By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, October 19, 2017, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on will attend the ground-breaking ceremony celebrating construction of Wallace State-Oneonta’s new technical training facility. The governor will make an announcement of her support for this initiative.
The project includes the addition of 20,000 square feet which will house academic and workforce development space as well as economic development offices for Oneonta and Blount County. There is currently an 18,000 square foot technical training facility in use with approximately 450 students enrolled.
Governor Ivey will be joined by Oneonta Mayor Ross Norris, Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker, President of Wallace State Dr. Vickie Karolewics, Blount County Probate Judge Chris Green, state Representative David Standridge, R-Hayden, as well as other elected officials.
This historic event is scheduled to begin at approximately 2:00 p.m. at the corner of 1st Avenue & 1st Street in downtown Oneonta for.
Wallace State’s Oneonta Campus began in the Summer of 2016. That first class of 138 students Beginning Wallace State’s enrollment at the new Oneonta campus center has grown to 450 today with at least 100 more expected for the fall semester next year.
At the start of the fall term, students are enrolled in 600 courses up from just below 500 in the spring semester this year.
75 percent of courses offered are academic courses and 25 percent are technical training.
“The excitement about the growth around here affects both faculty and students,” said Wallace State Oneonta center director Dr. Kelly Jones. “They’re realizing, along with people out in the community, the reality that we have a real college in town. “
Wallace State Community College, with campuses in Hanceville and Oneonta, was recently named one of 150 community colleges in the nation and eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges.
Wallace State Community College was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize.
“An Aspen Prize nomination is among the highest accolades a community college can receive, and this recognition is especially gratifying for Wallace State. It represents the dedication of our administration, faculty and staff to student success as evidenced by our extensive work in Achieving the Dream and the American Association of Community College’s Guided Pathways Project, the addition of stackable credentials leading to greater opportunities for completion, and the investment we have made in success coaching for students. All of these efforts have contributed to ever increasing rates of students earning credentials before transferring and/or entering the workforce,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics.
This is the third time in five years Wallace State has been named to the list.
Original reporting by Ron Gholson at the Blount Countian and the Wallace State News contributed to this report.