WSCC announces new applied technologies programs for fall

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(Wallace State)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State Community College recently announced the start of new programs in applied technologies this fall. It also plans to close of one of its older programs.

Significant new offerings include an electric vehicle program for new automotive technologies and an electrical technology program for the training of industrial, commercial and residential electricians. Collision repair will be phased out. 

“Wallace State continually assess workforce demands and we place priority on investing limited taxpayer dollars into programs and training opportunities that our area business and industry and our state demand most,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics.

Alignment with workforce demands is part of the college’s strategic plan.

The new electric vehicle program will complement the college’s growing diesel technology and automotive service technology programs. Wallace State recently received a $1.17 million ARC POWER grant along with additional funding to support the launch of this program. Students in this program will focus closely on smart manufacturing, servicing electric vehicles and electric heavy-duty trucks, and other automotive and skills certifications for emerging industry needs. The project will partner with renowned organizations such as the American Trucking Association, Freightliner, Kenworth, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz to ensure students are both equipped for potential employers and connected to high-wage opportunities.

The college is also adding an electrical technology program for the training of industrial, commercial and residential electricians. This program, part of the Mechatronics Department, will allow students to earn several stackable credentials and an associate in applied science degree. The curriculum includes classroom and hands-on instruction in AC, DC, digital and solid-state fundamentals, blueprint reading, material handling, motor controls, circuit fabrication, hydraulics and pneumatics, construction wiring, environmental controls, motors and transformers, networking, robotics and related topics.

Apprenticeships will also be available to students in these areas of study.

New programs in marine technology, to support the growing marine industry on Smith Lake and Lake Guntersville, which are high traffic tourist and bass fishing destinations, and plumbing, to support the areas growth in construction, will also begin soon.

“We don’t currently have a sufficient supply of plumbers available to meet the growth in demand, especially with the high growth in housing and commercial properties in our region, and the same is true for electrical technology,” said Jerry Murcks, associate dean of applied technologies at Wallace State.  

New STEM programs, like Systems Engineering Technology and Artificial Intelligence Programming, along with additional opportunities in the field of health care have also been announced. Recently added programs include those in robotic welding, radiation therapy, health informatics, and medical scribe, among others, along with the expansion of the Wallace State nursing program to Oneonta.

The Systems Engineering Technology program is a new start up that is designed to support the growing defense industry in the region. 

These additions come as Wallace State makes plans to close an older collision repair program due to declining interest and consistently low outcomes.

“The evolution of programs in the applied technologies field, which is so closely aligned with industry and workforce demands, is not new. In fact, it is expected that we allocate limited dollars in a responsible way,” Karolewics said.  

Wallace State has excellent K-12 partners offering collision repair programs at their respective technical centers, such as the Cullman Area Technology Academy and the Blount County Career Technical Center. These programs currently meet workforce demand.

Students currently enrolled in the collision repair program will be allowed to complete the program. However, no new students will be admitted to the program.

Wallace State plans to share its collision repair equipment with its K-12 partners and may offer college-level night classes at those locations in the future according to demand. 

“This positively impacts the budget of our critical secondary partners and improves the learning opportunities for our K-12 students who are prepared for the workforce upon completing those programs,” she said.

Wallace State offers more than 200 degree and certificate options in academic, health, applied technologies and STEM fields, along with guaranteed transfer of credit to colleges and universities. Classes are available on campus and online, day and evening. Dual enrollment opportunities for high school students are also available. Students interested in enrolling at Wallace State this fall are encouraged to meet with a success advisor this summer. Visit www.wallacestate.edu/advising to schedule an appointment, or call Lion Central 256-352-8236.

Registration for fall semester is currently underway at Wallace State. Classes begin Aug. 18.