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ESCC announces new athletics, academic programs

ESCC announces new athletics, academic programs

By Josh Boutwell sports@southeastsun.com Oct 20, 2021

https://www.southeastsun.com/news/article_175f67d8-31ac-11ec-86d1-5350815afcf7.html

Enterprise State Community College held a press conference on Oct. 15 to announce the addition of five new athletic programs and three new academic programs at the school.

The new sports will include the addition of a women’s volleyball team, men’s and women’s golf teams, and men’s and women’s cross country teams. These new sports will bring with them 50 new full athletic scholarships, as well. That will include eight scholarships for each golf team, 10 scholarships for each cross country team, and 14 scholarships for the volleyball team. Those scholarships are the full allotment allowed for those sports. ESCC President Matt Rodgers also said that baseball, softball, and basketball all currently have the full allotment of scholarships allowed, as well.

“It’s all about creating opportunities for our students,” Rodgers said. “Athletics are important for a lot of communities and we’re recruiting communities, not just individuals.”

Rodgers said that ESCC’s athletic programs will recruit all over but they want to start with the local athletes.

“We have lots of great local athletes and we thought it would be fitting to our already strong athletic programs,” Rodgers said.

ESCC will begin these athletics in the 2022-2023 school year. Rodgers said that ESCC is currently taking applications for coaches for each program and that the school hopes to hire those coaches as soon as possible. Until then, ESCC basketball coach and athletic director Jeremaine Williams will be handling the recruiting prospects.

The athletic program is also in the process of completing upgrades at the baseball/softball complex, which already has a new hitting facility. Additionally, a new parking lot will be constructed along with new restrooms, stands, and potentially a new press box.

Also, the school is officially adding three new courses on both the Enterprise and Ozark campuses. Those courses will include practical nursing, digital media, and advanced composites. Nursing and digital media will be on the Enterprise campus and advanced composites will be at the Alabama Aviation College campus in Ozark.

The nursing program will eventually be a traditional program for prospective students that want to become an LPN but it will begin as a program to help current medical assistants and paramedics bridge into LPNs.

“This program will begin as a bridge program, exclusive to ESCC,” ESCC Nursing Coordinator Amy Phillips said. “This will be a unique training opportunity to take a medical assistant or paramedic and bridge them over into LPN.”

That program begins in January and ESCC is currently taking applications for it. Meanwhile, the traditional LPN program for everyone else will begin in the fall of 2022. The nursing program will have the benefit of having a brand new wing on Wallace Hall that will feature “state-of-the-art” equipment and simulators for the LPN program that is scheduled to be completed this December.

The digital media program will allow for a fine arts degree that will help students go after careers in media that include graphic design, digital animation, 3D visualization, game interactive media design, music, and sound design, video production, web design, and photography.

“The digital media program enhances our already dynamic (fine arts) curriculum,” ESCC Fine Arts Chair Dr. Ken Thomas said. “The program will help meet the growing needs in graphic designers and other multimedia.”

The advanced composite course at the aviation college campus will help students that want to go into the growing composites industry. Composites are the combination of two dissimilar materials chemically and physically that are combined together to form a product that is stronger than the two individuals. Fiberglass is one of the biggest composite products. Sporting goods, boats, race cars, and even helicopter rotors are built with composite materials.

The advanced composites course officially began at Alabama Aviation College on Oct. 18 and the school is still taking applications for new students.

“That demand is out there,” Alabama Aviation College Director Stan Smith said. “The good thing about this program is it is very flexible. It’s hands-on – with 40 different projects in the two years of classes – with flexible lab times.

“You just sign up for the slot you want and come in. If you work nights and want to come in during the day or if you work days and want to come at night, we will work with your schedule.”

Instructor Clint Johnson said the course is almost completely hands-on and that potential students that don’t find themselves to be “book smart” should not be intimidated because almost all of the work will be done building projects.

ESCC also received two new TRIO grants, which are geared towards low-income and disadvantaged students, both adult and high school students.

