2018 ACCA Conference Announced

November 18-20, 2018 | Mobile, AL

“Embracing Change, Impacting Communities.”

The 2018 Alabama Community College Association Conference will be held Sunday, Nov. 18 – Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Mobile. The theme of this year’s conference will be “Embracing Change, Impacting Communities.” You may register for $175 beginning Sept. 1. After Nov. 1, registration will be $200.

Call for Proposals

It's time to submit your proposals for the 2018 ACCA Conference. Presenting at the annual professional development conference is a great way to share information with our colleagues throughout the system. Consider these professional development learning tracks when submitting your proposal:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Student Success and Services
  • Leadership Development
  • Staff Development
  • Workforce Development

To find out more information, including some suggested topics, or to submit your proposal, visit our website!

ACCA President's Message

ACCA President Dr. Russell Howton

In 2018, the Alabama Community College Association is celebrating its 60th year of providing quality professional development and training opportunities to employees of the Alabama Community College System. With any milestone, we have a chance to look back at accomplishments and examine the future of our association and the college system.

Through the outstanding work at our ACCS colleges and the dedication shown from employees, we have been able to transform the lives of many students by providing educational experiences. Whether it was through an academic program, adult education, or workforce development initiatives, we have had a positive impact on Alabama’s future. This system wide commitment to improving the lives of Alabama citizens through education and training has cemented learning opportunities that have lasted a lifetime.

However, as an employee in the Alabama Community College System, we can’t be satisfied with where we have been. In order for students to compete in tomorrow’s world where technological changes occur on a daily basis, we must be willing to re-think how we have always done things. With many new initiatives being discussed and implemented by the System, we must be willing to accept change and learn new skills in order to move forward. Together, we can make the Alabama Community College System better than ever.

I would like to invite you to join us for the 2018 ACCA Conference, November 18-20, at the Mobile Convention Center and Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel.

Russell Howton, Ph.D.

ATN hosts National HMTRI/PETE Conference

On March 20-22 at Coastal Alabama Community College in Gulf Shores, ATN hosted the 2018 PETE Instructor Conference. The conference was made up of PETE (Partnership for Environmental Technology Education) and CCCHST (Community College Consortium for Health and Safety Training) participants. There were 33 attendees from all over the country (including Alaska and Maine.)

ATN employees received their initial two week train the trainer from HMTRI (Hazardous Materials Training Research Institute) in Iowa and are required to attend a Refresher every other year in order to keep using the training materials. This is the second Refresher PETE/CCCHST Instructor Conference that ATN has hosted, the first being in 2016 in Muscle Shoals. ATN employees in attendance and hosting this year's conference included: Robert Tomlinson, Tim Croley, Bruce Perdue, Wayne Jackson and LaVada Varner.

Bevill State Selected as Finalist for Prestigious Bellwether Award

Bevill State Community College (BSCC) was one of 10 community colleges in the nation selected as a finalist for the 2018 Bellwether Awards in the Workforce Development (WD) category for their entry, “THIS IS US: True ‘Partnership’ – It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it!”. The College was competitively selected to compete for the prestigious award at the Community College Futures Assembly.

The Workforce Development (WD) category focuses on public and/or private strategic alliances and partnerships that promote community and economic development. Bevill State’s entry highlights the public/private partnership with Alabama Power Company and the joint internship program at the Technical Education Center on the BSCC Sumiton campus.

The Bellwether Awards, established in 1995, are an integral part of the Community College Futures Assembly. The Assembly is sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida and focuses on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating. The Bellwether Awards are given annually in three categories to colleges with outstanding and innovative programs or practices.

The Bellwether Award has been compared to football's Heisman Award because it is competitively judged and is an award given by peers in community colleges, with no cash award. It has also been called "the award of awards" because many institutions with programs that have won other awards apply for the Bellwether Award. Moreover, previous recipients of the Bellwether Award have said that it has been a springboard for other types of recognition and/or funding.

Bellwether Finalists were officially announced via webinar on Friday, December 8th, 2017 at 12:30pm.

As a Bellwether Finalist Winner, Bevill State presented their program at an Assembly on Monday, January 29, 2018 at the Hilton Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Finalists were honored at the Bellwether Finalist Awards reception on Monday evening, January 29th from 6:00 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. The 2018 Bellwether Award Winners were announced at the Closing Session & Bellwether Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, January 30, at 12:00 pm.

Bishop State student receives two of the nation’s top academic scholarships

For the first time ever, a Bishop State Community College student has received two of the nation’s top scholarships recognizing outstanding academic achievement among college students. Alan Dailey has been selected as a member of the 2018 All-USA Academic Team and as the New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar for Alabama and will receive a total of $7,250 in scholarships!

Dailey is one of 20 students to be named to the All‐USA Academic Team for which he will receive a $5,000 scholarship. The All‐USA program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending associate degree‐granting institutions. All‐USA Academic Team members were selected for their outstanding intellectual achievement, leadership, and community and campus engagement.

Dailey was also the highest scoring student in Alabama in the All-USA competition making him the 2018 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar for which he will receive an additional $2,250 scholarship. New Century Transfer Pathway Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership activities, and how well they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. More than 2,000 students were nominated from more than 1,600 college campuses across the country. Only one New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar is selected from each state.

