No matter what you may think of former Alabama governor George Wallace, he did the state a tremendous boon when he instituted the state’s community college network, then called the junior college system. As time went by and economic conditions changed, some of these colleges were closed, and others were consolidated. The latter was the case with Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals and Northwest Community College in Phil Campbell.

Northwest in Phil Campbell became a satellite or sub campus, with administration being primarily housed at the Shoals campus. Many programs were taught at both campuses, but others, such as the nursing program, were split between the two locations. How would a closure of the Phil Campbell satellite campus affect the nursing program? The most obvious answer would be in commuting/dining expense to students who live in Franklin County and adjoining areas.

Does anyone think the Phil Campbell campus will close? Phil Campbell city councilman Mike McQuary believes the campus is “in jeopardy.” He cites the following reasons:

  • Classes offered have fallen from 217 to 191 in the past five years.

  • The campus’ sports program has been totally phased out.

  • Credit hour enrollment fell by over 23% during the past five years.

  • 16 employees were recently terminated (however this included two security guards replaced by a private contract).

  • Outgoing president Humphrey Lee stated he could not commit to keeping the campus open as long as he was president.

Glenda Smallwood Colagross

What did interim president Glenda Smallwood Colagross say?

“There are no plans to phase out either the Phil Campbell or Muscle Shoals campus of Northwest-Shoals Community College.”

What would happen to various programs at the Phil Campbell campus if such plans should materialize in future? (You’ll notice that Ms. Colagross did not promise there would be no such plans at any date.) It would be quite simple to consolidate most programs, including the nursing program, at the Shoals campus. It’s understandable that students who live in southern Franklin County and nearby areas prefer to take as many classes as possible close to home.

Is it the opinion of PNS editors that such closure is definitely coming at some point? No; however, we believe that no matter the assurances of Ms. Colagross, Councilman McQuary presents quite a case for anticipating closure. Be prepared, and if you’re totally opposed to the closure you may wish to join Mr. McQuary’s fight to keep the satellite campus open.

If you have an interest in promoting the nursing profession in the Shoals, be sure to join:

Shoals Nursing Alliance

: News

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