The school received $232,050 for an Educational Opportunity Center that will help provide opportunities for 850 adult participants – over the age of 19 – in Coffee, Dale, Geneva, and Houston Counties with offices in both Ozark and the Enterprise campuses. This program will help with admission applications, financial aid, helping enrollment, and providing resources that could include help with transportation to and from classes.

“The program’s focus is on adult students, 19 and above, that want to pursue post-secondary education,” ESCC Dean of Students Kassie Mathis said. “We also know we have lots of students that don’t finish high school and we want to help them obtain a high school diploma or GED and then transition into post-secondary education.”

The college also received a $277,375 TRIO grant for a talent search program to help guide low-income high students towards college. This grant will be focused on eighth grade through senior students at Daleville, Elba, Enterprise, Geneva, Geneva County, Samson, New Brockton, and Zion Chapel High Schools.

Mathis said that the program will help the students with applications, financial aid, admissions assistance, career inspiration, ACT prep, and college tours.

Rodgers emphasized that all of these programs – both academic and athletic – and the facility upgrades are about creating those opportunities for the community.

“It all goes back to providing opportunities,” Rodgers said. “An opportunity is an opportunity – whether that’s academic or athletic or anything else – and it can change not just an individual’s life but an entire family’s life.

“It can change the trajectory of a family. It’s not about what we want to offer, it’s about what we need to offer.”

More information on applying for any of the new programs being offered can be found at escc.edu. Prospective athletic recruits and their coaches can contact Williams or Rodgers about the possibility of obtaining a scholarship at mrodgers@escc.edu or jwilliams@escc.edu.

Advanced Composites classes starting at AAC during second mini-term

Advanced Composites classes starting at AAC during second mini-term

October 18 is the first day of the second mini-term for the Fall 2021 semester at the Alabama Aviation College, a unit of Enterprise State Community College, and the first day of class for the College’s new Advanced Composites associate program led by newly hired instructor Clint Johnson.

Clint Johnson is a 2012 alumnus of AAC and an FAA Licensed Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic, with 17 years of structural and sheet metal fabrication experience working in the steel industry.

Johnson also has several technical certifications and experience that give him advanced knowledge in the composites field. He is dual certified by Davis Tech Manufacturing Engineering Education Program – Advance Composites Career Pathways Trainer Certification and the Abaris Advanced Composites Repair Technician. He has been an instructor for Non-Metallics Structures & Welding Mechanics at AAC since 2018, which includes a curriculum in composite manufacturing and repair.

After graduating from AAC, Johnson worked with Express Jet and Bombardier Jet as a structural mechanic, performing composite repairs on contracts under United and Delta Airlines. He is also currently employed with M1 Support Services as a Technical Inspector for the Department of Defense Army Aviation Maintenance Contract at Fort Rucker.

The College’s new two-year Advanced Composites program will offer training for an industry sector with a growing number of “new collar” jobs.

“The aviation industry is always on the leading edge of technology,” AAC Director Stan Smith said. “Aircraft now have many composite components since they are lightweight and strong. Other industries such as boating, racing, cycling, and other sports are also using this technology, so graduates of our new program will have a wide range of career path options.”

The new program will also allow for flexibility in scheduling, following a similar structure to the College’s Mechatronics program, in which students will review information in online modules before scheduling lab times at their convenience to complete over 40 projects.

The College is partnering with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), which received a $5 million Manufacturing Education Extension Program (MEEP) grant from the Department of Defense (DOD) to replicate the successful Composites program at Davis Technical College in Utah at various locations across the United States over the next three years.

AAC was chosen as one of three locations to serve as learning centers. Through the MEEP grant, AAC will receive $50,000 per year for three years, totaling $150,000. These funds will help AAC supplement equipment purchases for the program’s lab and provide portions of the program instructor’s salary for three years.

Though College currently teaches basic composites to its aviation maintenance technology students, the new program will prepare individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in the development, manufacture, and use of composite materials.