“We congratulate Alan for receiving these prestigious and highly‐competitive scholarships that recognize outstanding achievements both inside and outside the classroom,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher‐Ladner. “Scholarship programs like these, not only recognize student achievement, but also create meaningful pathways for college students to succeed by putting completion within financial reach.”

Dailey took his general education courses at Bishop State and will graduate in May 2018. He plans to attend the University of Alabama with an ultimate goal of becoming a dermatologist.

The All‐USA Academic Team is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group, with additional support provided by Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The New Century Program is sponsored by The Coca‐Cola Foundation, the Coca‐Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa, and the AACC. Dailey, along with the other New Century Transfer Pathway Scholars and All USA Academic Team, will be recognized at Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidents Breakfast in Dallas, Texas, on April 30 during the AACC Convention.

Calhoun Community College holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Automotive Technology Center

Last fall, Calhoun Community College conducted a groundbreaking ceremony to launch construction for the College’s new Automotive Technology Training Center. The event was well attended by local and regional education, business, and automotive leaders and a number of area elected officials and included presentations from Alabama State Senator Arthur Orr, Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees member Crystal Brown, and Calhoun President Dr. Jim Klauber.

The one-story, approximately 23,400-square-foot center will be developed over two major construction phases to facilitate the curriculum’s specialized needs which will include technical repair training for automobiles and heavy diesel machinery. The $6.9M facility will be located on the southeast corner of Calhoun’s Decatur campus. The initial first phase construction is scheduled for completion next fall and will facilitate automobile repair training at an anticipated capacity of 200 students per school year, comprised of first and second year students studying under staggered class schedules.

“Calhoun has been without an Automotive Technology Program for many years, and we are extremely excited about bringing the program back through this brand new, state-of-the-art facility,” said Klauber. “The automotive industry has a shortage of workers with these skills, and this program will equip our future students with the necessary training to fill those industry gaps”, Klauber added.

“Calhoun has been without an Automotive Technology Program for many years, and we are extremely excited about bringing the program back through this brand new, state-of-the-art facility.”

The two-year curriculum will prepare students for entry-level positions in the automotive service industry. The program will seek accreditation from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), with plans to become a Master Automobile Service Technician (MAST) accredited program within the first year of opening. This accreditation will include suspension and steering, brakes, engine performance, engine repair, heating & air conditioning, electrical/electronic systems, automatic transmission/transaxle and manual drive transmission and axles. Actual training will occur between both classrooms and laboratory.

While construction for the new facility is underway, the College will admit its first students into the program at the beginning of the 2018 fall semester, utilizing training space provided through a partnership with the Madison County (AL) school system.

CACC Welding student Thomas Lamb excels despite hurdles and challenges

Thomas Lamb is a welding student at Central Alabama Community College and a great welding student at that. His welding instructor, Daniel Rice, is extremely proud of the obstacles that Thomas has been able to overcome. Thomas was born with a hearing impairment and continues to live with that disability on a daily basis, but has definitely not allowed that to hold him back. How Thomas ended up at CACC is a story in itself.

He grew up in Odessa, Texas and attended a public school there. After high school, he attended Southwest College Institute for the Deaf in Big Springs, Texas. Thomas would not finish there and and ended up withdrawing and moving to Las Vegas, NV for a job opportunity at Southwest Steel. He worked there for one year and then worked in construction for 8 months before eventually being laid off.

He would move to California in pursuit of another job in the industry and would find work with California Steel Stairs and Rail. Thomas would fall victim to company layoffs again and needed to figure out what to do with his life. While in California, he applied for Vocational Rehabilitation Services to help him have access to go to college. He waited for a year to complete the Vocational Rehabilitation application process but struggled to get the process completed. After being frustrated with with the process, Thomas decided to move all the way across the country to Phenix City, AL where his father lived. He wanted to get his certification in welding and his father would help him apply for Vocational Rehabilitation Services here in Alabama.

The application process in Alabama only took 3 months to complete and Thomas would decide to move to the Talladega area because there were a lot of opportunities and access for the deaf. He chose to attend Central Alabama Community College because it was the closest to Talladega and CACC had the welding program he was pursuing.

"Mr. Rice is an excellent welding instructor," Lamb stated. "He has the knowledge to teach us the concepts of welding and also has the welding skills to show us proper techniques. Mr. Rice is very helpful whenever I am struggling with hands on welding. He is able to clearly explain what I am doing wrong and what I need to do to correct it. He is very patient and positive with all students. Our success is his main goal."

"Another person at CACC who is very helpful to me is Leslie Mitchell, my ADA coordinator. She tries to insure that I have what I need to succeed, whether it is special scheduling assistance, obtaining ASL interpreter, or just checking on how things are going. I know I can depend on Ms. Mitchell."

Thomas also appreciates the services he receives from his ADA Coordinator Leslie Mitchell.

"Another person at CACC who is very helpful to me is Leslie Mitchell, my ADA coordinator," Lamb mentioned.

"She tries to insure that I have what I need to succeed, whether it is special scheduling assistance, obtaining ASL interpreter, or just checking on how things are going. I know I can depend on Ms. Mitchell."

Thomas did not allow the multiple challenges he faced to kill his dreams. He enjoys the welding program and is proud his path led him to CACC. In the future he would like to work with pipe welding and fabrication. He is also interested in becoming a welder who travels all over the world.

