderate income families, and only 20 percent of students from lower income families complete bachelor’s degrees.   

The good news? Finishing your associate degree will really pay off if your college education is interrupted or if you need to work while finishing your bachelor’s degree.  

Graduating with an associate degree makes you more likely to find a job. The Center on Education and the Workforce reports that 65 percent of job openings will require some college with the majority requiring an associate or bachelor’s degree. 

Once employed, workers with an associate degree earn about $8,000 more per year than workers with a high school diploma according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and the average student who completes an associate degree will earn $5,400 more each working year than a student who has “some college” but doesn’t complete an associate degree according to the Community College Research Center.  

So, while it is true that only about half of students who start college complete a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be well prepared for whatever happens in your life when you graduate with an associate degree from Jefferson State Community College.  

Tips to help you complete your associate degree: 

  1. Check in with a faculty or academic advisor each semester.  
  2. Use campus resources, such as the JSCC Libraries and Learning Success Center
  3. Attend the free Student Success Seminars offered each month, September through April, by our JeffCoaches. 
  4. Report personal, nonacademic issues to the JeffCARE Team.  
  5. Apply to graduate at least one term before you think you will finish your degree. 

Follow the links above for more information.

Drop It Like It's Hot

By Andrew Crandall, Student

We all know that feeling of too many classes in one semester because everyone wants to graduate as fast as humanly possible. One consequence of taking too many classes might start with needing to drop a class. I will be discussing the general idea and offering some solutions for someone who is considering dropping a class.

First, we should look at any financial aid we have going for us. We need to evaluate and check in with the financial aid office to be sure we will not lose any money we have earned. Dropping from 15 to 12 hours may not seem significant, but you never know until you DOUBLE CHECK. You could lose loans or scholarships all because you never thought to be thorough with your decision-making process. This is common amongst students but can easily be avoided.

Next, we will look at if there is another option for you out there. Do you really need to drop that math class at Jefferson State when the school offers free tutoring in the library? Do we need this class to graduate by a specific deadline or do we have time to fit it in for the next semester? Is it possible, in any way, to make this course work with your schedule despite not seeing how at first glance? You want to do a self-checklist with yourself. Make sure you have covered your basics, essentially, before going out on a limb.

Finally, dropping a class is not the end of the world. Let’s say you simply messed up, and you took too many classes, but you still have time to retake it, and dropping it won’t impact financial aid or any loans/scholarships, then you are fine. You do not need to feel like a failure or beat yourself up. Dropping a class the RIGHT way is actually a great sign of maturity and can be the difference between an A or a D. It could be a GPA booster or grenade. It does not mean you are a bad student or lazy even, it just means life happened. The time can come for any college student overworked, and if that time comes and logical is how we thought, take that class and drop it like it’s hot.

When Life Hits Harder Outside The Classroom

By Caitlyn Smith, Student

A few weeks ago, I did the scariest thing I think I’ve ever done in my entire life: I escaped. I recognize that I did something that several men and women who are a victim of domestic violence and abuse may never get the chance to. Let’s break the stigma, together, in hopes to change that. Here are the signs that someone may be being abused: 

  • bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, or rope marks 
  • injuries in various stages of healing
  • excuses for injuries 
  • personality changes 
  • low self-esteem 
  • being emotionally withdrawn 
  • nervous around certain people 
  • constantly checking in with their partner 
  • skipping school, work, or social outings with no clear reason
  • wears clothing that doesn’t fit the season, like long sleeves or a jacket in the summer to cover bruises

You are being abused if your partner, parent, relative, friend, or caregiver do ANY of the following:

  • if they bully, threaten you, or control you
  • accuses you of cheating or having an affair
  • blames you for the abuse
  • criticizes you
  • tells you what to wear or how to look
  • threatens to kill you
  • throws things at you or in your presence 
  • yells at you
  • keeps cash/credit cards from you
  • makes you ask for an OK to see friends or family
  • isolates you
  • embarrasses you in front of others, and makes you want to avoid people
  • abandons you in places you are unfamiliar with
  • attacks you with weapons
  • punches, pushes, kicks, bites, or pulls your hair
  • locks you out of your own house/apartment 
  • keeps you from eating/ drinking 
  • forces you to have sex
  • makes you dress in a provocative manner
  • makes you feel like you owe them

If you suspect you may be a victim of abuse, know for a fact you are being abused, or know someone who is being abused, it’s not too late. Get somewhere where you can call 911 or your local non-emergency hotline. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799 (SAFE) •or• 1-800-799-7233

Help me break the stigma for domestic violence/ physical and mental abuse. The victims of domestic violence are real people and they are out there! If you or someone you know is in danger or is being abused, make the call. Save a life. Be a good person. You may be their only hope.

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