The hands-on labs will be held in the renovated Composites Lab at AAC. Those renovations, along with several other projects on the Ozark campus, were completed through the provision of $2.5 million from the Alabama Capital Improvement Trust Fund, which awards funds for projects that promote economic development and industrial recruitment in the state. AAC’s campus was selected to be the recipient of these funds through the work of state representatives, including State Representative Steve Clouse and Governor Kay Ivey.

“Through the help of President Rodgers and all the staff at AAC as well as being successful in securing funding through the legislature, as a team, we were able to bring the improvements together,” Clouse said about campus renovations and new programs coming in as a result. “It means a lot not only to the Alabama Community College System as a whole but here locally to be able to provide quality facilities for students to learn in.”

President Matt Rodgers thanked all local and state government officials for their support of the College and its work to meet workforce needs.

“We appreciate the unwavering support from our government officials,” he said. “With their support, we are growing and adding new programs that impact the communities we serve.”

Cutline: Advanced Composites Instructor Clint Johnson stands in AAC’s newly renovated composites lab.

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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.

ESCC recognized at the NC3 2021 Virtual Leadership Summit

ESCC recognized at the NC3 2021 Virtual Leadership Summit

During the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) 8th Annual Leadership Summit, hosted virtually this year, Enterprise State Community College was named as a recipient of one of 18 awards for leading the way for career and technical education.

Each year at NC3’s Annual Leadership Summit, awards are presented to top-performing people and institutions in the NC3 Network for their leadership and innovation in career and technical education.

ESCC’s Mechatronics program has displayed remarkably rapid growth by quickly expanding its program to become an NC3 Leadership School that implements seven Snap-on certifications, 14 Festo certifications, one Dremel certification, one MRW Work Ethic certification, and two Greenlee certifications. In their first two years with NC3, they issued nearly 700 certifications in 23 areas of study!

Manufacturing – and Advanced Manufacturing – is one of the top five needed professions in the State of Alabama, which is why Enterprise State Community College decided to pursue a Mechatronics program.

Aubri Hanson, Enterprise State’s Mechatronics program manager and instructor, developed this program to mirror leading industry standards, value student academic-life balance and provide graduates with the tools they need to enter the workforce.

Coming from industry herself, Aubri said she recognized the value that NC3 certifications bring to her students. She stated, “I spent 12 years in industry before I started teaching, so I understand that having those certifications is what the industry values in their employees. Employers are looking for Snap-on or Festo certifications.”

Aubri continued to describe why she chose Festo equipment. She explained, “I had the opportunity to choose all of the equipment and the direction to take the program. In meeting and seeing the different vendors and equipment, I really liked that Festo equipment was tied directly to industry certifications. I love that Festo equipment is used in industry and that it’s modular, so you can totally disassemble and reassemble everything on those trainers.”

Despite having joined the NC3 Network just two years ago, Enterprise State Community College students are already benefiting from their certifications. Aubri says, “In the short time that our students have been earning NC3 Certifications, I’ve already had students acquire jobs because of the certificates they’ve earned. Already in their first semester, we offered NC3 certifications, and it’s paying off for our students.”

Through its Mechatronics program, Enterprise State also offers several short-term certificates that offer focused training for high-demand careers. One of the newest certificates is the CNC Operator/Programmer certificate, which includes training in blueprint reading, CNC turning and milling, and more.

Through the development of their Mechatronics program, Enterprise State Community College launched a new and innovative class structure. Aubri explained, “We’re offering our Mechatronics program in a brand-new format that is not being done anywhere else in Alabama. Our program is 100% flexibly scheduled. After completing the theory portion of the certification, our students can go online to a calendar and book lab time to complete the hands-on portion of the certification. There are no set course times.”

She continued, “The students can come into the labs at any time that’s convenient for them. We keep the lab open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. so students can come in around their schedule. This flexibility allows students to work around their own schedules, whether they have other classes throughout the day or work full-time jobs. This creates the opportunity for more one-on-one learning experiences with our instructors too.”

To learn more about the NC3 Membership Network, please visit NC3.net. Also, be sure to follow NC3 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube to further join us as we celebrate these high-achieving institutions.

