Friday, May 25, 2012

From Boaz to Rhode Island, one Snead State graduate is going the distance to achieve his dreams.

Landon Naylor of Sardis earned his Associate degree in history from Snead State Community College this spring, but by this fall, he will travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to attend one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

Naylor will attend Brown University to study art history and French.

“I hope to work as a curator, preferably in one of the Smithsonian museums. Curating a museum involves art, culture, and travel, along with numerous other aspects that make a career as a curator attractive to me,” he said.

The Sardis High School graduate attended Snead State as part of the Presidential Scholar program. His academic success led him to not only be accepted to Brown but also to Rhodes College and the College of William and Mary.

“Brown University famously eliminated degree requirements in 1969 with the establishment of the ‘new curriculum,’ which allows students to be the ‘architects of their own educations.’ Brown excites me because I’ll have more autonomy in deciding my own education; I’ll take courses in my desired concentrations, and reinforce them with electives in subjects that interest me,” Naylor said.

“Attending an Ivy League university is a wonderful opportunity for Landon. The educational experience will be unlike anything he’s ever had before, but the social experience will enhance his learning. He’ll interact with different cultures; he’ll experience new ideas within his classes; and he’ll grow as a leader,” said Snead State President Dr. Robert Exley.

Naylor doesn’t foresee experiencing any “culture shock” once he moves from Boaz to Providence, Rhode Island. To him, the challenge in attending a private Ivy League university is the cost.

Whatever he may face when he pursues his academic career, Naylor said he knows he’s prepared, and his Snead State education was an important part of the preparation.

“Snead State has resources that are better than or equal to the quality of those offered by much larger institutions. Because of this, I’ve never felt at a disadvantage while attending Snead State,” he said. “Snead gave me experiences and opportunities that made transferring into an Ivy League possible.”

Brown University was founded in 1764 and is the seventh oldest college in the United States. Brown’s enrollment consists of 6,000 undergraduates, 2,000 graduate students, 400 medical school students, and more than 5,000 summer, visiting and online students. The university has a diverse faculty of almost 700. Students come to Brown from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

There's still time to register for summer

For those who wanted to but didn't have a chance to register for this summer semester, there's still time!

Late registration for the full Summer term has been extended until Tuesday, May 29. The extension does not apply to the Summer Mini I or Mini II terms.

Classes are still available in Art, Biology, Business, Economics, English, History and Math.

Use this time to pick up a class or two that you may need, or get a jump start on your education. Classes are available online, so your coursework does not have to interfere with your plans for the summer.

To register, visit the College's website. To access a list of classes, use our interactive course schedule. You can also contact the College at (256) 593-5120 or

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Will you be a Snead student in the Fall 2012?

Then this information applies to you!

Snead State Community College is in the process of changing to new software that will be used campus wide by staff and students. What students now know as SSCC Online will have a new look and a new name when it comes time to register for the Fall 2012 semester.

SSCC Online will become mySnead!

What do you need to know now?

The implementation of the new software is in the early stages, so all you need to know is the following:

1.      Expect to learn a new system for registering for your classes. There will be time designated for current students to receive their new login/password and to learn the functions of the new system. Snead State will keep students informed as the process moves forward.

2.      Faculty and staff will be available to help students learn the new process, but remember – we’re all learning the new system. Your patience will be appreciated as we work out the kinks that seem to always come when you’re trying something new.

Why change?

There are many reasons behind the change to a new system, but the reason that impacts students the most is this: Students will be able to sign-on once and access mySnead for registration, transcripts, financial aid information and grades; Blackboard for online content; and Gmail for College communications!  Though you have to get used to having a new login/password and a new system, the end result should be a more user-friendly, effective system for students! Because the system is similar to that used by many Alabama universities, students will have an opportunity to become familiar with it before they transfer from Snead.

How will I be notified of information as the process moves forward?

1.      If you’re enrolled for the summer semester and plan to return in the fall, you’ll receive information through your student webmail account.

2.      Information will be posted on the school website,

3.      Information will be posted on the college’s social media websites:,, 

4.      Information of any registration sessions to train students on the new system will be distributed through the methods listed above as well as through local media.

NJCAA Lifts Probation on Snead State Basketball Program

An announcement was made Thursday, May 17, that the probation placed on the Snead State Community College basketball program has been lifted.

The NJCAA notified the College via letter stating the sanction was lifted “effective immediately.”

The NJCAA sanction came in March 2011, declaring Snead State ineligible to compete in post-season play for the 2010-2011 season and placing the program on probation for the 2011-2012 season. The sanction also called for the forfeiture of the men and women teams’ wins during the 2010-2011 season and for complete audits of all teams certifications.

The basis for the ruling was failure to complete the proper procedure to certify the rosters and confirm player eligibility to compete – an error self-reported by the College to the NJCAA. Snead State filed an appeal to revoke the probation soon after the ruling was given, but the appeal was denied.

“Despite the probation placed on the basketball program this past season, the basketball program continued to serve as an opportunity for students to pursue a college education. Our players brought a high level of athleticism, teamwork, and dedication to each game they played, and the community supported our program in the same way they always had,” said Athletic Director Mark Richard. “With the probation lifted, the men and women on our basketball teams can showcase their talents without being under the shadow of a mistake that was reported and corrected.  We have developed policies and procedures that should ensure this type of error does not reoccur.”

