Gadsden State offers new programs

In 2021, Gadsden State announced new programs in an effort to appeal to more students. The College now offers courses in Theatre; courses with different formats; programs with more convenient class times for working people; and programs that result in high-demand, high-wage employment.

Theatre Program

It’s been at least a decade since Gadsden State Community College staged theatre productions at Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center. Although Wallace Hall stages theatrical productions from local theatre groups and dance troupes, the College hasn’t staged a musical or play since “Catfish Moon” in 2010. 

In March, the Gadsden State Theatre Program offered half and full scholarships for qualified students with an interest in theatre. Scholarships are also offered in technical theatre. Scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.2 GPA, perform four hours of work each week in the Gadsden State Fine Arts Department and assist in recruiting. Students must also enroll in a theatre course each semester, including Theatre Appreciation and Acting Techniques. Recipients must also commit to auditioning and participating in all Wallace Hall productions performed exclusively by or in partnership with the Gadsden State Theatre Program. An audition including two contrasting monologues are required for the theatre scholarships while an interview as well as a portfolio are mandatory for technical theatre students. 

Visit for more information about the Theatre Program or about any of Gadsden State’s fine arts offerings. 

15 to Finish Evening Program

Gadsden State Community College implemented a new evening program in the fall semester 2021 that can be completed exclusively during mini terms. The 15 to Finish Program requires students to complete 30 credit hours per academic year for two years with it resulting in an associate degree in general studies. The classes are taken during two mini terms in both the fall and spring semesters. 

The program gives working adults the opportunity to take in-person courses while working a regular 40-hour week. Mini terms are daily, focused courses over an eight-week period versus the traditional 16-week semester. The courses are flexible and focused. 

Classes for the 15 to Finish Evening Program are conducted from 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the new Science Building on Gadsden State’s East Broad Campus. 

Hybrid Advantage

Gadsden State Cherokee announced in December that it would offer three new programs at the Centre campus. The College is now offering Child Development, Health Information Technology Management and Massage Therapy, all in a hybrid format. Associate degrees and short-term certificates are available. For more information, visit

Career Technical Programs

In 2021, Gadsden saw a lot of progress in its Career Technical Education Division -- from increasing work-based learning opportunities to expanding the number of hybrid course offerings and dual enrollment opportunities for technical programs. The division also introduced a new program as well as additional credentials. 

Alan Smith, the dean of Workforce Development, announced in November that Gadsden State students can earn an Associate in Applied Science in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation. 

“Mechatronics is one of the latest high-demand, high-wage jobs available,” he said. “It is a multidisciplinary field that includes robotics, automation, mechanical and electrical.” 

The program is taught on both the Ayers Campus and East Broad Campus. Students must complete a minimum of 76 credit hours – a minimum of 61 hours in technical courses and a minimum of 15 in general education courses. A maximum of nine credit hours of technical electives may be selected from any approved area of Engineering Technology programs. 

Another option for students interested in Mechatronics is the Advanced Automation short-term certificate now available. It requires the completion of 22 credit hours. 

Furthermore, Gadsden State is offering a short-term certificate in Robotics beginning during the 2022 Spring Semester. The program was approved by the Alabama Community College System in September, and the executive council of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges sent its letter of approval in October. 

The decision to include the short-term certificates was made in an effort to fill the growing demand for skilled technical workers. The certificate program provides students with the skills to address robotics and advanced robotics for engineering and manufacturing companies, particularly those related to defense and automotive manufacturers and suppliers in Alabama. It is taught on the Ayers Campus in Anniston and the East Broad Campus in Gadsden. 

“We marketed this program to new students, existing students in engineering design and mechanical programs, adults needing retraining for high-demand manufacturing skills and existing manufacturing workers seeking recognized certifications in Robotics,” Smith said. 

The short-term certificate program was initiated at the request of the Electronics Engineering Industry Advisory Board for the training of new employees and the retraining of existing employees. 

“We are well positioned to offer this new program to assist in growing the skilled workforce in Alabama,” he said. “Gadsden State has decades of experience in providing technical education instruction, and we have knowledgeable and experienced faculty, who can take the careers of our students to the next level.” 

The short-term certificate requires completion of 24 credit hours, which typically takes two semesters. Students can also choose to continue their education to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation. The associate degree program requires a minimum of 61 technical courses and 15 general education courses in addition to a maximum of nine credit hours of technical electives. 

For more information about Gadsden State’s career tech opportunities, like the Robotics short-term certificate, visit