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ESCC sees increase in fall student enrollment

ESCC sees increase in fall student enrollment

Despite pandemic restrictions and a transition to a new student information system, Enterprise State Community College saw an increase in the Fall 2020 student enrollment.

From Fall 2019 to Fall 2020, ESCC saw a 2.6 percent increase in student enrollment, following a trend of enrollment increases at the College since Fall 2016. In addition to an increase in enrollment numbers, more students are taking online general academic and dual enrollment classes.

Face-to-face instruction on the Enterprise campus is the only area that saw a decrease in student numbers this fall. More online and hybrid class offerings were established as part of the College’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

Though there are fewer students taking classes on campus at ESCC this fall, instructors have made sure the same educational experience found in a traditional classroom can be found in the College’s online classes, according to English, Foreign Languages, and Communication Division Chair Dr. Anna Head.

“Since March, instructors have strived to create unique learning experiences for students who are pursuing their education under challenging circumstances,” Head said. “Within the Division of English, Foreign Languages, and Communication, faculty members have employed innovative technologies and honed their skills in the intricacies of virtual instruction in order to retain and perhaps even exceed the pre-pandemic level of instruction.

“Instructors are also dedicated to offering multiple course formats in order to accommodate the greatest possible number of students. Traditional online courses provide an excellent option for those students whose out-of-class responsibilities necessitate flexibility while online lecture courses with a virtual face-to-face component bring the classroom environment to students in remote locations at familiar times and with friendly faces. For students eager to return to the traditional classroom, the division is also offering hybrid courses that allow for face-to-face instruction in a safe, socially distanced environment with additional online instruction to promote a successful educational opportunity.

“As a higher education institution that is dedicated to serving its community, ESCC is constantly seeking multiple avenues through which to deliver quality education, a characteristic that has been invaluable in recent months as the College has continued to offer solid academic instruction amidst the challenges presented by the pandemic,” Head said.

In addition to online courses, technical courses offered on the Ozark campus and dual enrollment classes offered on both campuses saw an increase in students.

“A tremendous amount of work went into maintaining momentum and increasing our fall enrollment,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “This is a testament to the staff. They continued to reach out to our students during a difficult time. They answered questions, provided support, and made every effort to help our students every step of the way to enrollment and registration. Everyone at the College has risen to the occasion, and I am so proud of this amazing group of people.”

During the summer, ESCC and AAC transitioned to a new system, Banner. This transition meant students could not register for classes during May, June, or part of July. This, in addition to no or reduced face-to-face interaction, led to new recruitment and registration efforts.

Recruiters hosted “Admissions Mondays” on Instagram and Facebook to answer incoming and current student questions about classes at ESCC or AAC. Additionally, all seniors in the ESCC and AAC service area were contacted to help with applications and registration, and if a student had applied to the College but had not registered for classes during the week of their scheduled virtual orientation session, he or she received an emailed reminder.

During the last few days before classes began Aug. 24, ESCC also offered extended weekend hours to ensure that schedules were finalized and financial aid was settled. Any students who were awarded financial aid but had not registered were also personally contacted, and students who needed to complete financial aid forms were assisted by admission staff.

According to Registrar Jennifer Olsen, the obstacles created by the transition to a new system and the pandemic made every member of the ESCC/AAC work harder together.

“For me, the hardest part was not being on campus altogether and launching Banner with fall enrollment,” Olsen said. “It made it hard to communicate and make sure information was being shared accurately, but I think this is where our team especially excelled. Our marketing department worked to make sure accurate information was being put out, our financial aid department worked overtime to help students ensure aid was in place and classes were paid for, and our admissions and advising departments came together to make sure students got the service they needed.”

She also highlighted the help Student Support Services offered with schedule planning and registering first-time freshmen as well as the support from Recruiter Emily Baker to help facilitate the ESCC orientation sessions, which were offered virtually this year.

“It was truly a team effort, and we have a great one,” Olsen said.

While it is too late to register for the full Fall 2020 semester, ESCC’s next five-week mini-term begins Oct. 14,  and it’s not too late to register for classes. Students can find mini-term class offerings at escc.edu/schedule and register through their MyESCC account at escc.edu/myescc. For any questions, call (334)347-2623 to speak to an admission representative

“I want to personally thank all our students for choosing to join us this fall,” Rodgers said. “This semester may look different, but our mission is still the same. No matter if our students are online or in the classroom, we are continuing to provide the same first-class education and training while also offering the proper support they need to be successful.”

