Campus News

UT Martin, JSCC celebrate new partnership


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut

MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin and Jackson State Community College celebrated their recent partnership with an open house April 17 at the JSCC McWherter Center. The McWherter Center is the new home of the UT Martin Jackson Center, which relocated from its previous address off the Highway 45 Bypass earlier this spring.

Both JSCC President Allana Hamilton and UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver were present at the event and stressed the importance of the alliance between the two institutions and the pathway it creates for student success in the region.

“We had been talking about how we can assure that we provide quality higher education opportunities in West Tennessee. … It was very appropriate that we find a way for UT Martin to be here in the McWherter Building at Jackson State,” said Hamilton.

“For UT Martin, coming to a place like Jackson State that has a 51-year tradition of educating students and being a provider for higher education in this region for 51 years, and being able to come here and be a part of this tradition and provide greater access to the region – we’re just excited to be a part of that,” said Carver. “Dr. Hamilton and her colleagues at Jackson State have given us a warm welcome, and we look forward to many years of a great partnership here in West Tennessee.”

The UT Martin Jackson Center’s new location also benefits nontraditional students in the area who may be unable to travel to the main campus in Martin each day.

“It’s a very good thing (to have the UT Martin Jackson Center here), because I know a lot of students who aren’t really traditional. They’ve got kids; they are middle aged; they are low income and they can’t really leave their jobs,” said Mohammad Salem, a freshman at JSCC. “I know a lot of (students) have trouble talking about going to Martin or Memphis or wherever they want to go. But having this center here, I’ve heard many people say it is very beneficial.”

Kayla Patel is a junior attending classes at the UT Martin Jackson Center, which she says has allowed her to continue her UT Martin degree after moving for her husband’s career.

“He got a job in Henderson, and we moved to be in the middle where I could still come here to the (UT Martin) Jackson Center and finish my degree because I really didn’t want to transfer,” she said. “I think it’s wonderful (to have the center here) because it puts education out there for more students that it may not be accessible for. … UT Martin offers such a really good tuition price, and you get a really good education. It just makes it more accessible to people who aren’t in Martin.”

JSCC students Kaylyn Weddle and Jerry Marshall, both sophomores from Jackson, agree that finishing their core education courses and taking advantage of free tuition while at Jackson State will open doors for them to finish four-year degrees through UT Martin in the coming years. Marshall’s degree program in mechanical engineering requires him to complete his training elsewhere, and UT Martin is high on his list of possible schools.

“I’ve been considering Martin, especially since I’ve talked to my professor, and he talks so highly (of UT Martin). It’s close to home. It’s not too far, and it won’t be inconvenient for me to come back and forth,” he said.

The UT Martin Jackson Center offers upper-division courses in a variety of subject areas. For more information, contact Kayce Beam, center director, at 731-425-9277 or email


PHOTO ID: Pictured during the UT Martin Jackson Center/Jackson State Community College open house event are (l-r) Dr. Brian Donavant, director, UT Martin Office of Educational Outreach; Dr. Larry Bailey, JSCC vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Allana Hamilton, JSCC president; Dr. Keith Carver, UT Martin chancellor; Kayce Beam, director, UT Martin Jackson Center.

Share this article

Link to share:


Campus News

Office of University Relations is the official source for all non-sports releases from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Materials on this page are updated on a regular basis.

View Campus News >



The Office of University Relations is ready to assist you with finding a speaker for your special event or an expert to comment on a current news story.

View Resources >


Photo Albums

Browse hundreds of campus photos in our University Relations archive.

View Photo Albums >