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Higher Education

Spotlight on Etowah & St. Clair Counties

Registered nursing is one of the most recent among the 120 degree programs offered to the 615 students enrolled at Jefferson State Community College’s Pell City campus.

Registered nursing is one of the most recent among the 120 degree programs offered to the 615 students enrolled at Jefferson State Community College’s Pell City campus.

Gadsden State Community College
Gadsden State has a fall enrollment of 8,000 students and six campuses in locations between the Coosa River and the Appalachian foothills. Students can select from more than 80 career options and enjoy the convenience of more than 1,300 onsite, hybrid and internet classes.

GSCC’s Aquaculture Education and Development Center has a 26-acre aquatic complex including indoor labs that train students for jobs ranging from agricultural and medical research opportunities to entertainment at Disney World.

Gadsden State was the first two-year college in Alabama to have gross anatomy “cadaver” labs, benefiting students in pre-health care programs, such as nursing, pre-med and dentistry. Students also may prepare for a career in today’s high-tech workforce with opportunities in broadcast captioning, court reporting, electronics engineering, automotive technology and many other fields. The school’s high-tech Alabama Regional Center for Welding Automation on the East Broad campus became the first centralized, innovative certified welding center to provide advanced automated orbital welding training in the region.

GSCC’s nursing program facilities and equipment recently were upgraded and now include a diagnostic simulation dummy and a new, hospital-like wing with bed-filled suites. The program is housed in Helderman Hall.

Other developments include:

  • The Gateway Project, designed to improve safety, alleviate traffic hazards and connect the school’s East Broad and Wallace Drive campuses, includes a new road, a four-way traffic signal with pedestrian cycle and parking.
  • The Automotive Service Technology building with four new vehicle lifts and eight bays for student instruction and classroom space.
  • The Bevill Center, housing the Alabama Technology Network and space for associate degree program students.
  • A certificate program in entrepreneurship.

Jefferson State CC
St. Clair-Pell City Center

Jefferson State’s Pell City center offers a convenient way for students to get the educational and workforce training they need. Fall 2012 saw 615 students attending the Pell City location.

The Pell City Center offers courses in areas from art to automotive manufacturing technology, along with computer information systems, biology, math, psychology, Spanish, speech and more. It offers 120 transfer degree programs and recently began offering a degree in registered nursing and a manufacturing/technology degree. 

It also offers the Icademy program, a dual-enrollment program that helps prepare local high school students for careers in nursing and other high-technology jobs of the future. It was developed through a partnership among Jefferson State, various county entities, local industries and local school systems.

Jeff State also has campuses in Shelby, Jefferson and Chilton counties.

Jacksonville State University’s Gadsden Center focuses on assisting students with an associate degree toward earning a four-year degree.

Jacksonville State University Gadsden Center
JSU-Gadsden is located in the Joe M. Ford Center for Economic Development on the Gadsden State Community College campus. The center has about 300 students, with a focus on assisting students with an associate degree toward earning a four-year degree.

The center plans to add upper division courses in technology and criminal justice.

The main JSU campus is located about 30 miles from Gadsden.

University of Alabama Gadsden Center
The UA Gadsden Center has served students for almost 70 years. It is a division of UA’s College of Continuing Studies. The primary focus is on graduate-level teacher education programs. The center offers classes to accommodate adult students who are pursuing degrees while working.

The center also hosts the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a daytime program for mature learners who want to go back to school. OLLI is a membership program that is member planned and member managed. This academic cooperative provides mature adults with opportunities for intellectual stimulation, cultural development and social interaction. There’s no homework, no exams or no required college degrees – just non-credit courses that are fun, exciting and cover a variety of topics. 

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