Cutline: Many ESCC classes are offered online this semester, but some classes are offered both in-class and online in a hybrid format, like the 2D Comprehension class led by Instructor Leslie Gibson. Gibson, right, meets with art students Karrie Jinwright, left, and Matthew Johnson during their hybrid class. 

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About Enterprise State Community College

Enterprise State Community College is a comprehensive community college that serves more than 1,800 students annually between its Enterprise campus and the Alabama Aviation Colleges in Andalusia and Ozark. Each campus and site currently fulfill the Alabama Community College System’s mission for education and training which leads to high-wage, high-demand jobs in integral careers worldwide. Students can obtain Associate degrees and certificates through multiple programs at the college.

Students find their next career through ESCC CDL program

Students find their next career through ESCC CDL program

Students in the CDL program offered at the Alabama Aviation College, a unit of Enterprise State Community College, receive both written and on-the-road training that will lead them toward a successful career in the trucking industry.

The six-week Class A CDL license program was brought to the AAC campus in Fall 2018 to address the need for drivers locally and across the state. The first three students completed the program on Dec. 13, 2018. To date, 75 students have completed the program.

The program, led by Odie Thompson and Kemmie Williams, begins in the classrooms and ends with students receiving hands-on training using trailers donated by Transport Trailer Center and Wiley Sanders Truck Lines. Throughout the six weeks, students study various facets of the trucking industry, like safety in and around trucks and compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.

“During the six weeks of our program, we start out with initial classroom activities that include pre-trip inspection instruction; Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rules; hours of service regulations; extreme weather driving; backing techniques; and Truckers Against Trafficking, as mandated by the State of Alabama,” Williams said. “We move out onto the skill field and begin practicing some of the techniques we learn in the classroom. The last three weeks, we begin highway driving and continue to work on our pre-trip inspections and backing skills.”

With ESCC’s Class A CDL training, students are able to operate an 18 wheeler (tractor trailer), a tank vehicle, livestock carrier, flatbed and other vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds.

During the six weeks, every student also has the opportunity to meet with recruiters for businesses in need of drivers. By the end of the program, each ESCC CDL student receives at least one job offer either from a recruiter or through a company of his or her choice.

According to Williams, trucking jobs are at “an all-time high,” with many companies offering great pay and benefit packages to their employees, including health insurance, tuition reimbursement and continuing education opportunities. He said many of these companies are locally headquartered or have local terminals.

The cost to participate in the program is $3,500, but students can contact their local Alabama Career Center to ask about eligibility for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding to cover 100 percent of the cost of the program.

The next six-week class starts Monday, Sept. 21, and applications are being taken now. To join the program, complete the online application at escc.edu/cdl or contact Assistant Financial Aid Director Laticia Dubose at (334) 347-2623 ext. 3610 or ldubose@escc.edu.

Cutline: Since the first class began, 75 students have completed the CDL program, and every student in each class has received a job offer. The next class begins on Sept. 21.

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About Enterprise State Community College
Enterprise State Community College is a comprehensive community college that serves more than 1,800 students annually between its Enterprise campus and the Alabama Aviation Colleges in Andalusia and Ozark. Each campus and site currently fulfill the Alabama Community College System’s mission for education and training which leads to high-wage, high-demand jobs in integral careers worldwide. Students can obtain Associate degrees and certificates through multiple programs at the college.

Courtyard complete on Enterprise State campus

Courtyard complete on Enterprise State campus

The Enterprise State Community College campus saw big changes over the summer.

“Providing green space for people to get outside, breathe some fresh air and be able to socially distance is so important during these times we are living,” EVP of Landscape Architecture & Planning for Goodwyn Mills & Cawood John Bricken said about the importance of the College’s courtyard project, which started on May 18.

According to Bricken, the courtyard areas only needed to be enhanced with landscaping and irrigation. The goals of the overall project were to provide green space for students, faculty and the general public to use; give students a place to meet, study and enjoy being outside; provide open lawn space for school functions; and cover all landscaped areas with underground irrigation.

The courtyard areas and other green spaces at ESCC were upgraded just in time for students to return to campus for the Fall 2020 semester. Changes included an updated social area near the Student Center. Sod and other greenery were placed to provide green spaces throughout the year, and a new irrigation system was installed to maintain the grounds.

These upgrades were made in the green space in between Sessions and Snuggs Hall and Wallace Administration Building as well as the courtyard area at the center of ESCC’s campus.

The entire ESCC family and community helped influence the planning of this courtyard project. Administration held meetings with ESCC faculty, staff and students as well as community leaders to receive input.

ESCC President Matt Rodgers said he believes every person who visits campus will fall in love with the new look of the campus.

