Talking Points

Fast Facts

  • Wallace State Community College celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016-2017, having served its communities with distinction since 1966; and
  • Wallace State was recognized as a Caring Campus by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change in 2019 for its work to serve students in a holistic way. Services and supports available for students include free tutoring, success coaching. mental health counseling, a free food pantry on campus, emergency needs funds for unexpected challenges, a clothes closet, technology and laptop loans, free wi-fi on campus, a low-cost dental clinic, and so much more. We are here to help; and
  • Wallace State was ranked the Best Online Community College in Alabama by Guide to Online Schools in 2020. 
  • Wallace State is a national pacesetter, chosen as one of 30 community colleges in America to participate in the American Association of Community College’s Pathways Project; and
  • Wallace State was a League for Innovation in the Community College's 2020 winner of the Innovation of the Year Award; and
  • Wallace State was the only Community College in Alabama ranked among the nation’s fastest-growing community colleges with enrollment of 5,000 or more by Community College Week; and is among the largest community colleges in the State of Alabama; and
  • Wallace State expanded to open a new campus in Oneonta in 2016, serving Blount County and surrounding areas; and
  • Wallace State has been ranked among the Top Community Colleges in the U.S. by the Aspen Institute three times in five years; and
  • Wallace State has been ranked No. 20 in the U.S. in the number of associate degree health care graduates produced by community colleges in the United States, and No. 32 among all community colleges and universities by Community College Week; and
  • Wallace State was ranked No. 2 in the South for Workforce Development training; The Best of Economic Development in Metro Birmingham; and The Best of the Aerospace Industry in the American South by Southern Business and Development Magazine; and 
  • Wallace State is the region’s one-stop source for workforce development, offering services for business and industry, and for individuals seeking education and training for a competitive job market; and
  • Wallace State has been consistently ranked the first choice among community colleges for Alabama high school students taking the ACT; and
  • Wallace State was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College in 2017. The college's participation in the prestigious Achieving the Dream national reform network, focused on student success, has resulted in such initiatives as Learning Communities and the streamlining of enrollment services though Lion Central, as well as enhancements to advising, placement and tutoring; and
  • Wallace State is one of only two community colleges in the nation, and one of just 180 institutions in the world, to be designated an All-Steinway School; and
  • Wallace State was one of 10 community colleges in the U.S. to be chosen to participate in the American Association of Colleges and Universities Roadmap Project for its leadership related to student outcomes; and
  • The Department of Nursing Education earned the National League for Nursing’s prestigious designation as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education™, the first college or university to earn the designation twice--for 2016-2020 and 2020-2025. Wallace State is one of only 15 nursing programs recognized with the distinction. The College’s School of Nursing and Center for Science includes a hospital simulation center, a model for collaborative, cross-disciplinary and simulation-based learning; and
  • Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics was invited to participate in the White House College Opportunity Day of Action in Washington, D.C.; and
  • Wallace State was chosen for the U.S. Department of Education’s “Expanding College Access through the Dual Enrollment Pell Experiment,” one of 44 colleges in the nation, and the only college in Alabama to be selected as an experimental site for the use of federal Pell Grants for dual enrollment. Wallace State was also instrumental in advocating to Congress for the reinstatement of year-round Pell, authorized in 2017; and
  • Wallace State boasts two Skills USA National Champions, Joey Foster in welding (2009) and Matthew O’Neal of machine tool technology (2003).  Maci Key, also a machining student, became Wallace State’s first National Skills USA Officer in 2017; and  
  • Wallace State celebrated the start of the Winston County Works project in 2016, a project that provides workforce training for industry-recognized certificates and credentials for high-growth and high-demand jobs in the automotive manufacturing industry; and
  • The Evelyn Burrow Museum, Wallace State’s museum of fine and decorative arts, has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association Organization of the Year and Attraction of the Year awards, and the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce’s Attraction of the Year award. The Burrow Museum has hosted visiting exhibitions ranging in scope from Warhol to the Smithsonian Institute’s The Way We Worked exhibition. It received consecutive grants to host the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, a program of the South Arts and funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; and