According to his instructor Daniel Rice, Thomas is a dedicated and hard working student who will be a great asset to the craft.

"Thomas is a very outgoing and hard working student," Rice said.

"I have full confidence that he will make a great welder. He is very eager to learn and expand his welding knowledge and he thrives to do his very best and aims to please!"

Coastal Alabama Chamber Singers perform Mozart at Carnegie Hall in New York City

Carnegie Hall in New York City is regarded worldwide as a mecca of music and culture, with musicians from every corner of the globe setting their sights on its stage.

And on February 18, choir students from the Monroeville and Bay Minette campuses of Coastal Alabama Community College shared the remarkable opportunity of performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Solemn Confessional Vespers” from the heralded venue.

The combined Coastal Alabama Chamber Singers, made up of nearly 40 students, joined performers from Tennessee, Georgia and New Jersey to accompany the New England Symphonic Ensemble and were led by acclaimed conductor David Thye.

“For this to happen to them is a huge deal,” said D. Jackson Ayers, the Coastal Alabama Community College choral director who oversaw this trip to New York City. He helped the students, and a few faculty members, rehearse and prepare for months prior to the Carnegie Hall performance.

Ayers knew learning Mozart’s “Vespers” — composed in 1780 and comprised of six movements — would be a challenge for the students, since many of them are still learning to read music. But there were many important lessons to learn in both the musical journey in south Alabama, and the destination in New York, he said.

“They had to memorize everything,” Ayers said. “And how you hold your music (when performing), where you look, what your facial expressions are; everything is a learning process for them.”

The Coastal Alabama students, along with the three other participating choruses, performed Mozart’s sacred choral composition alongside professional opera singers Rochelle Bard, Lucia Bradford, Kirk Dougherty and Andrew Costello. Throughout the piece, there are lively dialogues between the chorus and soloists, which allow for dynamic and complex renditions from all involved.

Preparations made in the months before the students arrived were augmented by additional rehearsals with conductor Thye and the soloists in New York City, culminating in the Sunday afternoon concert. Thye has over 35 years of leadership experience in music and is the conductor-in-residence with MidAm International and MidAmerica Productions, which has put on the Carnegie Hall performances for four decades and produced more than 1,300 concerts worldwide.

Ayers, who has taken dozens of music students on similar trips to Carnegie Hall, said memories of “the experience of New York” are always mentioned when he sees them later in life.

“To be in New York, and for them to have a chance to experience some culture that they do not get at home, and to see that there’s really another world out there, that’s been a huge thing for me,” Ayers said. “That’s special, and now these students will be able to remember the same thing.”

He marveled that so many of his students had not flown on a plane, much less visited one of the largest, and most culturally diverse cities in America. Ayers said he was extremely proud of the students for accepting the challenge in New York City and doing their absolute best.

“My advice is do not think about it, just do it,” Ayers said. “No one should think twice about coming here. If you have the students to do it, and the funding to do it, and you have people who support it, they need to do it.”

He marveled that so many of his students had not flown on a plane, much less visited one of the largest, and most culturally diverse cities in America. Ayers said he was extremely proud of the students for accepting the challenge in New York City and doing their absolute best.

Ayers was accompanied by faculty members Terry Galbraith, director for the Monroeville Exposé Choir, and Barbara McMillan, a study abroad coordinator for the College. All three faculty members performed with the students at Carnegie Hall.


J.F. Drake State Community & Technical College, along with the Madison County Delegation to the Alabama Legislature, hosted a Valentine’s Dinner for widows and widowers on Monday, February 12, 2018 at 6 p.m. The dinner was held on the campus of J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College.

Drake State students, faculty and staff were pleased to serve the community by honoring those who have lost a spouse with a special Valentine’s evening. Often times, these individuals are forgotten during this day of romance and love. The entire community participated in this wonderful event, which featured a marvelous three course meal prepared by the Drake State Culinary Department, plus pleasant music of saxophonist, Alex Banks Jr. and a special performance from an ensemble of the Virgil I. Grissom High School Choral Department. As an added bonus, each attendee received pampering salon services courtesy of Drake State’s Salon Management Department.

Mary Hampton, an attendee of the event, had this to say: “Thank you for reaching out to us who at times can feel lost and forgotten. The whole night was memorable.”

Enterprise State Community College and Andrew College sign articulation agreement

Enterprise State Community College (ESCC) and Andrew College (AC) held a historic articulation agreement signing on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 on the campus of ESCC.

The goal of the collaboration is to provide Associate of Applied Science (AAS) graduates of select ESCC programs with an opportunity to enroll at Andrew College and earn their bachelor’s degree. ESCC graduates in business administration, accounting, and management and supervision, will have the opportunity to transfer to Andrew College to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration.

The articulation agreement becomes effective immediately and will provide transfer opportunities for students who want to enroll at Andrew College during the fall 2018 semester.

Enterprise State Community College students completing the degree programs, and who meet the appropriate admissions requirements to attend Andrew College, will be ensured that all courses in the agreement earned at ESCC will transfer. A minimum grade of “C” or above in certain core courses and any other courses designed by specific majors will be required in accordance with standard program requirements.