“We are really excited about our newly renovated courtyards on the ESCC campus,” Rodgers said. “It is our goal to improve every area on both campuses. We hope our students, faculty and staff will enjoy this area.

“I am really proud of how the project turned out, and I hope that when our students and faculty return to campus they will appreciate the beauty of our campus. I think they are going to love it even more.”

Cutline: A new seating offers outdoor seating for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors to enjoy.

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About Enterprise State Community College
Enterprise State Community College is a comprehensive community college that serves more than 1,800 students annually between its Enterprise campus and the Alabama Aviation Colleges in Andalusia and Ozark. Each campus and site currently fulfill the Alabama Community College System’s mission for education and training which leads to high-wage, high-demand jobs in integral careers worldwide. Students can obtain Associate degrees and certificates through multiple programs at the college.

Students return to campus for class at ESCC

Students return to campus for class at ESCC

Enterprise State Community College students returned to the classroom on Monday, Aug. 31, for the first face-to-face academic instruction held on campus since March. 

“Monday was a great day,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “I was so excited to see our students and faculty back on campus. ESCC is a special place because of the people. The pandemic has certainly made us all appreciate our students more and the people we get to work alongside.

“I am not only proud of our students but of our faculty and staff also. Everyone has handled the last few months well and continued to excel. We will continue to do everything we can to remain vigilant and provide a safe learning and work environment for everyone at ESCC.”

Before students could return to campus, several changes were made and students were required to take several steps to ensure a safe return to the classroom. 

For the Enterprise and Ozark campuses, new safety protocols were implemented as part of the College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While planning for the fall semester at ESCC, instructors and administration worked together to find a solution that would reduce risks and keep the quality of instruction. 

“When we were planning this semester, we put a lot of focus on safety and instruction options,” Dean of Instruction Danny Long said. “We knew there would be situations where face-to-face instruction would be the only option, so we developed a plan that would allow our students and instructors to meet in-person safely for class. I’m proud of the work of our faculty and staff to make this fall semester come together, and I know that we are all happy to see students back on campus again.”

ESCC’s plan for safe on-campus instruction included requiring students to complete the College’s COVID-19 Canvas course and sign a COVID-19 waiver, which were incorporated in the College’s orientation class, before coming to campus. 

Students are required to use the CampusClear app as part of the self-screening process to enter campus. The app sends a push notification as a reminder to complete a self assessment, which will determine if the student is cleared to enter campus or not. Students coming on campus will also be required to wear a mask while around others and have their temperature checked at Wallace Administration Building on the Enterprise campus. 

The College also implemented several safety protocols in classrooms, such as marking or arranging seats to meet social distancing guidelines and placing plexiglass safety shields on instructor stations.

Many students were excited to return to campus to receive face-to-face instruction in a safe learning environment. 

Coming back to campus has allowed me to have a face-to-face interaction with my professors,” Ambassador Marisa Thomas said. “I am glad that I am able to come to campus and have those interactions safely.”

Other students were happy to have class on campus in order to feel a semblance of “normal.” 

Coming back to campus allows me to see the face behind the course, making me feel like things arent so different,” Ambassador Layken Hussey said. In addition to this, it allows me to interact with other students, giving me the social factor that Ive missed for the past few months.”

No more than 130 students are expected to be on campus in class at any point thanks to class schedules that were staggered to reduce the number of students on campus. No face-to-face instruction was held on campus during the first week of class that began Aug. 24.  

Cutline: Seating has also been marked in the Black Box Theater for Fine Arts students to maintain social distancing guidelines during class. 

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About Enterprise State Community College
Enterprise State Community College is a comprehensive community college that serves more than 1,800 students annually between its Enterprise campus and the Alabama Aviation Colleges in Andalusia and Ozark. Each campus and site currently fulfill the Alabama Community College System’s mission for education and training which leads to high-wage, high-demand jobs in integral careers worldwide. Students can obtain Associate degrees and certificates through multiple programs at the college.

Safety a priority for ESCC, AAC this fall

Safety a priority for ESCC, AAC this fall

Enterprise State Community College and the Alabama Aviation College are placing a priority on safety as both campuses prepare for students to return to campus for fall classes, which begin on Aug. 24.

Safety protocols for all campuses are established in the College’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan, first developed after campuses closed in March. This plan is continuously updated to meet the latest guidelines provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) office, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office and state health officials, local Emergency Management Agency representatives and local health professionals.

At AAC, students will complete classes and labs in person through a staggered schedule. At ESCC, no more than 130 students are expected to be on campus at any point throughout the semester to participate in reduced-capacity hybrid classes. Most academic classes for ESCC will be held online.