Cutline: Mechatronics instructors Aubri, left, and Anthony Hanson stand with the award recognizing ESCC as an NC3 School on the Rise.

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About NC3:

NC3 was established to help build a workforce prepared to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s industries by connecting employers and educational institutions in synergistic partnerships that foster effective training, the elevation of skilled careers, and employment opportunities. In fulfilling its mission, NC3 builds deep industry-educational partnerships and develops, implements, and sustains industry-recognized portable certifications built on national skills standards. We envision an industrial labor market where all workers have the jobs they need to thrive and all companies have the well-trained employees they need to operate and grow. Learn more at www.nc3.net.

About the NC3 Annual Leadership Summit:

Each year leaders in education, NC3 Leadership Schools, and industry experts gather at NC3’s Annual Leadership Summit to celebrate achievements within the field of career and technical education. During this premier event, the NC3 Membership Network discusses new and innovative industry trends as well as best practices that will propel the network’s institutions, industry-recognized certification programs, and students forward. NC3’s Leadership Award winners are announced annually at this conference.

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.

ESCC receives $1.16 million grant for new Educational Opportunity Center

ESCC receives $1.16 million grant for new Educational Opportunity Center

Enterprise State Community College was recently chosen as one of only three Alabama community colleges to receive a five-year, $1.16 million federal TRiO grant to set up an Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) for program participants who want to pursue a college education.

The grant is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Through the grant, ESCC will receive $232,050 annually for the next five years to assist, prepare and support program participants with gaining the skills necessary to pursue post-secondary education.

The EOC grant is the College’s second TRIO grant. ESCC’s Student Support Services has received TRiO grants for over 40 years.

“We are excited about the opportunity to receive another TRiO grant and expand our ability to make a difference in our community,” Dean of Students Kassie Mathis said. “TRiO grants are about increasing awareness of post-secondary educational opportunities and helping those who are low income and educationally disadvantaged.”

EOC grant funding will allow the college to hire one full-time director, two full-time education specialists and a part-time tutor. All employees hired to work within the EOC grant will train to identify the obstacles (financial, personal, etc.) participants face and create a plan to overcome those barriers. There will also be a focus on adults seeking to obtain a secondary school diploma or GED.

“We believe that a large part of our population is out of high school but really needing assistance in taking the next steps toward bettering their lives,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “Education is the next step for these members of our community. Being one of a few community colleges in the state to receive this grant, we will be able to assist more people and help our residents move forward in developing successful careers.”

All services, workshops and one-on-one appointments through the Center will be available to residents in Coffee, Dale, Geneva and Houston Counties. EOC offices will also be available on both the Enterprise and Ozark campuses. The program will serve 850 participants across the service area.

“Our goal is to utilize the EOC grant to connect participants with the resources and assistance necessary to earn an education,” Mathis said. “The desired outcome is to help people improve their quality of life, increase their earning potential and motivate participants to build a legacy of educational achievement in their families.”

Cutline: Career/Transfer Coordinator for SSS for the Ozark Campus Lesia Grice, left, shows Dean of Students Kassie Mathis the many ways SSS helps their students be successful. SSS is funded by a TRiO grant, and ESCC will be receiving a second TRiO grant to set up an Educational Opportunity Center on the Ozark campus.

ESCC increasing adult education/workforce development opportunities

ESCC increasing adult education/workforce development opportunities

Two new partnerships are helping Enterprise State Community College expand its adult education and workforce development efforts in the Wiregrass.

ESCC provides free Adult Education services to help students become college and career-ready. The College offers adult education classes at 15 locations throughout Coffee, Dale, Geneva, and Pike Counties, and thanks to Christ Community Church in Enterprise, the College can now add another site to the list.

“This free GED class is so crucial to the Christ Community Church family and what we believe is our mission to the Enterprise community and surrounding area,” Christ Community Church Lead Pastor Joey Turman said. “We are excited for the chance to help people earn their GED and continue their education. We feel that the completion of this program can be life-changing for those who participate. Acquiring a GED places many individuals in a more feasible position for gainful employment, and it opens the prospect for continued education to enhance an individual’s life. It has definitely been proven to open doors for others and be a tremendous blessing to families in the community.”

