HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Parents and high school students interested in learning more about Wallace State Community College’s Fast Track Academy are invited to attend one of two informational meetings planned for Feb. 24 and Feb. 27 at the College. The 6 p.m. meetings will be held on the 12th floor of the James C. Bailey Center.

Fast Track Academy is a dual enrollment program that, like Wallace State’s other dual enrollment offerings, gives juniors and seniors from area high schools, as well as home school students, the opportunity to obtain their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credit or event a certificate or an associate degree.  Students in the Fast Track Academy, however, take all their classes, including their high school classes on campus at Wallace State. (The college also has a new Fast Track location at JB Pennington.)

“It allows them to finish their last two years of high school and their first two years of college at the same time,” said Diana Majerik, Director of Dual Enrollment, Fast Track, and Off Campus Programs at Wallace State. “The students actually have the opportunity to graduate from Wallace State with an Associate Degree or a certificate before they graduate high school.”

Students interested in enrolling in the Fast Track Academy can apply spring semester of their 10th or 11th grade year. For consideration into the program, students must have completed at least 12 high school credits, have a GPA of at least 3.5 (a B average), and a score of at least 20 on the English and math portions of the ACT (or a comparable COMPASS score).  If all requirements are met, students should complete the first half of a two-part application and submit to his/her counselor.  The counselor and/or principal will then finish the remainder of the application, which serves as a recommendation for the student to enter the Academy.

Once accepted into Fast Track, students are enrolled at their home high school or home school program as well as at Wallace State. This allows them to participate in any extra curricular activities at their high school as well as any events or activities offered at WSCC.  Students may even return to their high school for the last period each day if they are involved in athletics or band.  “A couple of years ago we had one Fast Track student who was Miss Wallace State,” Majerik said as an example.

Students are required take at least nine hours of coursework for college credit each semester.  Along with their basic classes, such as math, science, history and English, Fast Track students also take elective courses, which can be arranged to suit the needs of each student.  “After acceptance into the academy, we sit down with each student to create a custom plan for them.  We make certain the electives students enroll in will be something that applies toward the degree they seek to earn, whether it be general studies, criminal justice, or machining.”  Students interested in technical fields can typically finish a certification through the Fast Track Academy and be ready to enter the workforce after graduation from high school.  “We try to cater to what is best for each individual student,” Majerik said.

The deadline for Fast Track applications is Thursday, March 20.  Fast Track students are also eligible for certain scholarships offered by the college.  Application packets for the Academy and scholarships will be available at the meeting or can be picked up on campus.

Those who cannot attend the meetings on Feb. 24 or Feb. 27 can contact Majerik at 256.352.8050 or email diana.majerik@wallacestate.edu.