For the 2012-2013 season, the men’s team will be led by a new face, Head Coach Jay Welborn. The women’s team is led by Head Coach Jarrod Plummer.

Couple Earn Associate Degrees Together

Husband and wife Jeremy and Beverly King of Arab share a home, share parenting of their three children, and now share a milestone achievement for them both – earning an Associate degree from Snead State Community College.

The couple dropped out of high school but made the decision together to complete their education because of the inspiration they received from their children.

“Jeremy and I have been married for 14 years. It was a very unique situation because when we married, I had a 5-year-old daughter, and he was raising a 5-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. They all started kindergarten the same day. They all graduated high school on the same day last May,” said Beverly.

 The couple earned their GEDs, and they made the decision to enroll at Snead in 2008. At the time, Jeremy was operating a small construction business as a roofing contractor, a field he had worked in since he was 16. Beverly was a stay-at-home mom, staying busy with the schedules of their three children. 

“I always wanted to return to school and earn a college degree. When my children were finally in high school, I knew it was the best opportunity to begin classes,” she said.

“My wife definitely encouraged me the most. If she says she is going to do something, that is it; you can count on it. We looked at each other for encouragement,” Jeremy said.

“The industry I work in is extremely difficult,” Jeremy continued. “It is very physically demanding. While it is still something I plan on doing for a long time, it is not really a job I will be able to do at 70 years old. I started thinking a lot more about my future. I really wanted to be an example to my children. I am happy to say, two of my children are also students at Snead, and everyone in our household is a college student!”

The Kings started to college gradually by taking some part-time courses through Snead State’s Arab Center. The journey to receive their Associate degree has been a memorable one full of challenges and unique experiences.

“Our biggest challenge was most definitely this semester,” said Beverly. “We both took 16 credit hours, and we had our most advanced classes with a load that was more than the (minimum requirement for) full time. We both have a 4/0 GPA and wanted to keep that. Statistics was the hardest class – hands down.”

Jeremy said one unique experience was sharing some classes with their two children who are currently enrolled at Snead. “We had all of the same classes for the spring semester. I thought it would be weird to sit in a classroom with my own kids, but it wasn’t strange at all. We teased them about it, hoping to get a rise out of them. It did not bother them in the least.”

But the experience that tops them all came this semester as Jeremy and Beverly prepared to end their time as Snead State students.

“Our best experience at Snead outside of the classroom was picking up our cap and gown at the bookstore and ordering our honor cords. It was really special to be able to do that together, and it was the first time it began to sink in. I know it is really going to be wonderful to walk and get our diplomas together,” Jeremy said.

While their children will return to Snead in the fall, Jeremy and Beverly will transfer to Athens State University to continue their pursuit of Bachelor degrees. Both are majoring in management with a minor in acquisition and contract management. Their goal is to one day work in civil service, hopefully for the U.S. Army.

Like many non-traditional students, the Kings had their own ideas of what college would be like before they enrolled, but they soon realized Snead State was different from their expectations.

“I expected Snead to be packed with teenagers. When I arrived at my night class, it was half-filled with older adults. I was surprised by how many in the classroom were actually returning students.

“I was also surprised by some of the financial options. I attended Snead for quite some time assuming I would not qualify for a scholarship. After talking to the financial aid office, we both applied for and were awarded scholarships,” said Jeremy.

“Academically, math intimidated me the most. It had been so long since I actually used any math that I learned in school. It did take a lot of work, but it was very doable. I loved watching the videos online. It made online classes seem much more like being in the classroom,” said Beverly.

“The most intimidating part is the process. Once you talk to someone on campus, it will help you form a plan of action,” she continued. “You don’t really have to have all the answers. You just need to ask the questions. They have so many people who will go out of their way to help you. They want to see you succeed.”

“College classes are very different than they used to be,” Jeremy added. “There is a lot of flexibility. There is no way I could have returned to school while working and raising three kids if my only options were traditional hours on the main campus. Luckily, I had the option of online classes, night classes, local campus classes, and the main campus. A lot of older students feel they have waited too long and won’t be able to learn the material. My wife and I are both graduating with honors. There is also a great advantage with age – maturity.”

The couple encouraged other adults not to let anything stand in the way of achieving their dreams of a college education. Students who complete their associate degree or certificate can expect to earn as much as $8,000 more per year and about $400,000 more in a lifetime than a high school graduate. Unemployment for community college graduates is typically 30 percent lower than for high school grads.

“People with an Associate degree are more likely to earn their Bachelor degree. It is also a personal accomplishment that no one can take away from you,” said Jeremy and Beverly King.

The couple will participate in Snead State’s spring Commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 10, at 5 p.m. at the Plunkett-Wallace Gymnasium.

Commencement Celebrates Student Success

Commencement Speaker Dr. Stuart Noel

The annual Spring Commencement Ceremony at Snead State Community College was a celebration of student success as one of the College’s alumni shared his story with the more than 200 graduates participating.