Not only will instructors provide adult education classes at Christ Community Church, but other services, like childcare, will be provided. The first class was held at the church on Sept. 7, and classes are scheduled to take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the church.

“I am personally thankful for our volunteers who have grasped the vision to make a difference in our community by helping others,” Turman said. “With so much trouble around us today with COVID, shutdowns, and many other tremendous challenges, Christ Community Church desires to be a place where people can find a helping hand and a caring heart.”

In addition to adding a new adult education site, ESCC is partnering with the City of Troy, Pike County Chamber of Commerce and Southeast AlabamaWorks to provide a unique workforce training opportunity for those 18 and older with misdemeanor records.

The Pike County Re-Entry Program (PREP) is a free program developed to “provide an opportunity for employment and the development of workforce skills for those who may have certain barriers ­– such as limited education, job experience or criminal record(s) – to gaining employment and give individuals a chance to build a life here in Pike County,” Cameron Rice, liaison for the City of Troy, said.

“The City of Troy is extremely excited to partner with ESCC and Southeast AlabamaWorks to create more opportunities for the citizens of Troy and Pike County, and we are looking forward to watching this program grow and helping many citizens in our city,” he said.

Participants in PREP will take Alabama Ready to Work (RTW) course offered through ESCC and learn industry-recognized skills like Precision Measurement and Basic Blueprint Reading while using the latest VR equipment, provided to the College by TransfrVR.

“From the governor down, Alabama has been pushing for dynamic programs like this one that allows us to engage more of our unreached workforce since reaching our record-low pre-pandemic unemployment numbers,” Southeast AlabamaWorks Workforce Development Manager Katie Thomas said of the program. “When unemployment compensation claims are less than three percent of the workforce, there is a shift from finding people who need a job to find people who want a job, which results in us shifting our strategies to reach our workforce’s potential.

“With those strategic shifts, our focus is less on finding what jobs are available for our citizens, and more on finding available workers for our business and industry partners,” Thomas said. “As a result of this program, and other re-entry programs across southeast Alabama, we can directly connect business and industry with more qualified talent pools, filled with people who want a second chance to work a full-time job.”

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce has identified “Second Chance Employers” in the community. According to Thomas, these employers have jobs available where PREP participants will be able to work with their hands, including in manufacturing, food production and general labor. After completing the six-week course, participants will be able to apply for open positions with these employers. Additionally, those who complete PREP and stay employed for six months will be eligible for an extension on repaying court fees.

To participate in PREP, individuals will need to contact the Pike County Court Referral Office. The first PREP class will be held on Sept. 14.

ESCC’s Director of Adult Education and Workforce Development Leigh Shiver said the College is proud to partner with these community organizations to provide more opportunities for success to those in the community.

“At Enterprise State, we want to help our students find their path forward, whether academically through our adult education classes or in their career with our workforce training opportunities,” Shiver said. “We are our community’s college, and with these new partnerships, we’re able to help more people within our community take those first steps toward their future. Our goal is to develop more partnerships like these in the future.”

Cutline: ESCC’s newest partner, Christ Community Church in Enterprise, will provide a new site for adult education services. Pictured, back row, from left, are ESCC Adult Education Instructor Jonathan Smith, Adult Education Coordinator Steve Graves and Director of Adult Education and Workforce Development Leigh Shiver. Pictured, front row, from left, are Christ Community Church GED Director and Instructor Cecelia Englewood, Lead Pastor Joey Turman, Adult Education Instructor Amanda Martin and student Jon Martin.

ESCC increasing workforce development opportunities

ESCC increasing workforce development opportunities

Enterprise State Community College is partnering with the City of Troy, Pike County Chamber of Commerce and Southeast AlabamaWorks to provide workforce training to those 18 and older with misdemeanor records in Pike County.

