The usual first-day nerves were there for some returning and new Wallace State Community College students, but for the most part, most were excited to be on campus and starting classes. While most academic classes will be taught online, technical and health science classes that require hands-on learning for skills welcomed students in hybrid classes to campus on Monday.
Emily Knighten of Falkville said she was excited but nervous to be starting her classes in the Medical Assisting program and was glad to be on campus. “I’m glad to be able to be here,” she said. Knighten completed a short-term certificate for Medical Lab Assistant the previous semester and chose to come back to start the Medical Assistant program at the urging of coworkers at the urgent care facility where she works.
Fellow Medical Assistant student Yeniveth Benitez of Hanceville entered the program after seeing the success her sister Yadira had with it. “She had a good job and she only went to school a year and a half and I wanted follow in her footsteps because she’s like a mom figure to me,” Benitez said. A true freshman who recently graduated from Hanceville High School, she said she was excited to be starting college classes.
Second-year Dental Hygiene student, Madisyn Bedingfield of Madison, prepped for the day by disinfecting all the surfaces of her assigned station.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I can’t wait to finish and get my license and finally get to be practicing.”
Bedingfield said she appreciated everything faculty and staff did at the end of the spring semester when COVID-19 impacted their classes.
“I think the faculty did a wonderful job,” she said. “Honestly, they had us back as soon as we could and were sending us emails and keeping us updated. Even though we had to be online, the teachers were great and really understanding in helping us as much as they could. Then we had to take our tests online. That was a challenge, but we all worked through it together.”
Stephen Gholson of Springville was taking his first classes on the Hanceville campus, having previously taken classes at the Oneonta campus. Transferring from Jacksonville State University where he was a business major, Gholson is taking prerequisite courses at Wallace State to transfer to UAB to get a master’s in Nursing.
“So far it’s been a fairly easy process to get started,” he said. “I was able to apply and register in a total of like five days.”
Collision Repair student Mario Ralius of Blountsville was returning for his third semester at Wallace State. “I really enjoy the Collision Repair program,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. I have learned a lot and especially a lot about welding on vehicles.”
Natural Science Department Chair Beth Williams was pleased with her first class of the day. Most of her Anatomy and Physiology students logged on to take part in their class and were active in asking questions through the online format, she said.
Registration is continuing for the Fall 2020 semester for Regular and Mini Term I, as well as for Flex Start Courses and Mini Term II. Registration for Flex Start I courses will be from Aug. 24-28 and from Aug. 31-Sept. 4 for Flex Start II courses. Students who register for the Flex Start courses complete those online through the end of the regular term on Dec. 16. Mini Term II courses will be held from Oct. 14 to Dec. 16.
The campus remains open for students who need to come to meet instructors, or use student services such as Lion Central, library, tutoring lab, etc. Masks and self-screening are required by all who come to campus. Support is also available virtually via www.wallacestate.edu/virtual-student-services.
Learn more and view a video message from Wallace State President Vicki Karolewics at wallacestate.edu/coronavirus.