Instrumental in establishing this partnership is Jennifer Nelson, ESCC Business & Computer Science Division Chair. “We’re grateful to the faculty and staff of Andrew College for their desire to partner with ESCC on this articulation agreement and open new doors of opportunity for our students,” she said. “The landscape of education is constantly changing and it’s necessary to provide an innovative path that supports the continued educational growth of our students. Through this agreement, an advanced degree is more accessible for our students.”

Andrew College President Linda R. Buchanan expressed her gratitude to ESCC for facilitating this agreement and said, “We greatly value this partnership with such a fine institution and look forward to welcoming Enterprise’s students into our Bachelor of Business Administration degree program.”

Gadsden State recognizes employees for achievements in teaching and service

Dr. Martha Lavender, president of Gadsden State Community College, honored the winners of the Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Awards and the Staff Excellence in Service Awards during the Spring Convocation on Jan. 4.

“It is a wonderful privilege to bestow annual awards on outstanding members of our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Martha Lavender, president. “The awards are given to those who have exhibited an unwavering commitment to excellence in teaching and in service.”

The Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Award is the highest honor bestowed on the faculty at Gadsden State. Each of the four awards given recognizes career achievements in teaching with emphasis on concrete accomplishments and proven results.

The Brenda Crowe Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Award is named for the former Dean of Institutional Advancement and Community Services. The winner is Phillip Snider, a biology, human gross anatomy and pathophysiology instructor. He implemented the cadaver-based anatomy and physiology course and lab at Gadsden State. The lab is the first of its kind at a community college in Alabama. Snider is a faculty fellow at Gadsden State and assisted in implementing the Faculty Development Institute. He is a graduate of the Leadership Development Institute and a past winner of the Chancellor’s Award as well as the Innovative Technology in Education Award. He is a member of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, Alabama Conference of Educators and the Alabama Community College Association.

The Pierce C. Cain Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Award is given to a member of the academic faculty and is named for the founding president of what is now the Ayers Campus. This year’s recipient is Dr. Billy Jenkins, a psychology and philosophy instructor at the McClellan Center. He is a member of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, the Alabama Reading Teachers Association and the Alabama Science Teachers Association. He has been published in the textbook “Mathematics in the Preschool Primary Grades” as well as in Principal Magazine and a publication about instructional leadership. He has made presentations at the Alabama Community College Association State Conference, Athens State University, JSU, the University of Alabama and the Alabama State Department of Education. He has been honored with the Master Teacher Award from the Alabama Community College System as well as the ALFA Teacher of the Year. He has been inducted into the Elementary Teacher Hall of Fame and is a Faculty Fellows recipient.

The award given to a member of the technical faculty is known as the Eugene Prater Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Award, which honors the founder of what is now Gadsden State’s Valley Street Campus. The winner is Bruce Hill, who has been an Auto Collision Repair Technology instructor at Gadsden State since 2007. He is based at the College’s East Broad Street Campus. Hill was instrumental in establishing the first student learning outcomes for his program, and he played an integral part in the certification of the program on the Ayers Campus. Thanks to his assistance, the program has been certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. He prepares his students to compete in state and national SkillsUSA competitions, and he assists his students in securing tool grants and scholarships.

The Beverly Hill Award is given to a member of the health sciences faculty. Hill was a nursing instructor at Gadsden State who helped develop the curriculum, programs and projects for the emergency medical services program. The award goes to Kay Cunningham, a clinical coordinator and instructor for the Emergency Medical Services program. Cunningham has taught at Gadsden State since 1999 on multiple campuses. She has been a practicing EMT and paramedic since 1995.

The Staff Excellence in Service Award is being bestowed on two individuals and recognizes more than their ability to perform their responsibilities in a proficient and capable manner.

“Each of these award winners have unique attributes and strengths that make them valuable members of the Gadsden State team,” Lavender said. “They are self-motivated, focused on success and highly productive. Because of their unwavering commitment to our mission and our students, they truly exemplify the best Gadsden State has to offer.”

Winners of the Staff Excellence in Service Award are Dr. Dana Davis and Jason Millirons.

Davis is an academic advisor and admissions counselor and has worked at Gadsden State since 1998. She also has supervision duties for Advising, Testing, Career Services and Student Engagement. Davis has made presentations at the National Association of Academic Advisors Conference, the National Education Finance Conference and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars Conference and Admissions Officers Conference. Davis is the recipient of the Excellence in Service to Students Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Millirons has worked at Gadsden State since 2013 and is the business services analyst. He is a graduate of Leadership Etowah and serves his community as a little league baseball and football coach as well as a fishing coach and sponsor. He is a member of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy Center for the Public Trust, Alabama Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors. He is an active participant in Gadsden State’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmation process and recently attended the SACSCOC Institute on Quality Enhancement and Accreditation.

Each of the award recipients receives $1,000 in discretionary funds within the appropriate department or division budget for the academic year to be used for equipment, professional development or teaching supplies.

Jefferson State Celebrates Service and Distinction

Jefferson State Community College held its annual awards dinner on March 16 to celebrate the service and dedication of its employees. Jefferson State Interim President Keith Brown presented service awards to more than 30 employees ranging from 10 years of service to 45 years.

In addition to the service awards, Dr. Janice Roberts was honored with Jefferson State’s “Distinguished Retiree Award” for her service to the college and community after retirement. Dr. Roberts volunteers her time and talents to various community organizations and also serves in leadership roles with the Bluff Park Art Association, the Birmingham Museum of Art, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Jefferson State’s Alumni and Social Committees, and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

“This anticipated event serves as a special opportunity for our Jefferson State family to come together and celebrate the exceptional dedication of our faculty and staff,” said Interim President Keith Brown. “I am very proud of our employees and the work they do. This event helps us celebrate their accomplishments.”

