CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

August 28, 2013

Wallace State’s first week of classes marks new beginnings for students as fall semester commences  


WSCC MEDIA RELATIONS

HANCEVILLE — Another fall semester has arrived at Wallace State, creating new beginnings for all students. For some, it’s the beginning of their last semester or year on campus and for others it’s the beginning of their collegiate career.

Visual communications student Alex Davis, 30, is entering his final semester at Wallace State.

“I drive from Birmingham to come specifically for graphic design classes here. I’ve had a great experience at Wallace State ever since I set foot on the campus more than a year ago,” said Davis, who utilized some spare time on campus this week by updating his student ID card. “Wallace State was the only school within driving distance that offered what I wanted, and I’ve been fortunate to have great advisors and a phenomenal instructor in Adrian Scott.”

While Davis is wrapping up his Wallace State career, freshman Kaylin Millard is a week into hers. Millard, a Fairview High grad, earned a music scholarship to Wallace State and is enrolled in 18 hours this semester---a full class load.

“I don’t think you realize how many people are on a college campus until you start classes, but I’m definitely excited to start classes,” Millard said. “I feel comfortable being part of the music program because everyone in the department is so helpful and nice. It should be an easy transition.”

While its students embrace new beginnings, so does Wallace State as an institution. The college, an Achieving the Dream institution, is introducing new fully online Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees beginning this semester and new course offerings in hospitality management, engineering technology and entrepreneurship, along with embarking on a poultry science partnership with Auburn University.

“Excitement is in the air at Wallace State as we begin another Fall Semester!  We are intently focusing our resources and efforts on helping students maintain the momentum to achieve the milestones toward college completion,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Hawsey. “We have had great success with our student success coaching initiative funded through our TAACCT PAVES grant, and we look forward to the journey toward success with this new group of freshmen.”

Wallace State jazz band student Alex Randau is wrapping up his final semester on campus, at only 19 years old, due in large part to completing many of his college credits through dual enrollment in high school, via the Fast Track Academy, which is a joint partnership between Wallace State and local school systems.

The Fast Track Academy offers qualified high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to simultaneously enroll in secondary and postsecondary coursework on Wallace State’s campus, while still enjoying the extracurricular activities at their high schools. It’s one of a few dual enrollment opportunities available at Wallace State.

“Fast Track was an awesome opportunity. A lot of people aren’t aware of how great it is, but I’m sure if they were they would jump on the opportunity,” said Randau, a Hanceville graduate, as he was restringing a guitar in between classes. “It’s been a huge asset to me, that’s for sure.”

Wallace State is ranked among the top 120 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute and its health science programs are recognized nationally by Community College Week among the “Top 50 Associate Degrees: Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences” leaders.

Dental hygiene student Heather Waddell began her first semester in the program this week and experienced lab work for the first time Thursday.

“Wallace State has a lot of health programs that aren’t offered anywhere else, so I think that says a lot about the college,” said Waddell, a Hartselle graduate. “I’ve been ready to get this semester started. I like to get to class and learn new things.”

Wallace State will celebrate the opening of the new School of Nursing and Center for Science later this semester. The state-of-the-art-facility, designed to replicate a hospital, will house the college’s acclaimed nursing program along with the popular biology department and related health and science classes.

For the fifth consecutive year, Wallace State employees and students are participating in a campus-wide initiative, called the Common Read project. This year’s selection is “While the World Watched” by Alabama native Carolyn Maull McKinstry. It is a powerful memoir and recollection from a survivor of the Civil Rights era in Birmingham in the 1960s. Wallace State will welcome McKinstry to campus on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 9:30 a.m., and she will speak to the college as part of an annual Author Forum.

The Wallace State volleyball season is underway as the team seeks a fifth consecutive state title.

For those still interested in enrolling for classes this semester, a second mini-term begins Oct. 15.

For more happenings at Wallace State this fall, visit wallacestate.edu.