Behind the scenes to how Jackson State students keep learning through pandemic


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Since the coronavirus outbreak hit the U.S colleges have been forced to severely adjust their ways of teaching.

If there’s one place the coronavirus can’t spread it’s online.The format where students and professors at Jackson State have gone to keep learning to go through this pandemic.

Typically on any weekday more than 7,000 students and faculty would be bustling in and out of tiger nation, but like many parts of America, COVID19 has left the campus deserted.

“I did not expect this at all, it’s definitely weird and a huge adjustment,” Sophomore Alexis Johnson told us. “Boom everything is shattered and everyone is going crazy.”

“I was actually in graduate school during 9/11 and even then it wasn’t this much of an interruption to our way of teaching school or classes,” JSU Assistant Professor Dr. Deidre Wheaton said.

All courses are now online, which has put some students in rural areas at a disadvantage finding quality internet. But professors are staying engaged with flexible scheduling.

“During that extended break that we had right after spring break we had an opportunity developing that first week of learning margins,” Dr. Wheaton continued. “In those learning margins are all the readings and assignments, and quizzes they got to complete in the course of a week.”

Across the street at the Dalton/John R. Lynch intersection is the closest the public can get to Jackson State’s campus. Since the pandemic began non-students and staff with non-essential businesses are forbidden to come on campus.

“Anytime in the cafeteria we don’t sit down, we just go in and grab food and then we leave,” Johnson said. “And go back to our rooms. We did put hand sanitizer dispensaries around.”

While most students still show progress in their new settings professors like Dr. Wheaton still can’t shake the fact they’ll be no graduation ceremony for the 2020 class or the class of 1970 who’s ceremony was canceled 50 years ago after the Jackson State Massacre.

“It’s really heartbreaking and disappointing honestly,” Dr. Wheaton explained. “This year was going to be especially special because the golden class that graduated in 1970 they were going to come back and participate in commencement.”

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