During this year’s ceremony, Jefferson State also honored Archie Berry for her 45 years of service to the college. A beloved employee, Berry began working at Jefferson State in 1973 and has worked in housekeeping her entire career. Berry not only received her award, but a rousing standing ovation.

Lawson State’s Nursing Program Ranked #1 in Alabama

Lawson State Community College's nursing program has been ranked as the best in Alabama by RegisteredNursing.Org in 2018! Lawson State has the #1 ranked RN program and the #1 ADN program in Alabama out of 40 accredited institutions.

“The Department of Health Professions was excited and honored to have our associate degree nursing program named the #1 Best Registered Nursing program in the state of Alabama,” said Dr. Sheila Marable, Associate Dean of Health Professions. She continued, “It was with the support of administration, the college's faculty, our well-qualified nursing faculty and the diligence of our graduates that catapulted us to this position. Ultimately, our goal is to prepare individuals to provide safe and competent care to the community.”

According to the announcement from registerednursing.org, "Nursing programs were assessed on several factors which represent how well a program supports students towards licensure and beyond. We analyzed past and present first time NCLEX-RN “pass-rates” - weighted by year.”

“It was with the support of administration, the college's faculty, our well-qualified nursing faculty and the diligence of our graduates that catapulted us to this position. Ultimately, our goal is to prepare individuals to provide safe and competent care to the community.”

“This is a wonderful recognition for the college and is a reflection of commitment and dedication from our faculty, staff and students,” said Dr. Perry W. Ward, president of Lawson State Community College. “Since this ranking compared all programs, two- and four year, this honor is also a commendation for the Alabama Community College System as it directly addresses the level of educational preparation that we offer our students to be as successful as they can be in today’s competitive workplaces.”

You can learn more about the methodology used here: https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/.

LBWCC names Innovation Champions

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College named three faculty members to receive this academic year’s Innovation Champion Award based on a collaborative effort to create a degree option in an established technical training program.

Eddie Spann and Shaun Moore, both in the diesel and heavy equipment mechanics program, and Allen Teel, industrial electronics faculty and chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Division, collaborated to create an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree for the diesel mechanics training program.

“These individuals worked together to fulfill the Educating Technicians in Energy Efficiency Grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) by expanding the diesel and heavy equipment mechanics program to include courses of natural gas engine repair,” said LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel.

The expanded program prepares a workforce to repair natural gas engines as more and more buses, delivery trucks, and other diesel engines transition to a cleaner fuel source.

“The natural gas courses developed for the degree are new to the State Course Directory and are now available to all diesel mechanics programs statewide. Also included in the degree are transferrable general studies courses.”

The new AAS degree in the diesel mechanics program expands the opportunities for graduates to compete for jobs at a higher level, qualifies them for supervisory positions, multi-skill technician positions, and other positions with more longevity and higher earning potential than those requiring certificates, he said.

“We are grateful for the onsite training provided by business and industry for our faculty. We are also thankful for the NSF grant that covered all costs associated with professional development, training, course development, and syllabi revision and approval. All of this was completed within one year.”

The LBWCC Innovations Champion award is an employee recognition program to showcase successful innovations designed and implemented by employees which positively impact the College.

By way of this recognition, Spann, Moore, and Teel are also named as the College’s choice for the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award established by the national League for Innovation to recognize faculty, staff, and administration for excellence in leadership and innovation in higher education.

“The team selected one faculty representative to attend the Innovations Conference in National Harbor, Md., in March,” said Riedel.

Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt Gen Silveria Awards Appointments to MMI Cadets

On Feb. 27, Marion Military Intitute (MMI) was honored to host U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) Superintendent Lt Gen Jay Silveria, who awarded USAFA appointments to 11 MMI cadets. During his speech to the Corps, he discussed a critical moment in the pilot's seat during his 32-year Air Force career and later emphasized the service's core values: "Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do." Accompanying him for this special appearance was Lt Gen Jay Kelley, President of the USAFA Falcon Foundation.

Those who received appointments are enrolled in MMI's Service Academy Program, a one-year program designed for transfer to all five U.S. Service Academies: West Point, Coast Guard, Air Force, Naval, and Merchant Marine. As of March 30, 2018, MMI counted 49 appointments total for its current class of Service Academy Program cadets, with more expected later this spring.


Northeast Alabama Community College faculty and staff have joined a Payroll Deduction Program that will fund a scholarship at the College. Full time and part time staff are eligible to participate in the “Give Back” program. The people who have joined so far will raise over $10,000 in one year for the Faculty and Staff Scholarship.

The scholarship will be available for a student beginning in the fall of this year. The scholarship application will be posted in February of each year. The scholarship will be awarded to a student attending NACC who can demonstrate financial need and is pursuing a degree or certificate. This scholarship may be used for tuition, books, and/or fees. Students must have 30 or more semester hours at NACC and a 3.0 GPA to apply. The scholarship is renewable for a second semester if the recipient maintains a 3.0 GPA.

"What better way to go out and tell the community that they should consider giving money to Northeast because the faculty and staff supports their students and where they work, which is what we all consider our home and family.”

