Jackson State and Jackson Public Schools Launch Jackson Middle College Program
This article was originally published by Jackson State University.
Jackson State University (JSU) and Jackson Public School District (JPS) are hosting an open house and signing day for the inaugural cohort of the Jackson Middle College (JMC) on Monday, August 7, 2023, at 6 pm in the JSU College of Science, Engineering, and Technology atrium. The first cohort, composed of 17 high school juniors and seniors, will specialize in mathematics education to address the need for math teachers and educators in JPS.
“I am extremely excited about this collaboration between Jackson State University and Jackson Public School District. Mathematics teachers are a critical need nationwide, and I am confident that Jackson Middle College will become the preferred ‘grow your own’ model in school districts across the nation for ensuring a sustainable teaching force in critical needs content areas,” said Tony Latiker, Ed.D., associate dean of accreditation and assessment in JSU’s College of Education & Human Development.
The JMC is a dual enrollment program birthed by the collaboration between JSU and JPS faculty and administrations. With math being the focus for its first year, the program is set to expand to other curriculum areas outside of mathematics in subsequent years. JPS schools include Callaway High School, Forest Hill High School, Jim Hill High School, Lanier High School, Murrah High School, Provine High School, and Wingfield High School.
In June, the students attended a two-week summer camp on the JSU campus to ensure college readiness and sustained success upon their entry as mathematics education majors. During the camp, students engaged in lessons from JSU instructors, such as an introduction to methods of teaching mathematics, English composition content, and focused mathematics. They also participated in campus tours and were exposed to university academic and social support.
“The Jackson Middle College will serve as a model of innovation for school districts and universities across the country to meet the teacher shortage needs and, most importantly, to provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students that many would have never experienced,” said Laketia Marshall-Thomas, JPS assistant superintendent of the high school division. “It’s rare that students get excited about math, especially about teaching it. However, these 17 outstanding scholars have shattered that ceiling, and their fond interest and love of math will afford them an early start into a professional career that I know they will love. As a former JPS math teacher, I’m excited to see these scholars pave the way as future math educators in Jackson Public Schools and the state.”
JMC students will begin coursework in Fall 2023. Courses include college algebra, English composition, introduction to biology, art appreciation, university success, and more in the College of Education and Human Development. Students will attend classes at JSU in the mornings and return to their home schools in the afternoon for any additional high school coursework.
The event has limited seating and is not open to the public.