Summer course offerings expanded
HAMLET — Richmond Community College this summer will expanding its course offerings and providing a more schedule that will make these classes more accessible for students juggling school with vacation time or other responsibilities.
RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis informed the Board of Trustees of this more developed summer schedule at its meeting this week, saying that a five-week session would be added within the normal dates of the school’s summer term in the hopes of attracting more students, namely those vacationing from larger colleges.
McInnis added that offering a session of classes at a later start date would allow more dual enrollment students in the Career and College Promise program to earn college credit over the summer.
“Economically, we were not able to offer a variety of summer classes in the past, so this is a big change for us. The new state funding formula for summer courses creates new markets and new opportunities for us,” McInnis said.
While RCC continues to increase the number of students on campus, its enrollment for spring 2013 has plateaued after experiencing steady growth over the past few years.
Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability Bill Council reported on student enrollment from spring 2012 to spring 2013. The overall head count has increased slightly, but full-time enrollment (FTE) has decreased, Council said.
“Most of the colleges around the state are reporting a decline in enrollment,” McInnis explained. “What we are experiencing with more head count and less FTE is more Career and College Promise students coming from the high schools taking one or two classes and more students who are not taking on a full load of classes because they have to work part-time to afford to go to school, so students are taking longer to complete their education.
“We are nearing capacity on campus so we can only grow incrementally at this point,” McInnis added.
RCC’s Workforce Economic Development division has shown significant growth in its enrollment due to its efforts to develop new classes that meet local demand. New classes include an agricultural series, pharmacy technician, book writing, personal trainer and office skills.
Vice President of Student Services Saundra Richardson enlightened board members on a student-driven initiative on campus to dress more professionally. “That’s A WRAP,” which stands for Workforce Ready Apparel That’s Professional, is gaining momentum among students on campus to devote one day a week, Friday, to dress appropriately for the profession they are seeking to enter.
Student Services counselor Chris Gardener reported on a change to the leadership and student mentoring program L.A.M.P. to broaden its appeal to all students. The former minority male mentoring group is now accessible for all races and gender, supporting the goal for RCC to be one college with one mission for one student body.
In financial news, RCC received a reversion callback notice from the state office due to overall tuition receipt shortfalls from the statewide decline in enrollment.
The Board of Trustees approved the money designated by Executive Vice President Brent Barbee and McInnis to send back to the state.
“We tried to draw from a broad base of the college,” Barbee said. “However, we were able to identify money to send back mostly from lapsed salaries from positions that had not been filled due to various reasons.”
The board also approved the naming of the building that houses the Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology classrooms and lab as the Forte Annex Building. It is located beside the newly renovated John E. Forte Building.
A dedication ceremony for the Forte Building will be held Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.
Wylie Bell is the assistant director of Marketing and Communications for Richmond Community College.
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