“The fall schedule for ESCC and AAC will look different this year,” Dean of Instruction Danny Long said. “However, the primary focus was meeting the diverse needs of our students while maximizing their safety and the safety of our faculty and staff. It was truly a grassroots effort that relied heavily on the recommendations of the individual divisions and the faulty members of the specific content areas. The schedule went through multiple revisions as the college would receive updated information for local, state, and federal health professionals. I am excited about the opportunities that will be provided to our students that put the health and safety of everyone at the forefront.”

While many safety measures have already been in practice on both campuses, technology will soon be included in the College’s safety protocols.

Currently, ESCC and AAC use the free emergency notification system Alertus. The mobile app is currently beta testing a new feature that includes options for Pandemic Alerts, such as COVID-19, to help track personal movement if an individual has tested positive for the virus.

Additionally, ESCC and AAC will use the free CampusClear app, which assists in the self-screening process for students and faculty. Everyone at ESCC and the Alabama Aviation College is required to use CampusClear to enter campus. At 7 a.m. each morning, a push notification is sent as a reminder to complete a self assessment. Once the assessment is complete, the app will determine if an individual is cleared to enter campus or not.

Additional safety measures for both campuses include: classrooms and labs arranged to meet social distancing guidelines, sanitization and social distancing signage placed around both campuses, and staggered schedules to reduce safety risks.

Students coming on campus will be required to wear a mask while around others and have their temperature checked before the CampusClear app is available. Temperature checkpoints are at Wallace Administration Building at the Enterprise campus and the ATTC building on the Ozark campus.

ESCC Chief of Campus Police Jeff Spence encouraged all students, faculty, staff and visitors to any campus to stay vigilant and continue to practice the College’s safety protocols.

“While we are doing everything possible to prevent any cases of COVID-19, we must rely on every person in our campus community to do their part by following the guidelines that we have implemented,” Spence said.

Additionally, all students will be required to complete an online COVID-19 training course, which has been integrated into the College’s online orientation course, and complete a COVID-19 Waiver.

“The safety of our students and employees is our top priority,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “Our Safety Team, which helped develop our Mitigation Plan, continues to meet regularly to discuss our safety protocols and any changes that may come from the CDC or ADPH. I appreciate the work of everyone involved with updating this plan.

“We have been successful in maintaining safe campuses this summer by following the safety measures set in our plan, and I commend our students, faculty and staff for their cooperation. I encourage you all to self-screen before coming to campus, wear a mask in the presence of others, practice social distancing guidelines and follow all other safety protocols. If we continue to follow these measures, we will surely have a great fall semester that is both safe and productive for everyone on campus.”

Cutline: Sanitizer stations, social distancing and hygiene signage, masks and temperature checks are a few of the safety protocols in place for fall classes at ESCC/AAC. Chief of Campus Police Jeff Spence showcases the many signs and other safety measures for ESCC.

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About Enterprise State Community College

Enterprise State Community College is a comprehensive community college which serves more than 1,800 students annually between its Enterprise campus and the Alabama Aviation Colleges in Andalusia and Ozark. Each campus and site currently fulfill the Alabama Community College System’s mission for education and training which leads to high-wage, high-demand jobs in integral careers worldwide. Students can obtain Associate degrees and certificates through multiple programs at the college.

Community engagement focus of project plans at ESCC

Community engagement focus of project plans at ESCC

Direct community engagement will influence future capital improvement plans for Enterprise State Community College thanks to a new initiative established by the Alabama Community College System.

ASPIRE (Achieving Systemwide Potential through Increased Resources and Engagement) 2030 was established by ACCS Chancellor Jimmy Baker to inspire deeper community engagement during the strategic planning process for capital improvement projects at Alabama community colleges.

“Through the ACCS Aspire 2030 Initiative, we are encouraging our colleges to be bold and creative in their plans to add value to their communities and increase student success over the next 10 years,” Baker said. “Community is in the very name of each of our colleges, and this new strategic approach is intended to engage every sector of the community to ensure that our colleges continue to provide the meaning education, training and resources needed to help our students reach their goals and become contributing members of society.”

The new initiative was announced after Alabama lawmakers approved a $1.2 billion public school bond issue for capital improvement projects. ACCS allotted $120 million to be divided among the state’s community colleges.

“In the shortened 2020 legislative session, I was proud to be able to support the 2020 bond issue that will help with maintenance and capital improvements to the buildings in our schools across the state,” State Rep. Rhett Marques said. “That bond will provide approximately $1.2 billion to the individual school district and two-year and four-year colleges across this great state so that our children will have updated learning environments.

