Wallace State’s Dual Enrollment/Fast Track Academy conducts 2016 graduation

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HANCEVILLE –  Wallace State’s Fast Track Academy and Fast Track for Industry dual enrollment students were recently recognized during their 2016 graduation.

Wallace State graduated 36 Fast Track seniors. Thirteen finished the College within a High School Fast Track satellite program at J.B. Pennington. All of these students graduated high school and earned some college credit. Twenty-two of them completed college-level certificates or degrees.

This was the first graduating class to include Fast Track for Industry students.  That program, an extension of the Fast Track Academy, began in 2015 as a partnership with Cullman County Schools serving career technical students.

“I commend all of these graduates. The face of education is changing and the needs of our students are different. We are excited to provide them an accelerated pathway to a degree and a career through Wallace State,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics.

Dr. Philip Cleveland, the interim state superintendent and deputy state superintendent for career and technical education and workforce development, was the event’s keynote speaker. Prior to working for the state, Cleveland spent approximately four years at Wallace State as the vice president of Learning/Dean of Applied Technologies.

“The decisions you have made have changed your life forever. You have set a higher standard for yourself,” Cleveland said.

Winter “Haley” Tankersley became the first high school junior and Cullman County student to graduate early from the Wallace State Fast Track Academy. Tankersley has completed all of her general studies courses required for admission into Wallace State’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program and is in the process of completing her observation hours.

Lillian Ross achieved the outstanding feat of graduating with both a high school diploma and an Associate in Arts in General Studies this month. After taking a gap year, she'll still begin work toward her bachelor’s degree a year ahead of her classmates. She plans to focus on medicine.

“I am so impressed with the level of scholarships this class has earned,” said Karolewics. Many have already received scholarships, with the group reporting more than $1,072,076 million in awards and counting.  Samantha Hardisty received $126,512 in scholarship offers and Jacob Washburn received $233,000 in offers.

Wallace State’s dual enrollment programs served 564 students in Cullman, Blount, Jefferson, Morgan, Walker and Winston Counties in 2015-16.

Wallace State’s Fast Track Academy and Fast Track for Industry programs are a joint partnership between Wallace State and local school systems, where high school and college coursework is completed on the Wallace State campus. The coursework completed on campus meets state requirements for high school graduation while also providing the general education requirements for the certificate and associate degree programs. Students enrolled in Fast Track are also allowed to still participate in their high school’s extracurricular activities, including athletics, band and student organizations.

Members of the graduating class included: Lacey Barett, Calvery School; Ashley Billings, JB Pennington; Cassidy Blackmon, Brewer High School; Meagan Corum, Hanceville; Emily Dailey, West Point; Katie Downs, JB Pennington; Sarah Dyer, Vinemont; Faith Fuller, JB Pennington; Emily Gardner, Fairview; Garrett Hamrick, JB Pennington; Erin Handley, Vinemont; Nathan Hannah, Cold Springs;  Samantha Hardisty, JB Pennington; William Hendrix IV, Good Hope; Rachel Hilb, Mother Divine; Sarah Hughes, Vinemont; Aryn Jackson, Falkville; David Laney, Fairview; Emmalee Martinez, Winston County; Olivia Martinez, Winston County; Jessica Millwood, West Point; Gavin Mobley, Fairview; Kirsta Murphree,  Samantha Hardisty, JB Pennington; Amber Norris, Cold Springs; Branson Norris, Vinemont; Jonathan Ogle,  JB Pennington; Steven Ogle, Hanceville; Justin Ortiz, JB Pennington; Eduardo Perez, Good Hope; Wyatt Petrimoulx, Good Hope; Jacob Powell, West Point; Brody Quick, Cullman; Lillian Ross, Vinemont; Calib Ryan, Vinemont; Jamie Simpson, Good Hope; Andrew Smith, Cullman; Breanna Smith, Cullman; Kelsey Smith, JB Pennington; Kimberly Stange, JB Pennington; Noah Strong, Fairview; Thomas Sullins, JB Pennington; Charles Sutton, Vinemont; Winter “Haley” Tankersley, West Point; Travis Terry, Vinemont; Elijah Tripp, JB Pennington; Jesse Ude-Smith, West Point; Chloe Weston, Cullman; Madison Wilhite, Cullman; Jacob Washburn, JB Pennington.

In fall 2016, Wallace State will launch a Fine and Performing Arts Academy on campus for dually enrolled high school students.

For more information, call 256-352-8051 or visit www.wallacestate.edu.