The Pike County Re-Entry Program (PREP) is a free program developed to “provide an opportunity for employment and the development of workforce skills for those who may have certain barriers ­­­– such as limited education, job experience or criminal record(s) – to gaining employment and give individuals a chance to build a life here in Pike County,” Cameron Rice, liaison for the City of Troy, said.

“The City of Troy is extremely excited to partner with ESCC and Southeast AlabamaWorks to create more opportunities for the citizens of Troy and Pike County, and we are looking forward to watching this program grow and helping many citizens in our city,” he said.

Participants in PREP will take Alabama Ready to Work (RTW) course offered through ESCC and learn industry-recognized skills like Precision Measurement and Basic Blueprint Reading while using the latest VR equipment, provided to the College by TransfrVR.

“From the governor down, Alabama has been pushing for dynamic programs like this one that allows us to engage more of our unreached workforce since reaching our record-low pre-pandemic unemployment numbers,” Southeast AlabamaWorks Workforce Development Manager Katie Thomas said of the program. “When unemployment compensation claims are less than three percent of the workforce, there is a shift from finding people who need a job to find people who want a job, which results in us shifting our strategies to reach our workforce’s potential.

“With those strategic shifts, our focus is less on finding what jobs are available for our citizens, and more on finding available workers for our business and industry partners,” Thomas said. “As a result of this program, and other re-entry programs across southeast Alabama, we can directly connect business and industry with more qualified talent pools, filled with people who want a second chance to work a full-time job.”

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce has identified “Second Chance Employers” in the community. According to Thomas, these employers have jobs available where PREP participants will be able to work with their hands, including in manufacturing, food production and general labor. After completing the six-week course, participants will be able to apply for open positions with these employers. Additionally, those who complete PREP and stay employed for six months will be eligible for an extension on repaying court fees.

To participate in PREP, individuals will need to contact the Pike County Court Referral Office. The first PREP class will be held on Sept. 14.

ESCC’s Director of Adult Education and Workforce Development Leigh Shiver said the College is proud to partner with the City of Troy, Pike County Chamber of Commerce and Southeast AlabamaWorks to provide more opportunities for success to those in the community.

“At Enterprise State, we want to help our students find their path forward, whether academically through our adult education classes or in their career with our workforce training opportunities,” Shiver said. “With this partnership, we’re able to help more people within our community take those first steps toward their future. Our goal is to develop more partnerships like this in the future.”

Cutlines: PREP: ESCC’s new partnership with the City of Troy, Pike County Chamber of Commerce and Southeast AlabamaWorks will provide workforce training to those 18 and older with misdemeanor records.

Instrument donated in memory of longtime ESCC instructor

Instrument donated in memory of longtime ESCC instructor

Enterprise State Community College’s Fine Arts Division is now home to an organ, valued at approximately $60,000, that will be used to increase fine arts offerings and honor a former ESCC instructor.

The new Viscount Prestige I Digital Organ was donated in memory of longtime ESCC – then Enterprise State Junior College – English instructor Rex Everage. Everage retired after 30 years of teaching at the College. He was known as a lover of music and played the organ at the local Episcopal church for many years.

“I realized the importance of great music to Rex when one morning as I parked, Rex, who was never late to class, remained in his car, swaying slightly and nodding his head,” Dr. Becky Armstrong, a former colleague and friend of Everage’s, said. “When I tapped on his car window to remind him that he had only a few minutes before his eight o’clock class, he replied that he would join me after the magnificent Handel Concerto ended; then he smiled happily as he rolled up the window and continued his private concert.”

To honor Everage’s love of music and the organ, the donated instrument will be installed in the College’s Multipurpose Room located in the Lurleen B. Wallace Student Center where many Fine Arts Department performances and events are held.

“I want the Fine Arts Division at ESCC to be a place for students to train and a place for the community to gather for wonderful music,” David Deal, a supporter of the arts who has served on ESCC’s Lyceum Committee and as the vice-president for the Coffee County Arts Alliance, said. Deal donated the instrument in memory of Everage. “Rex loved the organ, and he would want more students learning to play the instrument.”