“Going out into the community asking for money to help support the college is vital for our NACC Foundation and its events,” stated Heather Rice, Development Director. “The Foundation holds fund-raising events and seeks out major gifts to provide money for scholarships for students at Northeast and to support the mission of the College. What better way to go out and tell the community that they should consider giving money to Northeast because the faculty and staff supports their students and where they work, which is what we all consider our home and family.”

NACC President Dr. David Campbell stated, “We appreciate Ms. Rice and the Foundation setting this payroll deduction program up for us at the college. This is a completely volunteer program and we are grateful to those who have chosen to participate in it. It’s always great to demonstrate the value of what you do by financially contributing to it yourself and that essentially is what our faculty, staff, and administrators are doing. It’s an excellent program and our students will benefit from it for years to come.”

NW-SCC helped Franks find her path to Pharmacy School

As Valedictorian of her senior class, MaKayla Franks knew she wanted to be a pharmacist and had several college scholarship opportunities. However, one college was at the top of her list when she finished her research, Northwest-Shoals Community College (NW-SCC).

NW-SCC sophomore, MaKayla Franks, found out last week her dreams were one step closer to becoming a reality when she received her acceptance letter into the McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University.

Franks knew her freshman year at Tharptown High School she wanted to be a pharmacist. “There are so many different opportunities as a pharmacist, such as community or institutional pharmacy, that allow one to have hands-on experiences that go far beyond filling prescriptions,” said Franks.

According to Franks, NW-SCC offered several opportunities that were important to her when she was selecting a college. “Northwest-Shoals always seemed to be at the top of my list,” stated Franks. “I was instantly attracted to NW-SCC due to many factors including the smaller class size, the accessibility of classes due to two campuses, and the many scholarship opportunities.”

Franks says the part of NW-SCC that was most important to her and what really separates NW-SCC from other schools is the relationships the College provides. “When I say NW-SCC is my second home I mean it,” said Franks. “I have met amazing people here that have welcomed me with open arms. I will always have a network of friends and mentors that I can call on at any time.”

"When I say NW-SCC is my second home I mean it. I have met amazing people here that have welcomed me with open arms. I will always have a network of friends and mentors that I can call on at any time.”

As a student at the NW-SCC Phil Campbell Campus, Franks has represented the College as an ambassador. As an ambassador Franks said she obtained some of her most valuable skills. “As an ambassador, I have enhanced my leadership and organizational skills which I feel are key factors to succeed in not only Pharmacy School but in any career field,” said Franks.

After graduating from pharmacy school, Franks would like to return to Franklin County and give back to the community. She would like to eventually own her own pharmacy.

Regardless of the direction her pharmacy profession will be sure to take her, Franks will always be grateful for how NW-SCC helped her. “I have been blessed to attend Northwest-Shoals Community College, and I am forever grateful for my family here,” said Franks.

Reid State Sees Success in Court Referral Program Partnership

A host of local officials recognized Albert T. Stanton recently at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen for being among the first to successfully complete a job training program being sponsored by the Reid State Technical College Adult Education Department, the Conecuh County Department of Human Resources and the Conecuh County District Court. Pictured from left are Sharon Coachman, KaShaundri Thomas, Belinda Gibbs, Thad Evans, Clint Hyde, Stanton, Carroll Byrd Lymon, Mary Bradley-Ray, Judge Jeff Brock and Teresa Hammond. Officials applauded Stanton’s efforts and noted that he not only completed the program, but he also went on to complete RSTC’s truck driver training program and landed a truck-driving job shortly thereafter.

Shelton State Instructor Considers Teaching to be her greatest accomplishment

As Shelton State Community College’s resident expert on health and fitness, Dr. Milady Murphy considers teaching to be her greatest accomplishment. Through wellness education, Dr. Murphy’s lifelong passion has translated into a forty-year career based on improving the well-being of others, and she remains excited about the future.

As the founder and director of Shelton State’s Wellness Center, Dr. Murphy has designed a wide range of options for those interested in physical fitness, conditioning, and wellness. Under her direction, the Wellness Center has received national recognition for student courses and community programs. She is known to commonly encourage healthy habits, and her expertise is sought regularly by the College community.

“Most of us struggle to maintain nutritional and physical balance,” said Dr. Murphy about the advice she offers. “The key is a support system that involves education, good doctors, and family and friends who encourage healthy lifestyle. I was fortunate to have great mentors who motivated me on my journey, and that is what I am doing now.”

Also a prominent figure in West Alabama, Dr. Murphy’s influence is far-reaching. A regular guest on local television programming and a frequent visitor to area business and industry, she is known for inspiring healthy choices. Whether designing injury-specific exercise regimens or discussing the merits of her energy drink, Dr. Murphy is constantly teaching.

Take your first step toward better health with the recipe for Dr. Murphy’s energy drink!

Dr. Murphy’s Energy Drink

This delicious beverage is an excellent energy or breakfast drink. Try it for a nice change. It is low in fat and cholesterol, yet it is packed with nutrients. The drink contains the fat soluble vitamins A, D, and E. It also contains all the water soluble vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folacin, pantothenic acid, and biotin. The following minerals are also present: calcium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, zinc, selenium, and sodium.