“At Enterprise State Community College, President Matt Rodgers and his team are doing a great job with the current infrastructure and buildings that are on the Ozark and Enterprise campuses. They have been working to upgrade and improve campus grounds and buildings over the past couple of years. With the additional funds from this bond, the ESCC staff will be able to bring the Ozark and Enterprise campuses into the 21st century with state-of-the-art amenities and technological improvements. With these improvements, students will have a better opportunity to join the workforce of tomorrow, thus drawing more economic development into the Wiregrass region. I am proud that these funds will help support our community and the great State of Alabama.”

The initiative requires each Alabama community college to receive input from internal and external stakeholder groups, including business/industry and local K-12 education systems, as part of the strategic planning process. ESCC committees met for the first time virtually on July 23.

“ESCC’s support of the ASPIRE 2030 initiative inspires creative thought, initiative and greater collaboration among our communities,” Senior Vice Chancellor Student Services and Administration Dr. John Schmidt said. “Truly, together, everyone achieves more, or simply said TEAM, describes how we might find those connectors embracing change that benefits all.”

Internal stakeholders at ESCC must complete a self-analysis of the College in an effort to identify potential capital improvement projects that would best affect the community. The self-analysis consists of questions focusing on areas the College makes an important impact, such as community or economic development, student success and adult education.

The College’s External Committee is composed of representatives of local and state government, local K-12 education systems, higher education, business and industry, the local non-profit sector and economic development. This committee will also provide feedback on potential needs, such as workforce needs, in several sectors locally and statewide.

Previous capital improvement projects were planned after two years of facilities assessments for both the Enterprise and Alabama Aviation College campuses were completed. This plan included the current Sessions Hall building project and courtyard project at the Enterprise campus and the LRC renovations and other various facilities upgrades at the Ozark campus. Other, now-completed projects from this plan were the Forrester and Talmadge Hall projects on the Enterprise Campus and Higham Building project at the Ozark campus.

“At Enterprise State, we strive to invest in projects and programs, both academic and technical, that allow us to be the college our community needs,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “When we make any decision at the College, we try to make sure it aligns with our four strategic areas of focus: people, programs, facilities and, of course, community.

“The ASPIRE 2030 initiative will let us think even bigger in terms of projects for our College and our community. Thank you to our state legislators for approving these funds and ACCS for this opportunity to help our campuses grow.

“I am excited for our College to take part in this initiative, where we will work even closer with our stakeholders to develop future projects that will allow us to take our campuses to another level. While we already have made a lot of progress, we will continue to work together with our communities to improve our campuses and turn both ESCC and AAC into world-class learning institutions.”

Cutlines:

Higham 2: Renovations to Higham Building on AAC’s campus have been completed, offering more seating areas and labs specified for Mechatronics training.

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About Enterprise State Community College

Enterprise State Community College is a comprehensive community college that serves more than 1,800 students annually between its Enterprise campus and the Alabama Aviation Colleges in Andalusia and Ozark. Each campus and site currently fulfill the Alabama Community College System’s mission for education and training which leads to high-wage, high-demand jobs in integral careers worldwide. Students can obtain associate degrees and certificates through multiple programs at the college.

Online, hybrid classes planned for fall semester at ESCC

Online, hybrid classes planned for fall semester at ESCC

In continued response to COVID-19, Enterprise State Community College will offer students more online, reduced-capacity hybrid and virtual synchronous classes this fall while Alabama Aviation College students will have staggered schedules and a modified block system for the fall semester. 

New class options for the fall semester include more classes taught exclusively online as well as the synchronous distance learning classes and hybrid classes. The majority of classes offered on the Enterprise campus will utilize a traditional distance learning model or hybrid model requiring virtual synchronous lecture during the published course times. 

COVID-19 has caused educational institutions across our country, including Enterprise State, to evaluate and adjust how instruction is delivered on college campuses,” Dean of Instruction Danny Long said. “In March, our instructors and students faced unique learning challenges head on. Continuing along that path, our fall schedule will also look different. Two guiding principles have led our effort. First, and foremost, was keeping our students, faculty and staff as safe as possible. The second was creating learning options that meet the unique situations of all of our students. 

“The fall schedule will provide students with unique and creative learning options, including traditional distance learning, virtual synchronous options and limited reduced-capacity hybrid courses. The manner in which our teaching faculty have approached this challenge gives me the confidence that students attending Enterprise State will have every opportunity that has been afforded to them in the past and then some.”

If face-to-face instruction must occur on the ESCC campus, student attendance and schedules will comply with the College’s COVID-19 protocols for social distancing, face coverings, and additional sanitation measures. Students will also be required to complete the College’s COVID-19 Canvas course and sign a COVID-19 waiver before coming to class. 