Using the new organ, the College’s Fine Arts Division has added Private Organ lessons to its curriculum. Three students are currently enrolled in the class.

“Future plans are to add a short-term certificate in church music,” ESCC Fine Arts Division Chair Dr. Ken Thomas said. “Many local churches contact us seeking qualified students to work with their music program. As the community’s college, it is important for us to offer programs that meet the needs of community and industry partners.”

According to Thomas, church organists in Alabama could earn a yearly salary of over $40,000, and the national yearly salary for a church organist is over $52,000.

Scholarships for all fine arts programs are still available. For questions about scholarships or for those interested in learning more about fine arts programs, contact Dr. Ken Thomas at kthomas@escc.edu.

The first public performance with the new organ will be Sunday, Aug. 8, at 3:30 p.m. during the Coffee County Arts Alliance’s “An Afternoon with Art and Music” event, which will be held from 2-4 p.m. in Forrester Hall. The public is invited to attend the event and the performance.

Cutline: David Deal, left, donated a new Viscount Prestige I Digital Organ to the ESCC Fine Arts Division in memory of Rex Everage. The instrument will be used during performances and to increase fine arts music offerings. Pictured, right, is ESCC Fine Arts Division Chair Dr. Ken Thomas.

ESCC/AAC students to receive more stimulus funds

ESCC/AAC students to receive more stimulus funds

Enterprise State Community College and Alabama Aviation College students will soon receive more stimulus funds for attending college classes.

This will be the third disbursement of federal dollars to students enrolled in classes at ESCC. To date, the College has distributed $1.2 million dollars to students through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was originally signed into law on March 27, 2020.

In addition to disbursing funds to students, previous disbursements to the College were also used to purchase technology to assist faculty, staff, and students to the total transition to online learning in 2020, such as laptops for the College’s Laptop Loaner Program, as well as safety equipment for both campuses.

“These CARES funds are dollars going back to the colleges to benefit students in different ways,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “These funds are there to personally help students overcome hardships created by the pandemic so they aren’t having to put their education on hold, and they allow us as a college to make our campus an environment for our students to safely learn and train.”

For the 2021-22 academic year, ESCC will receive approximately $2.3 million in CARES Act grant funds. The $2.3 million will be fully distributed to eligible ESCC/AAC students. Students attending classes during the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters who qualify under the federal program are eligible to receive a disbursement.

The final amount to be received by students for the 2021-22 academic year will not be determined until enrollment numbers are finalized each semester. These dollars are intended to help students with technology, course material, health care and childcare costs as well as other essential college needs.

Students are urged to sign up for a direct deposit to receive this payment quicker. Students may receive the funds by mail or through direct deposit. To ensure that funds are correctly distributed, students are asked to log into their MyESCC account and verify that all mailing and banking information is up to date.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to provide additional financial support to students during this difficult time,” Mathis said. “Many of our students and their families have experienced significant financial setbacks as a result of the pandemic. Our hope is that the stimulus grants will enable our students to continue their education at ESCC in the fall.”

Registration for the fall semester is still happening at ESCC and AAC. For individuals interested in attending classes in the fall who have not applied, the College’s free application can be found at escc.edu/apply. To register for the fall semester, students can visit escc.edu/registration and follow the steps to register.

ESCC Fine Arts adding Digital Multimedia program

ESCC Fine Arts adding Digital Multimedia program

Enterprise State Community College will offer a new Digital Multimedia program through the College’s Fine Arts Division starting this Fall 2021 semester.

“This program was actually the brainchild of Dr. Jean Johnson, retired ESCC Fine Arts Division Chair,” current ESCC Fine Arts Division Chair Dr. Ken Thomas said. “Since her retirement, we have been working to get this program up and running.”

This program will help meet the growing need for graphic designers, producers, and other multimedia artists. According to the 2021 Statewide List of In-Demand Occupations, Graphic Designers, Music Directors, AV Equipment Technicians, and Producers and Directors are listed as in-demand careers, with median annual salaries ranging from $33-58,000. Additionally, Graphic Designer is also listed on the Region 6 In-Demand Occupations list.