  • Ingredients
  • ¼ cup of low-fat yogurt
  • ½ cup of cranberry juice
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup of strawberries
  • 2 tbs. oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. honey

To prepare, place all of the ingredients into a blender, and mix until desired consistency is attained. Enjoy!

Per recipe: 295 calories, 3 g protein, 61 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 7 mg sodium

Snead State, Auburn University Sign Articulation Agreement

Snead State Community College and Auburn University signed an articulation agreement for Agricultural Science on Friday, March 2. The agreement is the first between Auburn’s Agricultural Science program and a two-year community college.

The articulation agreement guarantees Snead State students’ acceptance into the Agricultural Science degree program at Auburn once they have completed an Associate degree. The Agricultural Science degree is a new program at Auburn that began enrolling students during the Fall 2017 Semester.

“If students meet the general admissions requirements for Auburn and have completed the program at Snead, they are automatically accepted into our program,” said AU Associate Professor Dr. Wheeler Foshee. “This agreement will benefit Snead State students and will be invaluable for Auburn.”

Snead State President Dr. Robert Exley, Vice President for Academics Dr. Annette Cederholm and Assistant to the President Melissa Rice visited Auburn in March for the official signing ceremony that was the culmination of a year-long process, which was a collaborative effort by faculty and staff from both Snead State and Auburn. Dr. Paul Patterson, Auburn’s Dean of Agriculture, expressed his excitement about the partnership and is looking forward to seeing Snead students at Auburn.

To bring the articulation agreement to fruition, Dr. Foshee originally contacted Snead State about the collaboration, and Dr. Exley brought in key individuals to get the process underway. Dr. Cederholm put the curriculum together for Snead State’s Agricultural Science program, and she worked with Dr. Foshee to finalize the curriculum standards and faculty requirements. When the process began in February 2017, Ms. Rice was brought in to help finalize the details because of her ties to Auburn University.

Leading up to the Agricultural Science agreement, An articulation agreement for Horticulture was completed in August 2017, an idea brought by Biology Instructor Dr. Tom Warren when he first interviewed to teach at Snead five years ago. Since he was a doctoral student at Auburn University at the time, Dr. Warren was able to approach some of his instructors about teaching horticulture classes at Snead State for transfer credit to Auburn. The first such class was offered during Dr. Warren’s second semester as a Snead faculty member and enrolled 8-10 students initially. The response to the course grew from there.

“Most of the credit goes to (Science) Division Director Deborah Rhoden and the administration at Snead. They have been very supportive of my ideas since I came to Snead and have done a lot of the leg work needed to make this happen,” said Dr. Warren.

The complete Agriculture Science articulation agreement soon followed the Horticulture agreement. Under the Agricultural Science curriculum, Snead State students can complete up to four classes in this program to transfer to Auburn University. Spring 2018 was the first semester the classes were offered at SSCC, and the Introduction to Horticulture class enrolled 22 students of the 24 spots available.

“I commend our own Snead State faculty and staff as well as the representatives from Auburn University who worked tirelessly to make the Horticulture and Agricultural Science articulation agreements happen. There are a lot of details involved in making sure all requirements at both institutions are met, and everyone has devoted a lot of time and effort to make this happen. We’re excited to bring these opportunities to our students, and we’re anxious to see where this partnership with Auburn University will take us in the future,” said Dr. Exley.

Snead State’s connection to Auburn University goes beyond the two articulation agreements. Many employees at SSCC are Auburn alumni, including Dr. Cederholm, English and Language Division Director Dr. Cynthia Denham, Math Division Director Blake Leeth, Math Instructor Phillip McAfee, Jazz Band and Community Wind Band Director Mike McGee, Misty Merilien with Admissions and Records, Computer Information Systems Instructor Dack Phillips, Ms. Rice, Office Administration Instructor Kelly Snyder, and Dr. Warren.

Southern Union Introduces Medical Assistant Technology Degree

Southern Union State Community College introduced a Medical Assistant Technology (MAT) Degree into its curriculum in January.

Offered on the Valley Campus, the medical assistant program offers several embedded short certificates allowing students the flexibility to enter the workforce with credentials while continuing to work toward their associate degree.

Students who enter the program will have a chance to earn credentials ranging from multi-care technician to administrative medical assistant.

“We have structured the program so students can obtain certification in a variety of areas, making them more marketable in the medical field," said Rhonda Davis, dean of health sciences at Southern Union. "This program gives student options to work in a hospital or in a medical office."

And The Winner Is………

Trenholm State has recognized that many students are not confident in their ability to succeed in college mathematics, so at the end of 2017, the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Marketing Committee kicked off a college-wide contest for the best logo/slogan design for our math QEP initiative. The committee received 17 submissions and the faculty and staff had until the end of January to cast their vote online to select the top two student finalists.

The QEP Prize Patrol surprised both students with flowers, balloons, and a gift card.

As a key component of Trenholm State’s reaffirmation of accreditation process, the college has identified math as a critical focus area to reducing barriers to student success. This is an exciting opportunity for Trenholm State to enhance student learning through developing student competencies in mathematics.

The Journey from GED Student to Instructional Coordinator

Rachel Thomas began her new position as Wallace Community College-Dothan’s adult education instructional coordinator in January, but she’s not new to Wallace. Once upon a time, she was a Wallace GED student.