Additionally, no on-campus instruction will take place during the first week of the fall semester, August 24-28. Throughout the semester, no more than 130 students are expected to be on the Enterprise campus at any point.

On the AAC campus, students will follow a modified block system where classes will be offered during two sessions throughout the semester.

“We made many changes to make sure our students are comfortable while COVID-19 is still active, including a short self-paced online COVID-19 training session before the semester starts, daily temperature checks upon arrival, mandatory face masks, smaller classroom capacities for social distancing, optional face shields for labs and staggered class times,” AAC Director Stan Smith said. “The Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) Program will start a newly-created block system in the fall to reduce exposure to fellow classmates and limit the number of rooms a student visits per day or per week. In our new system, both day and night students will take two classes for 10 weeks followed by one class for five weeks. Classes will be held for seven hours a day Monday through Thursday.”

Classrooms for both campuses have also been arranged to meet social distancing guidelines and the ESCC COVID-19 Mitigation Plan. As part of the plan, plexiglass safety shields have been purchased for employees, and sanitization and social distancing signage has been placed on both campuses. Sanitation and cleaning protocols for each area of both campuses have also been established as part of the plan.

“The safety and well-being of our students and employees is our top priority,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “Many of our new protocols are already being practiced, so I want to commend our students, faculty, and staff for their cooperation and for doing a great job of pre-screening at home before coming to campus.”

Students planning to attend either campus this fall will be able to register for classes starting July 20 using the College’s new self-service portal, Banner. This portal will allow students to register for classes, pay tuition, view financial aid awards and more in one place. Students who did not register for classes in April can visit escc.edu/registration to find fall class schedules, request assistance from an advisor and visit the College’s MyESCC page before registration opens. Fall classes will begin Aug. 24. 

Students who plan to attend classes on either campus this fall will need to register for a virtual orientation meeting. Students can visit escc.edu/orientation to register for an orientation session. Orientation sessions for ESCC will be held virtually on July 21, July 28, Aug. 4 and Aug. 11. For AAC students, virtual orientation sessions will be held July 15, July 29 and Aug. 5. Dual enrollment orientation will be held on Aug. 6 in the Multipurpose Room (MPR) of the Student Center located on the Enterprise Campus. For more information, call (334) 347-2623 Ext. 2340 or email nbradley@escc.edu.

In addition to orientation and registration, students can still apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be completed at studentaid.gov using school code 001015 for ESCC/AAC. More information about financial aid can be found at escc.edu/financialaid. 

“We realize this has been and will continue to be a difficult time for everyone in our community,” Rodgers said. “We want to do everything we can to support not only our community but also our returning and new students. We don’t want anyone to pause or stop their education, so we will work with everyone to ensure a safe learning environment and instruction provided by a faculty that is second to none.”

Cutline: Students receive packets for virtual orientation sessions to prepare for fall classes at ESCC and AAC. Pictured, from left, students Presley Hall and Ruby Garcia receive packets from ESCC Career Coach Emily Baker. 

WAYNE FARMS, ALABAMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM LAUNCH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

WAYNE FARMS, ALABAMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM LAUNCH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Contact: Jana Brackett
770-316-2103
jana.brackett@waynefarms.com

Frank Singleton/Media Relations
fes01@att.net
678-316-4237

OAKWOOD, GA. (July 9, 2020) Fierce competition for skilled employees has prompted Wayne Farms and the Alabama Community College System to develop the state’s first accredited workforce development apprenticeship program. The education and industry partnership between Wayne Farms and two area community colleges was developed to focus on hard-to-fill mechanical, electrical and technical positions. The matching programs at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College and Enterprise State Community College will work directly with Wayne Farms to implement the new Mechatronics degree, with students completing a two-year syllabus of classroom instruction in tandem with on-the-job paid technical internships. 

According to Matt Rodgers, President of Enterprise State Community College, “Community colleges play a critical role in workforce development because we must see workforce needs and ensure our students are highly trained and certified to meet those needs.”

Wayne Farms has grown significantly in South Alabama over the last few years, regionally investing more than $300 million in a new feed mill in Ozark and expanded processing complexes in Enterprise and Dothan. The equipment and technology upgrades have transformed the facilities into modern, technology-driven operations, demanding a much deeper skillset than poultry plant maintenance work has traditionally required. “As this industry has become more sophisticated, we need people with the skills and training necessary to perform in that environment,” said Patricia Powell, Wayne Farms South Alabama HR Manager. “Maintenance positions in a modern facility like ours are hard to staff—the demand is always high.” Wayne Farms Maintenance Manager Roger Allen oversees the industry-education partnership locally for the company, and agreed that highly skilled, technically-oriented maintenance positions are some of the hardest in the industry to fill. “It’s getting harder and harder,” said Allen. “Plants have become very technical—robotics, automation, PLC’s, and Variable Frequency Drives—so we worked with the schools to develop a program that could meet the need better than on-the-job training alone.”