Thomas said the program would also provide skills training in a field of interest for many in the area.

“After many inquiries from prospective students, Vice President/Dean of Instruction Daniel Long encouraged us to start the program, so we revised the program curriculum and submitted the application for approval,” he said.

Digital Multimedia will be a two-year associate degree program that is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers using multimedia, including graphic design, digital animation, motion graphics, 3D visualization, game, and interactive media design, music and sound design, video production, web design, and photography.

The program will consist of 65 credit hours. Classes in this program will include Two-Dimensional Composition, Digital Photography, Computer Graphics I, and Digital Video Production. Students will also learn to use video and audio recording equipment and software as part of the program.

Practicum Field Experience will be required to graduate from the program. This will be completed through projects completed with various College departments or with outside industry partners if requested.

“The program will certainly add to the Fine Arts technical programs, and we are excited about getting started,” Thomas said.

Scholarships are currently available for this program. Students interested in applying for a fine arts scholarship can contact Dr. Ken Thomas at kthomas@escc.edu.

Cutlines: Art Instructors Lynn Ledbetter, left, and Leslie Gibson will be teaching some of the core classes that will be offered through the Digital Multimedia program.

Fine Arts holding virtual spring showcase

Fine Arts holding virtual spring showcase

Enterprise State Community College’s Fine Arts Spring Concert and Student Art Show will offer a showcase of the arts virtually.

This annual ESCC event is traditionally held on campus in the Fine Arts building for visitors to see student talent and work from the spring semester. This year, the event will be offered virtually as a pre-recorded concert and art show that will be available online starting May 6 at 6 p.m. The event will be featured on ESCC’s Facebook and Youtube pages.

Fine Arts Division Chair Dr. Ken Thomas said the spring showcase is a way to highlight the hard work the students put in for their performances and projects throughout the semester.

“It is important for our students to set and meet their goals,” Thomas said. “Although there have been many challenges this academic year, our students have continued to meet or surpass their individual and collective goals.”

This year, the concert will feature performances by the ESCC Camerata, ESCC Concert Choir, ESCC Entertainers and ESCC Jazz/Show Band, ESCC Percussion Ensemble, and the ESCC Concert Band. Musical pieces performed by these groups will include: “Sing to the Lord,” “O My Love’s Like a Red, Red Rose,” “For the Beauty of the Earth,” “Total Praise,” “Psalm 100,” “Ride On, King Jesus,” “Land of a Thousand Dances,” “Seasons of Love,” “Jump,” “Hot, Hot, Hot,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Tallis’s Canon,” “Non knobs, Domine,” and “Flow, O, My Tears!” Percussion pieces will include: “Taiko A La Tom-Tom” and “Red Rock Canyon.” There will also be piano and vocal solos performed by students and instructors.

In addition to the musical performances, student art will also be featured, with the pieces being recorded as they hang in Forrester Hall prior to the event.

“Our students receive first-class instruction, second to none,” Thomas said about the fine arts educational experience at ESCC. “This is evident through their artwork and performances.

“The students have amazed me with their tenacity. They look forward to the limited time they have been able to come to the campus for instruction and rehearsal. This is a testament to the commitment our instructors have to our students and their artistic abilities. The arts and music will live forever.”

Thomas said those who are interested in completing a fine arts program at the College can still apply for a fine arts scholarship.

Scholarships are available to qualified students through a music and theater audition process and/or an art portfolio review. Interested students can contact Dr. Thomas at kthomas@escc.edu or they can complete the Enterprise State Community College Scholarship Application at escc.edu/scholarships.

Cutlines:

Piano: ESCC Fine Arts student Connor Howell, left, and Instructor Carol Windham perform a piano duet as part of the Spring Concert and Student Art Show.

Percussion Band: ESCC’s Percussion Ensemble will perform pieces such as “Taiko A La Tom-Tom” and “Red Rock Canyon” during the spring concert.

Concert Band: ESCC’s Concert Band will perform such pieces as “Knockout” and “Grooved Pavement Ahead.”

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