CONTACT: Gail Crutchfield, Communications and Marketing, Wallace State Community College, (256) 352-8064, firstname.lastname@example.org
HANCEVILLE, Ala. — A group of four educators from the Republic of Moldova recently toured the campus of Wallace State Community College, ending a three-week tour that took them to schools and colleges across the United States.
Located in Central Europe between Ukraine and Romania, the country is home to about four million people, roughly the same population as the state of Alabama, WSCC President Vicki Hawsey pointed out when she met with the delegation.
Sponsored by the State Department’s International Leadership Program, the trip was an invitation-only event that sent the delegation to learn about higher education in the United States.
“We are delighted to have you here,” Hawsey said in greeting the delegation. She went on to describe Alabama’s two-year college system and how a majority of high school graduates utilize the system to start their educational careers.
“We are the fourth largest institution in the state,” Hawsey explained of Wallace State, citing the college’s 5,500 credit students who seek majors in certificate or degree programs, and the 1,500 non-credit students, such as workforce skills training and GED students.
Hawsey also explained the state’s STARS program, which guides students planning to transfer to four-year institutions in their course selection to ensure that all of their classes transfer to their chosen university.
“We have educational templates that identify the core general education requirements in the freshman and sophomore years,” Hawsey said. “As long as they take those first two years of core general education requirements at our institution they are guaranteed for transfer to the university so there’s no loss of credit. It’s a very seamless educational system that permits students multiple pathways to move through our education in the state of Alabama.”
Hawsey said Wallace State’s healthcare programs were among the college’s specialties—Wallace State ranks 22nd in healthcare graduates out of the 1,200 community colleges in the nation. She also pointed out the success of students in the college’s career and technical programs.
“We span the breadth of occupations,” she said. “In addition to our transfer function, which is a majority of what we do, we’re very focused on occupational or workforce preparation through terminal degrees and certificates.” Those kinds of terminal programs, she said, allow students to leave Wallace State and enter the workforce directly.
After meeting with Hawsey, the group toured the college, starting in the Advanced Visualization Center to see some of the 3D projects created there in the last three years of its existence. The group also toured the cosmetology, nursing, dental, agriculture and culinary arts programs.
Zinaida Aricova, president of Komrat Regional State University, complimented Hawsey on the beauty of the campus. “You have a beautiful campus and it’s a wonderful facility,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Igor Racu, Vice Rector of Science and International Relations at I. Creanga State Pedagogical University in Chisinau, said they were impressed with Wallace State.
“We were able to see a greater diversity of specialties here, because the tour was geared more towards hands on and walk around experience,” he said. “Where as in other colleges we were just sitting through presentations, so thank you very much for that.”
Overall, Igor said his impression of America changed during the group’s three weeks in the states.
“The experience of being here is that this country is very different from what I imagined it to be,” he said. “There are lots of things that I’m really impressed with.”
Gutu Corneliu, Vice-Rector for Scientific Research and Foreign Relations at the Academy of Economic Studies in Moldova, expressed his thanks for the program that sponsored their trip.
“This program gives a unique chance for foreigners to take an inside look at America,” he said.
Christina Cosciug, Vice Rector for International Relations at State Agrarian University of Moldova, was especially impressed with the horticulture department and proclaimed the tour of Wallace State as the best of their entire trip.
Wallace State Community College President Vicki Hawsey, center, met with a delegation from the Central European nation of Moldova. From left are Zinaida Aricova, president of Komrat Regional State University in Moldova, Gutu Corneliu, Vice-Rector for Scientific Research and Foreign Relations at the Academy of Economic Studies in Moldova, Hawsey, Christina Cosciug, Vice Rector for International Relations at State Agrarian University of Moldova, and Igor Racu, Vice Rector of Science and International Relations at I. Creanga State Pedagogical University in Chisinau.
Gutu Corneliu pauses in the newly renovated Academy of Cosmetic Arts to watch a student at work on a client’s hair.
The group visits the Wallace State horticulture program.
Director, Communications & Marketing
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
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