“Today, there is a critical need for employees with technology-focused skills, so we are proud to offer a Mechatronics program that provides essential training in electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering and the opportunity to receive industry-recognized NC3 Certifications.  We are excited to join LBW and the Alabama Community College System in partnering with Wayne Farms to not only develop a pipeline that connects our students to successful careers but also fills a need in our local workforce,” continued ESCC’s Rodgers.

The dual-purpose apprenticeship is fully-accredited and helps fill the industry demand for qualified applicants while also fulfilling the college system’s role as partner with the state’s Alabama Works economic development program, helping drive regional employment and economic growth. “This actually started after a conversation with Wayne Farms HR representative Patricia Powell,” said Jennifer Hall, Associate Dean of Adult Education, Workforce Development and Continuing Education at LBWCC. “They were being challenged to find technically-qualified employees for these highly-skilled positions.” The discussions that followed validated that initial conversation—partnering on an education and industry apprenticeship program would help meet the high demand for technically-qualified people at Wayne Farms and other area manufacturers, and the community colleges were logical platforms to deliver on that demand. “We’re excited to meet the needs of industry and provide an opportunity for our students to “earn while they learn” through a competency based apprenticeship where they will receive on the job training while pursuing their industrial electronics degree.”

Dr. Chris Cox, LBWCC Interim President, concurred. “Apprenticeships have proven to prepare workers for highly-skilled jobs while meeting the needs of business and industry for many years.  I can’t tell you how excited LBWCC is to join ESCC in serving as a state model for an apprenticeship.  To my knowledge, this unique partnership is the first time two colleges in Alabama have joined together to sponsor apprentices for a local company. We are grateful for Wayne Farms and the opportunities they provide for our students.”

Ian Campbell, Director of Workforce Development for ESCC, explained. “We’re working directly with industry to build a program to fill this need and also gives students opportunities right here—that’s the entire goal,” said Campbell. “A graduate of this apprenticeship program comes to work with skills that make them immediately valuable. With that kind of labor force available, this area is that much more attractive to companies and business locating here.” 

Enterprise native and Wayne Farms Enterprise complex manager Eddie Fortner had already been working with local high schools and colleges to identify promising mechanical and technical students who might be interested in a career in the poultry industry, so the program’s creation was a natural evolution. The local colleges toured facilities with the Wayne Farms team, looking at the kinds of tasks and skills required, and identifying skills needed to develop curriculum. The end result was a melding of in-class education and job site paid internships that when completed can lead to apprenticeships and the opportunity for full-time employment at a highly competitive salary. “It gives an opportunity to get good people who are ready to work and know what we need, and it allows local residents the opportunity to work close to home rather than commute or relocate to find employment,” said Fortner.

Both local community colleges are rightfully proud of their role in building the groundbreaking program. “We’re building a constant pipeline of qualified people—people with skills that are relevant now and will be in the future,” said Stephen Schmidt, PR director for ESCC.

As technology becomes more advanced in industry, these “new collar” positions will require skills to match, giving people a career opportunity instead of just a job. High school vocational and technical students interested in the program can inquire through their guidance counselor, and information is also available through both area community colleges.

Cutline: A new partnership with Wayne Farms will provide apprenticeship opportunities to Enterprise State Community College Mechatronics students. Pictured, back row, from left, are ESCC Dean of Instruction Danny Long, ESCC Director of Workforce Development Ian Campbell, ESCC Mechatronics Instructor Aubri Hanson. Pictured, front row, from left, are ESCC President Matt Rodgers, Maintenance Manager Roger Allen, Wayne Farms Enterprise Complex Manager Eddie Fortner and Wayne Farms South Alabama HR Manager Patricia Powell.

About Wayne Farms LLC

Wayne Farms LLC is the seventh-largest vertically integrated poultry producer in the U.S. with annual sales exceeding $2 billion. A subsidiary of Continental Grain Company, Wayne Farms owns and operates 11 fresh and further-processed facilities throughout the Southeast, produces more than 2.6 billion pounds of poultry products each year, and employs more than 9,000 individuals. Producing products under the brand names of WAYNE FARMS® fresh and prepared chicken; PLATINUM HARVEST® premium fresh chicken; CHEF’S CRAFT® gourmet chicken; NAKED TRUTH® premium chicken; and LADYBIRD™ premium chicken, Wayne Farms has a well-known history of delivering exceptional poultry products to some of the largest industrial, institutional, and foodservice companies across America.