Dr. Stuart Noel, Department Chair and Associate Professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College, was the guest speaker during the Commencement Ceremony held Thursday, May 10, in the Plunkett Wallace Gymnasium. Dr. Noel received his Associate in Science degree from Snead State in 1984.

“It was with great pride that I participated in this very ceremony 28 years ago. I know you thought that all the lectures were over, but I have one more lecture for you and a test to follow. I have been an English teacher most of my career, but I’m not giving you a lesson in grammar or literature. The lessons I want to share with you are the ones I’ve learned through life,” Dr. Noel told the graduates.

Dr. Noel advised the Class of 2012 to follow six simple lessons of life to guide them toward success with their future: remember what the Snead instructors taught them, do what they love to do, continue to learn, present themselves in the best possible way, be kind and courteous, and call their parents often.

“Happiness is about the journey, not the destination. Remember the test I told you about? It begins now – it’s your future, your life. If I have found success since I was sitting where you are today, it is because I enjoyed the journey as much as the destination,” he said.

Snead State President Dr. Robert Exley continued his Commencement tradition of recognizing graduates who achieved milestones while earning their Associate degree.

The first group of graduates to be recognized was a group who, because of a loss of job and income, completed SSCC’s Ready to Work Program and continued their education until they earned their Associate degree: Lisa Abbott, Tammy Hays, Beyanita Oviedo, Elodie Parmer, Sharon Soule, and Barbara Stokley.

Dr. Exley also recognized a couple raising three children close in age who received their Associate degree together. They dropped out of high school but later earned their GEDs. Beverly and Jeremy King of Arab decided to set an example for their children by completing their college degree. They did so while attending a few classes with two of their children, who are Snead students also.

The third graduate to be recognized is a Presidential Scholar, Landon Naylor of Sardis. Landon came to Snead with a mindset to experience new things, such as a role in a theatre production. Starting the fall 2012, Landon will have another experience with he pursues an Ivy League education at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

These graduates were just an example of the caliber of students receiving their Associate degrees and certificates.

“One thing you are not is indifferent. You care, and I thank you for that,” said Dr. Exley.

The celebration of student success and achievement continued not only with the presentation of certificates and degrees but also with the presentation of student awards.

Civitan Award Recipient
Will Tidmore
Will Tidmore of Albertville received the Civitan Best All-Around Student Award.  The Civitan Award is presented annually to the Best All-Around Student of the graduating class. To be eligible for this award, the student must have attended Snead State Community College for at least three semesters and attained a minimum cumulative academic average of 3.0 on a four-point scale.  In addition, the student should have participated in extracurricular and community activities. The student is elected by a vote of the faculty from a list of eligible graduates who are participating in the graduation ceremonies.

James B. Allen Award Recipient
Sarah Haygood
Sarah Haygood of Boaz was awarded the James B. Allen Award presented annually to the Outstanding Student of the graduating class.  This award is a gift of the late James B. Allen, United States Senator from Alabama. To be eligible for this award, the student must have exhibited outstanding qualities of leadership and service, attained a minimum cumulative academic average of 3.5, and attended Snead State Community College for at least three semesters. The student is elected by a vote of the faculty from a list of eligible graduates who are participating in the graduation ceremonies.

Sarah and Charlie Potter, also of Boaz, were recognized as this year’s members of the All-Alabama Academic Team. Meg was also named a Gold Scholar. The All-Alabama Scholarship program is a complement to the All-USA National Academic Team Program, which is sponsored by USA Today, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and the American Association of Community Colleges.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Snead State Student Accepted to Pharmacy School

A Snead State Community College student is one step closer to achieving her professional goal of giving back to her community.

Katie Farris of Boaz was accepted into pharmacy school at Samford University and will begin taking classes in this field in August.

“I’m very excited to start classes. I can’t wait to be in Birmingham and be surrounded by driven students like myself. I’m also very excited because this is essentially the beginning of my career,” Ms. Farris said.

Ms. Farris’ decision to pursue pharmacy as a career was due in large part to her parents. “I wanted to be in the medical field and be able to help people. Both of my parents are nurses, and their careers influenced my decision to go medical. However, I’m not one for blood and guts!”

Prior to enrolling at Snead, she graduated from the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile. She is set to graduate from Snead this spring.

“Snead has been very helpful in preparing me for further education. I have had the greatest teachers who are always there for any kind of help. Every teacher I have had has been personally invested in my success. I do not think I would be successful without their help and support. That (slogan) ‘small enough to know your name, large enough to shape your future’ is no joke,” Ms. Farris said.

“I’d like to thank (Biology/Chemistry Instructor) Dr. (Susie) Humphries and all of the TRiO staff for their help and support. They are the best!”

Once she completes her pharmacy degree, she will have to decide in which field of pharmacy she would like to work, but she already knows she will return home to work and serve her community.

“I am very excited and proud of Katie,” said Dr. Humphries. “She has worked very hard at Snead, and I know she’ll work even harder at Samford. Acceptance into the Pharmacy School is very competitive, so this accomplishment certainly speaks to Katie’s dedication and willingness to pursue her career goal.”