DOTHAN. – In the fall of each year, a number of Wallace Community College-Dothan students pack a little bit of home and transfer to four-year colleges or universities, excited for their next big adventure. For many WCCD students, it is also an opportunity to excel with new peers who also have high expectations.
The journey to succeed in their education is a dream for many students – and their parents. According to the University of Alabama and Auburn University, WCCD students are well on their way. In fact, in most cases WCCD students out-perform students who begin their academic careers at Auburn or Alabama
WCCD recently received feedback reports from the University of Alabama (UA) and Auburn University (AU) transfers. The reports analyze the success rankings of WCCD transfers, in this case the 2019-2020 academic year. The reports highlight an incredible story of student success.
“We are so proud of all our Wallace Community College-Dothan students,” said WCCD President Dr. Linda C. Young. “These transfer success reports validate what we have always known—our students leave us well-prepared to succeed in four-year institutions. Their demonstrated academic success underscores the fact that students can get anywhere they want to go from our college.”
WCCD had 40 students transfer to the University of Alabama with 15 or more transfer credit hours. In addition, 29 former WCCD students received a BS degree in 2019-2020. Transfer students who took 300 and 400 level courses (junior and senior level) had an average GPA of 3.28. The average GPA of students transferring from other institutions was 3.04.
“This higher average GPA is a testimony to the passion, commitment, and motivation of our incredible faculty at Wallace Community College, said Leslie Reeder, dean of instruction. “They prepare our students to meet their educational goals, whether that goal is to transfer to a university or go directly to the workforce.”
The feedback report from Auburn University also analyses the performance of WCCD transfer students. 32 WCCD students transferred to AU for the 2019-2020 academic year. Their GPA was higher (3.24) for the year than all other transfer students who began the same semester (3.13). The AU acceptance rate of WCCD students is also something to celebrate. The rate was higher (79.7%) than all other transfer students who were accepted in fall 2019 (58.7%).
WCCD students continue to succeed past their transfer year. “Starting my college career as a dual enrollment student at Wallace-Dothan gave me a solid foundation to build on at Auburn. My Wallace instructors always made me feel like they were invested in me and in my success,” said Allie Boutwell. “They set high standards for all their students, and they expected us to meet them.” Allie is a junior in her second semester at Auburn’s College of Nursing.
University of Alabama student and Lakeside School (Eufaula) graduate Anna Murph agrees with this assessment of WCCD first, then transfer. “Through dual enrollment at WCCD, I had numerous lessons instilled in me that are necessary to remain a successful student at a four-year university,” she said. “While I was not only enriched academically, I also learned about myself and the skills I have in order to make well informed decisions in pursuit of a successful career. I cannot wait see where the things I have learned takes me.”
Wallace graduate Basie Shine fast-tracked through dual enrollment classes in high school, eventually transferring 60 hours to Auburn. Being on a college campus before transferring helped acclimate him to a larger university. “Since I was exposed to the college atmosphere, I came to Auburn with a mature mindset.”
One of the strengths of a community college is the ease of transferring to a university. At Wallace, students who are transfer-bound are counseled to complete the official STARS Guide (stars.troy.edu). The system gives students a personal course guide based their chosen major. Students can enjoy their first two years at WCCD at half the cost of a university, saving money for university transfer and completion of their education.
This article originally appeared on Washington County News: The Power of Feedback: Wallace Transfer Students Excel