Enterprise State, UWA sign transfer articulation agreement

Enterprise State, UWA sign transfer articulation agreement

A new articulation agreement between Enterprise State Community College and the University of West Alabama will make credit transfer easier for students and provide them access to more UWA scholarship opportunities. 

The articulation agreement between the two institutions was signed on Thursday, June 18, on ESCC’s campus.

“Providing a pathway for students to further their education, thereby enhancing their quality of life, is at the forefront of UWA’s mission,” UWA President Dr. Ken Tucker said. “Partnerships like this with Enterprise State Community College will help students more easily navigate the transfer process and find the educational opportunities at UWA that best fit their career goals.”

The agreement guarantees admission to all ESCC students with at least a 2.0 GPA and 45 transferable credit hours or a completed associate degree from ESCC. 

Students who transfer with a 3.0 GPA or higher will be able to apply for academic scholarships ($3,000-$4,000) that can be renewed for up to four consecutive semesters. ESCC students who receive academic scholarships and plan to live on-campus at UWA will also be eligible to apply for a non-renewable $2,000 housing scholarship for their first year at the university. 

Students will also have access to pre-transfer advising with an academic advisor, offered either at ESCC and/or on the UWA campus.

Instrumental in establishing this partnership was ESCC Recruiter Adonis Bozeman, an 2015 alumnus of UWA. He said the UWA slogan, “Do Something That Matters,” helped inspire the efforts to collaborate with university. 

“I am proud of this partnership with the University of West Alabama that gives our students an opportunity to further their education with more scholarship opportunities,” Bozeman said. “I wanted to create an opportunity for students in the Wiregrass area to receive the same Tiger experience as I did. A great contribution to establishing this partnership was keeping the close relationships I received in undergrad. I would like to thank my good friends (Vice President for Student Affairs) Richard Hester and President Dr. Ken Tucker for always being a phone call away even after I graduated.” 

ESCC President Matt Rodgers said he is proud to offer ESCC students more great transfer opportunities through this new partnership. 

We are proud of the partnership between ESCC and the University of West Alabama,” he said. “This agreement with this great educational institution aligns with our mission here at ESCC to provide students with the best opportunities to further their education and enter the workforce. We are looking forward to seeing this relationship grow for the benefit of our students.”

Cutline: ESCC and UWA signed an articulation agreement that outlines the path for ESCC students who wish to transfer to UWA. Pictured, back row, from left, are Vice President for Student Affairs Richard Hester, Recruiter Adonis Bozeman, Dean of Instruction Danny Long and Associate Dean of Students/Director of Financial Aid Dr. Kevin Ammons. Pictured, front, from left, are UWA President Dr. Ken Tucker and ESCC President Matt Rodgers. 

Courtyard upgrades begin at Enterprise State

Courtyard upgrades begin at Enterprise State

This fall, Enterprise State Community College will see the completion of a recently approved project that will provide improved courtyard spaces and social areas on campus. 

We’re excited to see the upgrades to our courtyard areas,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. This project will make a big difference to the look of our campus.” 

The project includes the green space in between Sessions Hall, Snuggs Hall and Wallace Administration Building as well as the courtyard area at the center of ESCCs campus as well as well. Work on the project began Monday, May 18.

Social areas will also be upgraded and added throughout the courtyard areas for students, faculty and staff to enjoy throughout the year. New sod will be placed, and a new irrigation system will be installed to maintain the greenery that will be planted as part of the beautification of the courtyard areas. 

According to Rodgers, this project was influenced by not only ESCC administration, but the entire ESCC family and its community. 

We’ve met with our students, faculty and staff to get their input on what they would like to see happen with our courtyard areas,” he said. We are the community’s college, so we wanted to make sure we 

talked to members of the community to get their input, too. 

We appreciated the suggestions and comments that came from everyone involved in this project. We can’t wait for this project to be complete and share the great work being done on our campus.” 

The courtyard project is expected to be completed in September.

Cutlines: Work began on the irrigation system on May 18 in front of Sessions Hall. This system will help maintain the greenery that will be added as part of the project, which is expected to be complete in September. 

Enterprise State Community College

Your College, Your Future

Enterprise State Community College offers excellent academic, technical, and workforce training programs in order to prepare students for jobs that are in demand! Our faculty and staff are committed to the educational success of all ESCC students!

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