HANCEVILLE, Ala. — More than 80 high school students graduated from Wallace State Community College Fast Track Academy and Fast Track for Industry programs earlier this week, with more than 20 of them earning degrees and a few more earning short term certificates. The remaining students have earned credits that will put them ahead of many of their peers as they head off to four-year universities.
“This group of students is ambitious. They are motivated. They are capable. They are leaders,” said Dr. Vicki Karolewics, president of Wallace State Community College. “And they have saved their parents lots of money in tuition. They will graduate and enter the workforce one to two years ahead of their peers, and contribute to our state’s economy.”
From this group, 29 students also participated in Wallace State’s commencement exercises on Friday night, with 25 receiving an associate in science, associate in art, or associate in applied science degrees, and four receiving short term certificates in career technical programs.
Combined, the graduating class of Fast Track students has earned approximately $1.2 million in scholarships and counting. Students who have already earned scholarships include Landon Ballew, who received a $100,000 Spring Hill Portiere Scholarship and a University of Alabama Break-Through Scholarship for $3,500 annually; Taylor Eady, who received a $60,000 Birmingham Southern College Foundation Scholarship; and Laurel Ferrell, who received a $40,000 Academic Scholarship to Judson College.
While on campus at Wallace State, Fast Track students were able to participate in clubs and activities at their home schools, as well as at Wallace State. Several participated in sports and band at their home schools while attending classes at Wallace State. A number were members of Phi Theta Kappa honor society at Wallace State.
Many of the students plan to continue their education at Wallace State or transfer to a four-year university. A few others plan on immediately entering the workforce.
“I plan to attend Wallace State for one more year while also dual enrolling at the University of Alabama-Huntsville through the Pathways Program,” said Corbin Stueve. “I plan to pursue my bachelor or master of science in aerospace engineering, with hopes to graduate in fall of 2020 or spring of 2021.”
Class president Reagan Short thanked loved ones, faculty members, counselors, and advisors at Wallace State in her address to classmates, and encouraged each of them to “take action,” drawing on the words of Bradley Whitford.
“I know we have the capabilities to use our gifts and knowledge to change the world,” she said.
Short will attend Mississippi State on a full scholarship where she plans to major in Animal and Dairy Science before enrolling in vet school.
Wallace State Community College offers dual enrollment and Fast Track programs for area high schools juniors and seniors. Along with the traditional Fast Track Academy, options for Industry and Fine and Performing Arts are also offered. Some dual enrollment options are available to students as early as their sophomore year.
Wallace State was designated last year as a Pell Experimental Site dual enrollment students, making Pell grant funds available to high school juniors and seniors enrolled at the college. Career Tech Dual Enrollment scholarships are also available along with scholarships through the Wallace State Future Foundation.
For more information about dual enrollment or Fast Track programs at Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu/dualenrollment or call 256.352.8051.