Thomas, who is from the Florida Panhandle, was an unplanned high school dropout. “I moved from a small, rural school to a larger school, and just could not handle the transition. I fell through the cracks,” she said when looking back on her choice to leave school. It was easier to leave and encounter life on her own, or so she thought.

The decision led to marriage and a job as a bartender in a restaurant, which she liked. A hard worker, she was offered a job by a frequent customer and had to turn it down. Lack of a high school credential disqualified her from the job. Thomas’s earlier decision had returned full circle.

The humiliation was enough to grow her determination. She returned to school, this time at Wallace to earn the GED. After a few classes, she passed the test.

Thomas eventually enrolled at Chipola Community College, where she overcame the fear of taking college level courses. She quickly completed her studies and enrolled in Florida State University’s fast-track program. Thomas earned a degree in education in two-and-a-half years.

She began her career as an elementary school teacher in Graceville. After additional training, she received a certificate to teach middle and high school. She soon began working as an intensive reading teacher at Vernon High School and taught social science.

After a few years, she was ready for a new challenge. Thomas was on a path to find the perfect niche in her career.

A job opening at Wallace for an adult education instructional coordinator caught her attention. The position required developing lesson plans to fit a diverse population of students – a task that matched her experience. She applied, and the rest is history.

Thomas’s path back to Wallace gives her a unique perspective on the challenges students face when preparing for the GED. “It is hard taking that step, but there is a path forward,” she said. “There isn’t a stigma when you don’t finish high school. Just keep pushing onward.”

Thomas gives that advice every day.

Wallace State’s Dana Adams named recipient of inaugural AACC’s Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty award

Wallace State math instructor Dana Adams has been named a recipient of the inaugural Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty award, as presented by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

Adams is one of only 50 community college instructors across the United States to earn the designation.

“It’s a huge honor to know our administration believes I do a lot of good things for Wallace State and our students, even though I don’t think I do anything beyond what the rest of our great faculty does,” Adams said. “I’m excited and blessed to be among the first recipients.”

Adams, who has taught at Wallace State for 10 years and is an alum of the college, is among the faculty leaders in instructional innovation. She has been instrumental with developing Wallace State’s Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA), Accelerated Math Program (ALP) and is one of the college’s Instructional Coaches for faculty.

“It’s a huge honor to know our administration believes I do a lot of good things for Wallace State and our students, even though I don’t think I do anything beyond what the rest of our great faculty does.”

Dr. Beth Bownes Johnson, Wallace State’s Dean of Academic Affairs, nominated Adams for the award.

“Dana was awarded the Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award because of her demonstrated passion for student success, both inside and outside of the classroom. She shares this enthusiasm and her innovative pedagogy with peers through her role as Instructional Coach. Dana also developed one of our first Accelerated Math Programs (ALP) in order to streamline students through developmental studies and to increase the likelihood of completion and graduation. It is a privilege and pleasure to work with someone so dedicated to our mission here at Wallace State,” Johnson said.

The Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty award was established to celebrate individuals making a difference at their college.

Criteria for Adams and other nominees included:

  • Demonstrating passion for the students and the classroom.
  • Showing a willingness to support students, inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Being in inclined to participate in college committees.
  • Going above and beyond what is required to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavors.

Adams was recognized by the AACC at its annual convention in Dallas on April 28-May 1.

Wallace Community College Selma’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter receives honors

The Phi Theta Kappa honor society at Wallace Community College earned several chapter awards and individual honors at the recent regional convention at Enterprise State Community College.

The chapter was recognized for achieving the five-star level in the Five Star Chapter Plan. Phi Theta Kappa chapters have five levels of engagement that progress from local, campus involvement to regional involvement to international involvement. The Five Star Chapter Plan is the roadmap guiding the chapter through the levels. Chapters use the Plan as a guide for building a strong, active chapter.

The chapter received the Distinguished College Project award for the WCCS Safety Day event that the members hosted on campus. The College Project is designed to help chapters develop a positive relationship with the college administration. The chapter collaborated with campus police, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Sabra Sanctuary, and the Alabama Department of Public Health to hold informative, educational sessions for students during the Safety Day event.

The chapter also completed an Honors in Action project this year entitled, “Pop Your Brand on Social Media.” Chapter members visited classrooms to share dos and don’ts of social media posts. They shared examples of posts that can prevent individuals from being hired or can cause one to be fired from a current job. Students were instructed on how to maintain a positive and professional social media presence.

Based on the scores for the College Project and Honors in Action Project, the chapter received a 2018 Distinguished Chapter award and was named the fourth finalist for the Most Distinguished Chapter in the state. In addition, the chapter received the coveted Milestone Award which recognizes a significant accomplishment and/or renewed enthusiasm among existing regions and superior achievements.

Additionally, the chapter received the REACH Award. This award recognizes chapters focused on Recognizing Excellence in Acceptance and Completion with Honors. The REACH Rewards program encourages membership by rewarding chapters who achieve or exceed 15 percent for their membership acceptance rate.

Chapter president, Mary Claire White, received the Distinguished Chapter Officer award. This award is based on the recipients' demonstration of leadership, promotion of Honors in Action and other engagement in the Society, and enthusiasm for the Society’s Hallmarks. Miss White was also recognized for reaching the five-star level in the Phi Theta Kappa Competitive Edge program.

ACCA Sponsors and affiliates

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.