Spotlight on Coffee, Dale & Geneva Counties: Higher Education

Safran Helicopter Engines USA donates an Arriel 1E2 engine to the Alabama Aviation College in Ozark.

Enterprise State Community College/Alabama Aviation Center
Enterprise State Community College and its Alabama Aviation College offer academic and technical degree programs for students and customized employee training solutions. Despite COVID-19
issues, the school’s enrollment increased for the eighth consecutive semester.

Enrollment at Enterprise State is up for an eighth consecutive semester.

Tailoring programs to community needs, ESCC is boosting its health care-related programs in anticipation of a new veterans’ home to be built in the Wiregrass. The college is planning new programs and training, including an LPN nursing program. Students are also engaged in a medical assistant technology program that kicked off in 2018.

The mechatronics programs, first offered in 2019, won kudos for the school as an NC3 School on the Rise. And the program’s students can take advantage of a new paid internship at Wayne Farms.

Enterprise State Community College President Matthew Rodgers.

The college has been engaged in several renovation projects around campus. Forrester Hall has reopened as the college’s arts center with dedicated space for theater, music and art, including a new black box theater. Sessions Hall, on the Enterprise campus, has been completely renovated with new technology, furniture and student spaces, while the Rufus Barnett building, on the AAC campus, has been updated with new labs, classrooms and offices and a new hangar floor. The college courtyard has been updated, and baseball and softball teams have a new covered hitting facility.

Leigh Shivers, who has taught office administration classes at ESCC, has been named director of workforce and adult education.

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The school also has developed several new articulation agreements, easing the transition to four-year colleges and institutions, while also adding new programs allowing high schools students to enroll in ESCC classes.

The Mechatronics program at the Alabama Aviation College was named an NC3 School on the Rise.

Wallace Community College
Wallace operates at two regional campuses — one in the Dale County section of Dothan and the other at the Sparks Campus in Eufaula. WCC also has an Alabama Technology Network Center on the Sparks Campus. 

Wallace is one of four community colleges in Alabama to progress to the second phase of the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The emphasis of the project is to expand partnerships between adult education and workforce development by offering programs to develop skillsets needed for pre-apprenticeship programs. WCC also offers dual enrollment for high school students, GED classes and adult education.

WCC has 440 faculty and staff, some full-time and some part-time, serving 3,686 students. The students’ average age is 24, and they come from throughout the Wiregrass area and nearby sections of Georgia and Florida. 

Nearly 40 percent of Wallace students are health science or pre-health science majors, supported by a simulation lab. WCC’s surgical technology program, made possible by support from local hospitals, will graduate its first class this semester.

Both campuses have writing centers and math labs, and both have articulation agreements with Birmingham-Southern College, easing the transition to a four-year college program.

Adult education options include English as a second language, GED and other workforce programs. 

Career tech programs are a big draw for dual-enrolled high school students, with about 30% of those students choosing career tech programs.

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