Faculty/Staff Panel

Student Panel


Student Panel
Faculty/Staff Panel
Snead State Community College hailed as state’s best transfer institution

College officials sign Financial Aid Consortium Agreement with JSU for Transfer Prep Program

BOAZ, Ala. – Snead State Community College faculty and staff work diligently to ensure students wishing to pursue a four-year degree can transfer to the college of their choice with ease and are adequately prepared for the next level.

College officials held a news conference Tuesday, June 27, to highlight the institution’s latest transfer success.

“Today, the primary purpose of this press conference is to announce that we were notified by the system office that recent data shows Snead State has the highest rate of transfer students of any community college in the state,” said Snead State President Dr. Joe Whitmore. “And to the negative news media that talks about transfer rates for community colleges being around 30 percent or less, Snead State’s transfer rate right now is tracking at 67 percent.”

Whitmore also announced Snead State was one of only three community colleges to see an increase in the number of students who have transferred since the COVID years.

“So, the question is, what are we doing? How are we bucking these national trends to get such healthy numbers?” Whitmore said. “Well, again, it’s attributed to our faculty and staff and the hard work that they’ve put in to help students complete their degrees here, to help them get on track to transfer to the school of their choice with the least possible number of disruptions. We offer and encourage all of our students to take advantage of one-on-one advisement, individually meeting with our faculty on a semester-by-semester basis to make sure they are staying on track. They don’t all use that opportunity, but we do offer it.”

Whitmore also pointed to the Alabama Transfers (formerly known as the STARS) Guide and DegreeWorks as tools that aid in preparing students for the transition to four-year institutions.

Representing the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) was Boone Kinard, who serves as the system’s Director of External Affairs. On behalf of Chancellor Jimmy Baker, Kinard congratulated Snead State on its success.

 “The mission of the ACCS is focused around three primary pillars: Adult Education, Workforce Development, and Academic Transfer,” Kinard said. “And while Workforce Development rightly gets a lot of attention in the current [state of the economy] … Academic Transfer remains a popular option for many of our community college students who want to get a head start on their higher education journey and then move on to a four-year university. As you’ve heard from Dr. Whitmore, no one does it better in the state than Snead State Community College.”

Former students State District 26 Rep. Brock Colvin, R-Albertville, and Sadie Burns of Boaz shared their transfer success stories.

After graduating from Albertville High School in 2014, Colvin said he was unsure of what he wanted to do in life, which made Snead State the perfect place for him. He was able to continue his baseball career as well.

“There’s no doubt that if not for the foundation that Snead State laid during my time here, I would not have succeeded as well as I did here, at the University of Alabama, and now in both of my careers [in public service and as a financial advisor],” Colvin said.

“Snead’s motto – ‘Small enough to know your name but large enough to shape your future’ – could not be more accurate. As I still have relationships and friendships today that began right here at Snead State, there’s no doubt that Snead State Community College has had an impact on my life.”

Burns, who is a recent graduate of Jacksonville State University and has been accepted into the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, talked about how her advisor at Snead State helped chart her educational journey and prepare her for the jump to a four-year university.

“My teachers at Snead were personable and passionate about what they taught,” Burns said. “My advisor Mrs. [Deborah] Roden encouraged me to pursue Physical Therapy. She went out of her way to research Physical Therapy schools and sent me their prerequisite classes, and she made sure I completed every class I could at Snead. I don’t know of another school where your advisor will give you their personal cell phone number and call you when you’re panicking about your future.

“COVID hit the second semester of my freshman year, and all of my classes went online. My teachers at Snead continued to be amazing and helped us succeed. We were kept on track, even with the uncertainty of the time, and I graduated in May 2021. Snead State Community College gave me a strong foundation to begin college. It gave me the tools I needed to succeed in undergrad, and now I’ll be taking everything I learned with me to graduate school.”

Tonya Clowdus, who works as Executive Assistant for Academic Affairs, spoke briefly from two viewpoints: as an employee and a mother.

“I’ve been here at Snead State for over 31 years now, and over that time a lot of things have changed. But one thing that has not changed is Snead State’s commitment to our students to provide them with the tools to give them the best opportunity to succeed in their next chapter.”

Clowdus said her two daughters both attended Snead State before moving onto four-year universities.

“As a mom, I can definitely say that Snead State provided my daughters with a solid foundation they needed to be successful with their respective transfer schools and in their current careers. I have absolutely no hesitation recommending Snead State to anyone because I know that our students will be cared for, educated and ready for the next chapter.”

Also on hand for the news conference was Jacksonville State University President Dr. Don Killingsworth. He voiced his gratitude to Snead State and all of Alabama’s community colleges.

“At JSU, we recognize the important role our state’s community colleges play in transforming the lives of Alabamians,” Killingsworth said. “We are proud to partner with our state’s two-year schools to ensure a seamless transition to JSU for those who wish to continue their studies and pursue a four-year degree. More than 40 percent of students attending community colleges in Alabama matriculate to a four-year university. While we accept students from community colleges throughout the system, we currently have a special transfer pathway with 11 schools, including Snead State.

“At JSU, we are passionate about making a four-year degree attainable to Alabama Transfer students, and we’re proud to partner with all of Alabama’s community colleges. We also value our relationship with Snead State … Out of the 24 community colleges in Alabama, Snead sends JSU the second-highest number of transfer students. … Our partnership with Snead State sets the bar real high.”

In addition to the college’s transfer success, Whitmore announced a strengthened partnership with JSU that assists Snead State students wanting to pursue careers in education, criminal justice and forensics investigation.

The Transfer Prep Program at JSU, established in Fall 2022, allows students to be concurrently enrolled in an Alabama community college while taking ED302, CJ225, or FI204 courses at JSU.  The tuition at JSU for these three courses is discounted by 50 percent for students who are part of the Transfer Prep Program.  JSU has committed to offering ED302 during all semesters (fall, spring, summer) in an online format for students.  Education majors at a community college have often been delayed at least one semester at JSU due to this required prerequisite course for the education program.  The Transfer Prep program resolves that obstacle for students.

There are currently three courses that are eligible for this program:

• Teacher Prep: ED302 (Intro Foundations in Teacher Education) – student must have earned at least 30 semester credit hours before taking this course (i.e. student must be in sophomore year at Snead State)

• Criminal Justice Prep: CJ225 (Criminal Courts) – student must have completed CRJ100 (Intro to Criminal Justice) at Snead prior to enrolling at CJ225 at JSU

• Forensics Prep: FI204 (Intro to Forensics Investigation) – student must have completed CRJ100 (Intro to Criminal Justice) at Snead prior to enrolling at CJ225 at JSU

To conclude the news conference, Whitmore and Killingsworth signed a Financial Aid Consortium Agreement between SSCC and JSU that allows Snead State students to utilize federal financial aid (Pell Grant, etc.), if eligible, to apply toward the costs of one of these three JSU courses while students are concurrently enrolled in an education or criminal justice program of study at SSCC.