  • Wallace State annually offers international educational opportunities to students and community members, among the longest-running and most popular programs of this type in the Alabama Community College System. The college conducted its first global health outreach service-learning program to Kenya in 2017, and signed a MOU to explore training opportunities in Jamaica in 2016, and the request of UAB partner Bioprist; and
  • Wallace State’s business Incubator program launched ZERO RPM, heralded at the time by the Alabama’s Governor as one of the most innovative new industries in the state. Sequence Health, anticipated to bring more than 100 jobs to the area is the college’s most recent; and
  • Wallace State has repeatedly earned the distinction as a Military Friendly® College; and
  • Wallace State was ranked in the 2018 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Associate in Computer Science and included in the SR Education Group’s 2018 Top Online Colleges report; and  
  • Wallace State’s student success rates are among the highest in the nation, with a completion agenda focused on helping students to Start Early, Start Right, Finish and Succeed. As a result, Wallace State’s programs report outstanding licensure and job placement rates; and  
  • Wallace State maintains a growing Fast Track Academy and dual enrollment program for motivated high school students, including a Fast Track for Industry program and a newly announced Fine and Performing Arts Academy, giving high school students the education and training they need to further their academic studies or enter the workforce; and
  • Wallace State aggressively pursues new programs and partnerships that create efficiencies for students, such as Joint Admission agreements with the University of Alabama in Huntsville, UAB, Samford University and others; additional special partnerships and articulation agreements with Auburn (Poultry Science), UAB, Athens State University, Faulkner University; The University of Alabama (Nursing), Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (Aviation), and more; and seamless transfer of credit to the state’s public universities and other colleges guaranteed through participation in STARS; and
  • Wallace State’s connection with local businesses and industries has resulted in the development of stackable credentials in health and applied technology programs, providing students with proven job-ready skills throughout the curriculum. The College has partnered with area industries to provide apprenticeships for students to practice the skills they have learned, and established the  REHAU Academy, an international model apprenticeship program, in partnership with Cullman County Schools and REHAU; and
  • Wallace State continues to expand its online degree offerings, creating efficiencies for students, and recently added Child Development to the programs available 100% online; and 
  • Wallace State provides cultural enrichment to its communities through fine and performing arts events, museum exhibitions, film screenings, and lectures, and the Common Read program. The College also offers international educational opportunities to students and community members annually, instilling in citizens a global literacy necessary for our increasingly interconnected world; and
  • Wallace State is home to championship athletics – with nine national championships (men's tennis, 1995, 1996; women's tennis, 1995, 1999; track and field, 1997; cheerleading, 2004, 2006; softball, 2008, 2013); numerous state and district titles;  national academic honors for teams and scholar-athletes; and notable alumni such as PGA golfer Fredrik Jacobsen, MLB pitchers Craig Kimbrel and Derek Holland; and
  • Other notable alumni include Steve James, founder of the international aid organization Kenya Relief; country music star Kip Moore; Jimi Westbrook, singer with Little Big Town; NASA rocket scientist Mary Hovater; Jason Simpson, WHNT 19 chief meteorologist, and so many more; and
  • Wallace State’s president Dr. Vicki Karolewics received the 2016 Insight Into Diversity Magazine’s Giving Back Award; the 2015 Distinguished Citizen of the Year by The Cullman Times; the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce’s Lucille Galin Award for public service; a Woman of Distinction award by the Girl Scouts of Alabama; served as the Burgermeister for Cullman’s Oktoberfest celebration; and was elected in 2017 to the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors, representing more than 1,100 community college in the United States; and
  • Wallace State remains steadfastly committed to excellence which transforms lives and communities. In its 50 year history the College has benefited countless individuals seeking to improve their lives and the lives of their families through education; and
  • Wallace State offers many resources for student success, including a tutoring lab and job placement office, as well as clubs, organizations and activities to keep students engaged. On-campus housing is available, and the campus is served by its own 24/7 police force; and
  • Wallace State Community College was named the safest college campus in Alabama, according to a study released by Your Local Security and based on U.S. Department of Education Campus Safety and Security analysis and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report; and
  • The College, known as “the crown jewel” of Alabama’s community colleges, is a “Clean Air” college, with a main campus situated on an idyllic 300 beautiful acres, with lakes, green spaces and tree-lined walking trails, in the rolling hills of north central Alabama, roughly equidistant from Birmingham and Huntsville, each about an hour away; and
  • So much more…