Wallace State-Oneonta campus generating community interest during inaugural semester

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HANCEVILLE – The inaugural semester at Wallace State-Oneonta is in full swing and interest in the college is growing daily in the community according to campus Director, Doctor Kelley Jones. 

“Everything is going as smoothly as possible. It’s an exciting time. The students love the environment, and we’ve had many compliments on our building. Both the students and teachers seem very comfortable,” said Jones, who previously served as Wallace State’s Adult Education Director. “We have new faces stop by every day asking about the campus and when fall registration begins. That’s also exciting.” 

Wallace State-Oneonta opened its doors for summer classes on May 26, coinciding with the beginning of classes in Hanceville. Course offerings this summer in Oneonta include multiple English and math classes, music appreciation, ethics and society, fundamentals of oral communication, microcomputer applications and psychology.

Instructors from Wallace State-Hanceville are teaching the majority of the summer classes in Oneonta. 

It’s been a little more than a month since Wallace State administrators and employees joined Oneonta city leaders for the Open House at its first satellite campus. Onsite registration for the summer semester kicked off a day after the Open House and employees from Wallace State’s front-line offices were represented in Oneonta throughout the weeks that followed, assisting students with admissions and financial aid procedures and registration. 

Jones, who oversees the day-to-day operations of the site and provides coordination for student services, instructional programs and support services, continues to be impressed with the enthusiasm the site is generating within the community. 

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the outpouring of support and encouragement from those who live in the area. A lot of business owners stop by to congratulate us and let us know how happy they are we’re here. The community leaders are one reason we were able to open a site in Oneonta and they continue be amazing, whether it’s Hometown Bank, the police department or the fire department. The list goes on of those businesses and leaders who fully support us,” Jones said.

A recent economic impact study by Alabama Power estimates that the Wallace State-Oneonta campus will bring an additional $4.4 million in spending with local businesses and an additional $1.9 million in related salaries.

Jones and other employees participated in Oneonta’s June Fling earlier this month, setting up a booth to showcase the college. 

“We had people stopping by all day to ask questions, including a lot of high school students inquiring about dual enrollment opportunities,” Jones said.  

Fall 2016 registration begins on Monday, June 20, and Jones said the fall course options will be much more extensive than the summer offerings, adding a full complement of academic courses leading to an associate’s degree.

Prior to the Oneonta campus opening, Wallace State was active in Blount County, including participating for more than a decade in the Oneonta-Blount County Chamber of Commerce and the western half of Blount County has always been part of the college’s primary service area. Wallace State began a successful College Within a High School FastTrack dual enrollment program at J.B. Pennington High School several years ago. The college also has an off-campus center in Hayden and services Oneonta and other areas of the county through its adult education program. 

The Wallace State-Oneonta site is located off Highway 75 at 728 Second Avenue East. The Oneonta campus can be reached at 205-625-4020. 

For more information, also visit the site’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Wallacestateoneonta/. 

For more information about Wallace State, visit wallacestate.edu.