Spotlight on Houston & Henry: Higher Education

Four institutions of higher learning provide certificate and degree options for area residents

A graduate of Wallace Community College – Dothan.

Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan is a four-year, private institution licensed by the Alabama Department of Public Education and accredited through the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. Open since 2013, the college’s first graduating class marched in 2017. Graduates receive a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree.

Wallace Community College-Dothan

Wallace Community College is a public institution offering academic, health and career technical programs, as well as fast-track and workforce development. The college provides instruction at its Wallace Campus in Dothan, as well as its Sparks Campus in Eufaula.

WCCD’s career technical programs include air conditioning and refrigeration, basic Mig and industrial welding, automotive technology, masonry technology, cosmetology, basic maintenance technician training and computer information sciences.

The college’s health-related programs include associate degree nursing, practical nursing, RN to BSN mobility, emergency medical services, phlebotomy, radiologic technologist, respiratory therapist and dental assistant, to name a few.

The 152 graduates of the WCCD Associate Degree Nursing program achieved an outstanding pass rate of 95.39% on the NCLEX exam for 2022, the second-highest pass rate for 2022 in the Alabama Community College System.

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An independent study on the Alabama Community College System conducted by Lightcast estimates that WCCD alone has a total economic impact of nearly $164 million annually on the Wiregrass service area and adds nearly 3,000 jobs.

Moreover, the study finds that WCCD’s activities and its students support one in every 49 jobs in the WCCD service area, and WCCD’s operation spending has an annual impact of $32.6 million. The study was based on FY 2021 data from ACCS colleges, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census.

WCCD recently entered into an agreement with the City of Dothan to provide its Skills for Success Commercial Driver’s License training course to 15 current city employees. The training will give the city employees the skills needed to pass the federal Class A CDL test.

The Lumina Foundation awarded WCCD a $75,000 grant to increase adult student enrollment in credit and non-credit programs. Lumina is an independent, private foundation based in Indianapolis that is working to provide more after-high-school educational opportunities for adult learners. WCCD was one of 20 community colleges nationwide and one of two community colleges in Alabama tapped for a Lumina Foundation grant funding.

WCCD announced plans recently to offer a free Food and Beverage Services training course. The two-day course would be offered as a pilot program with the aim of helping to fill shortages of workers in the local hospitality industry.

Students will learn best practices for customer service, food and kitchen safety, beverage service, cooking techniques and management principles in the hospitality industry. The program will also teach current laws and regulations that impact the food and beverage business, labor and restaurant management, purchasing procedures inventory and food costs.

WCCD is offering the course for the Alabama Community College System Innovation Center and in collaboration with the Visit Dothan and the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, along with the Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center, Southeast AlabamaWorks and former NFL player Izell Reese.

WCCD’s Adult Education Program offers basic literacy instruction, GED preparation classes, college and career preparation, English as a Second Language and academic support.

Additionally, WCCD’s Fast Track and Workforce Development Training programs prepare students for in-demand jobs like industrial welding, medical coding, heavy equipment operator, pre-apprentice electrical line worker, food and beverage services, certified nursing assistant, and many others.

Troy University

Troy University is a public institution with campuses in Troy, Montgomery, Phenix City and Dothan. The Dothan campus is a nontraditional campus that offers more than 60 degree programs for adult learners.

Kingdom College.

Kingdom College

Kingdom College in Headland is a Christian college that prepares students for service and ministry with degree programs that include Biblical studies, master of divinity, clinical mental health counseling, psychology and a certificate program in lay counseling.

This article appears in the July 2023 issue of Business Alabama.

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