Wallace State Nursing Announces Joint Enrollment Option with Athens State University

Feb 16, 2024Gail Crutchfield
Nursing Simulation

A Wallace State Community College Nursing student takes part in a simulation at the Hanceville college. The Wallace State Department of Nursing announced a partnership with Athens State University's School of Nursing for a joint enrollment opportunity that allows them to earn an associate degree and bachelor's degree concurrently.

Hanceville, AL — Wallace State Community College and Athens State University have signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow Wallace State Nursing students to concurrently earn both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This joint enrollment option is the second available to students at the Hanceville college. WSCC has held a joint enrollment option with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing since 2020.  

“We are excited to announce this joint enrollment opportunity for Wallace State Nursing students and appreciate Athens State for partnering with us on this venture,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki P. Karolewics. “Athens State University has long been a valuable collaborator with WSCC in allowing students to seamlessly transfer to continue their education in a wide range of majors.” 

The memorandum states the goal of the Joint Enrollment Degree Program is “to better serve students, the state of Alabama, the nation, the consumers of healthcare, the professional nursing workforce, and to mutually benefit our institutions.” 

“These students will be prepared at a higher level to assume management and leadership jobs as well as be able to enter into graduate school,” said Deborah “Pepper” Hoover, chair of the Wallace State Department of Nursing Education. “There is a great need for nursing in Alabama, and especially for baccalaureate-prepared nurses. So, this will enable students to earn both of these degrees at a quicker pace and also enter into the healthcare system to fill the needs for these leadership positions.”  

Hoover said they are excited to offer a second option for joint enrollment to area students.  

“We feel like our students really benefit with choices of the program that best meets their needs and the location that is closest to their homes, so we feel like this will really serve the students particularly in North Alabama,” Hoover said.  

Students choosing this WSCC/ATSU Joint Enrollment option will apply to both colleges and their respective nursing programs. Nursing program applications at each institution will be accepted March 15 to May 15 for fall admission and July 1 to Oct. 1 for spring admission.  

The curriculum includes four semesters of academic courses to be completed before applying to the programs. The next five semesters will include classes for both ATSU and WSCC. The nursing classes at ATSU can be taken virtually, and several of the classes at WSCC are offered as a hybrid option.  

The Wallace State Department of Nursing Education hosts monthly Exploring Nursing sessions for students interested in all its programs to get information, meet with faculty and tour the facilities. Attendees also earn one point toward their application point total for attending the session. The sessions are held on Mondays from 12 to 4 p.m. The next sessions are Feb. 26, March 18 and April 29.  

Applications for joint enrollment and traditional options are accepted twice a year for fall and spring admission. The next round of applications for Fall 2024 admission will be March 15-May 15. Applications for spring are taken from July 1 to Sept. 1.  

Along with joint enrollment options, WSCC offers a traditional associate degree in nursing (ADN) option that is five-semester program. Upon completions of the third semester, students can sit for the NCLEX-PN licensure exam to become a licensed practical nurse. The first three semesters of nursing classes are offered at both the Hanceville and Oneonta campus centers and starting this fall, they will be offered as an evening option at the main campus. The program also offers apprenticeship opportunities for students.  

Wallace State’s Department of Nursing Education has twice been designated as a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing.  

For more information about the Nursing program visit www.wallacestate.edu/nursing or contact Deidre Rooker at 256.352.8199 or email nursingapplicant@wallacestate.edu 

The Spring 2024 semester is currently underway at Wallace State, with Mini Term II classes beginning March 6. Priority registration for Summer 2024 and Fall 2024 will begin on April 1.  

For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu, call the main campus at 256.352.8000 or come by Lion Central in the lobby of the James C. Bailey Center Monday-Wednesday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

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