Wallace State announces plans for Fall Semester operations

Photo from WSCC

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State Community College will begin fall semester classes, as scheduled, on August 17, 2020. 

Classes will take place both online and on campus, and are available during the day, in the evening and on weekends. 

All classes with on-campus instruction will be offered in a hybrid format, with theory and lectures occurring online or virtually through “live” platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Blackboard Collaborate.  Hands-on instruction, labs, and skills check-offs will take place on campus. The group size of on-campus labs will be dependent on the size of the instructional space to allow for social distancing.  

Most of Wallace State’s 16 health science and 14 career technical/applied technology courses will be delivered in a hybrid format.  A few, like Engineering Technology, Health Information Technology, Medical Coding, and Child Development already conduct instruction online, though apprenticeships and clinicals may still require in-person attendance at off-campus sites. 

Academic hybrids include biology labs, networking, performing arts ensemble groups, dance, theatre, and orientation (for technology check-offs only), as well as dual enrollment courses taught in the high schools and on campus.  

Every class offered at Wallace State has an online Blackboard component, or shell, where syllabi, assignments, course materials, links to online tests, grades and instructor messages may be posted.  Students enrolled for fall will have access to their classes in Blackboard more than a week before fall semester begins, and should check their Blackboard accounts, Wallace State email, and the college website for messages from instructors and other college announcements.   

Wallace State’s attention to outstanding quality of online programs and services is just one of the reasons the college was recently ranked Alabama’s No. 1 Online Community College. 

To mitigate the risk of a second wave of the virus combined with an active flu season, all in-person on-campus instruction and labs for all programs will be completed by Thanksgiving. Final exams, presentations and other assignments may be scheduled virtually or online after Thanksgiving.  

Health program clinicals and other work-based learning experiences, such as apprenticeships, will continue as long as sites allow, following appropriate health and safety protocols. Some programs have also developed virtual or alternate experiences that comply with their program accreditation requirements in the event in-person clinical experiences are paused. 

For students who still need to register, Lion Central, Wallace State’s one-stop center for enrollment services, is available for in-person walk-in visitors on campus as well as virtually.     

Admissions, Financial Aid, Advising, TRIO Programs, Tutoring, Success Coaching, Career Services, Mental Health Counseling, Recruiting, Special Populations, and other Student Services offices are also available for in-person walk-ins and by appointment, as well as virtually.   

In fact, to better serve students, Wallace State’s Student Services Division has established a full complement of Virtual Student Services, providing the same level of outstanding customer service in a student-friendly manner in a virtual environment that students receive on campus, with even greater ease of access. Students may connect with the College through platforms like Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Live Chat, phone, email, and social media messaging. In many cases responses are in real-time and instant. Expanded and weekend hours are available in some areas. 

MyWallaceState, the College’s application and registration portal, is available online 24/7, as are tutoring services through Upswing. 

The Wallace State Café will open on August 10 with food served in “to go” boxes by staff. Dorms will be open with limited occupancy.  The Wallace State Police Department will continue to serve campus around the clock. 

The Wallace State Library will be open for in-person visits and virtual services. The Library’s computer lab is available to individuals in the community to complete the Census by the Oct. 31 deadline.     

Across campus, plexiglass windows have been installed at reception desks, and health and safety protocols are in place.  In all cases, masks are required in all buildings and any time individuals are within six feet of another person.  Reusable masks will be provided to every student and employee. Disposable masks are also available. 

Daily self-screening, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and other health and safety protocols have been put in place. Signs about these protocols, as well as handwashing and hygiene, and CDC information relating to COVID-19 are up across campus.   

Along with the new protocols in place to ensure student, employee and visitor safety, Wallace State remains steadfastly committed to student success. In addition to national rankings and accolades related to student outcomes, the College was recently designated nationally as a Caring Campus, and has numerous supports available to help students succeed, including a free food pantry and emergency financial assistance, the vast network of student services, and a faculty and staff ready to listen and eager to help. Registration for fall semester continues through Aug. 21. To view the fall semester schedule of classes, visit www.wallacestate.edu/schedule.