• 68°

First ‘Shelton Day’ provides look SSCC’s Demopolis campus

Shelton State Community College hosted its first “Shelton Day” at the Demopolis Higher Education Center Saturday to help those in the community know about the classes and services available at the local campus.

Shelton Day was a special event for the close proximity community college to give prospective students in the area for the credit and non-credit programs to come to see what SSCC and the Demopolis Higher Education Center is all about. People all surrounding counties were invited to attend.

“This is the first time we’ve been here promoting the actual center for students to take classes here,” said Tennyson, Smith, Director of Recruitment for SSCC. “We actually already have classes going on in truck driving in this area and we’ve attempted to offer classes in this area before, but we never had an effort and all out day here for the people of Marengo and surrounding areas to take put in this.”

Smith talked about the efforts in putting the day together by going through the student services offices at SSCC who were all represented at the event.

“We have people from disability services, admissions and financial aid advising to be a part of this day to make sure everything works well here,” said Smith.

According to the recruitment director, Shelton State has lined up 15 to 20 classes to be taken at the Demopolis Higher Education Center during the fall semester. Therefore, the college is looking to get as many students signed up for the Demopolis based classes as possible. Some of the classes offered will start after 3:30 p.m. to allow current high school students to participate as well as adults who can also enroll in night class offerings.

“It fits into the schedule of what the community needs,” said Smith.

With the combination of taking classes at the center and as well as online, which could be done in the building’s computer lab, a student could earn a two-year degree from SSCC without ever stepping foot on the Tuscaloosa campus. However, the technical programs such as welding, diesel mechanics and drafting would have to be completed in Tuscaloosa for now.

Currently, SSCC offers dual enrollment in HVAC courses for Demopolis High School students as well as students for other Marengo schools. Smith said that there are ongoing talks about looking at advancing the programs offered by SSCC and DCSS at the Career Tech center to better serve the students and community.

Money is always a major factor in any college’s ability to provide a service, which is why generating interest and turning that interest to enrollees is critical for the future of SSCC’s presence in the Demopolis area.

More enrollees would also lead to a larger staff at the higher education could lead to a larger staff to serve the public.

“Currently, we are seeking some employment depending on funding,” said Smith. “That’s one of the issues we have to work on. If there’s a need here, quite naturally we’ll have to find someone to actually cover this area. Right now, we have a facility coordinator (Mike Fields) who handles this building by himself. As we go forward, this a possibility to add to the staff.”

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, June 28, print edition of the Demopolis Times.)