In response to the rapid growth of its student body, Richmond Community College is working with both Richmond and Scotland counties to update and expand its facilities.
At its April meeting, the RCC Board of Trustees approved the college’s 2013-14 budget request to Richmond and Scotland counties and for this first time it includes mobile units to house faculty.
“We have done everything that we can do to optimize our current space for students,” said RCC President Dale McInnis. “With the growth that we have experienced over the last two years, we have to have space to house the new faculty that we have hired. We have converted every closet and supply room we have to offices, and we are simply out of room.”
The budget request to Richmond County calls for $41,000 for the rent of mobile units that will serve as office space for the growing instructional staff.
“For the college to continue to grow and add programs to meet the needs of Richmond and Scotland Counties, we have to have expanded permanent facilities,” McInnis said.
Over the last six years, RCC has experienced a 76 percent growth among its curriculum students. That equates to an increase of more than 1,000 students on the college’s campus.
According to McInnis, RCC is working with county leaders on implementing its facilities master plan on a plan to add an additional permanent building at its main campus in Hamlet so that building can commence quickly once funds are approved for construction projects.
“The need is immediate,” said McInnis. “Unfortunately the funds are not.”
The proposed budget request to Richmond County totaled $1,838,718 for 2013-14, while the Scotland County request totaled $340,697.
In other action, the board approved the review of the college’s mission and vision statements. By policy, the statements must be reviewed annually.
“The mission and vision statements are powerful tools in communicating the direction of the college to the president, administration, staff and faculty,” said RCC Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability Bill Council, who oversees the annual review process. “By regularly reviewing and modifying or reaffirming these statements, the board ensures that the college is focused on and responsive to the evolving needs of the community.”
The board approved a new reverse transfer policy with The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The agreement will allow students to be dually enrolled at RCC and UNCP, receiving credits at both institutions. It also gives students the ability to transfer course credits from the university back to the Community College to count toward their associate’s degree if they leave RCC before receiving one.
The board received an update on the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) program at the college. To date, more than 4,400 residents of Richmond and Scotland counties have received CRCs, which indicates to employers that they have the skills and motivation to be valuable employees. Many employers, including RCC for its technical staff, require the CRC as a condition of employment. To attain a CRC an individual must take three Workkeys assessments: Applied Mathematics, Locating Information and Reading for Information.
The board also recognized RCC Student Government Association President Rob McCullough as this year’s recipient of the Dr. Sam D. Morgan Leadership Award. The Richmond Community College Foundation presents the award annually.