RCC ‘strong and vibrant,’ says president

Richmond Community College President Dr. Dale McInnis gives the State of the College address Monday at the RCC Foundation’s annual recognition banquet.

Richmond Community College President Dr. Dale McInnis gives the State of the College address Monday at the RCC Foundation’s annual recognition banquet.

McInnis offers State of the College address at annual event

HAMLET — The annual update of Richmond Community College (RCC) and the RCC Foundation were presented Monday during a banquet honoring the Foundation’s Citizen of the Year, John Garner.

Dr. Dale McInnis, RCC president, provided the State of the College to the foundation’s board of directors.

“I am proud to say that in large part because of your continuous support, Richmond Community College is strong and vibrant,” McInnis said.

McInnis focused on six highlights from the past fiscal year, including the College celebrating its 50th anniversary and renovating the Forte Building on RCC’s main campus in Hamlet.

“The Forte Building expansion and modernization has given the college a showcase for our engineering, technical and trades programs,” said McInnis. “Response from the faculty and students has been tremendous.”

McInnis reported a record number of more than 300 graduates receiving diplomas last May, which resulted in the College having to host two separate ceremonies for the first time. The president also pointed out that 96 percent of nursing students educated at RCC passed the state licensing exam on first attempt.

Another highlight for RCC in terms of economic development included the College providing more than $125,000 of state-funded customized industrial training to 1,236 employees at 13 Richmond and Scotland County companies.

Looking ahead to the current school year, McInnis spoke of the wide range of new programs being offered this fall, including a one-year diploma in Dialysis Technology; a two-year degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology; an eight-week truck driver training program in conjunction with Caldwell Community College; and short-term pharmacy technician, plumbing and electrical certificates.

Due to the growing success of RCC’s Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology program, the college has added additional faculty and are drawing students from as far away as Virginia.

In addition to technical and vocational programs putting graduates directly into jobs, RCC is also working to make bachelor’s degrees more affordable and attainable through transfer options.

“The new articulation agreement with the University of North Carolina system and private universities, combined with the wide range of sophomore level courses we are delivering, will insure our students can save time and thousands of dollars without sacrificing quality,” McInnis said.

RCC’s present partnerships with the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and Gardner-Webb University allow students to obtain a bachelor’s degree in 13 majors without leaving the main campus in Hamlet.

RCC’s partnership with Richmond and Scotland County school systems is also paying huge dividends. RCC’s Career and College Promise program, which provides free college classes to high school students, has nearly tripled in student enrollment during the last two years.

“Working together, we are putting more students in the pipeline for success in college and for well-paying careers in healthcare, engineering and energy,” McInnis said.

Over the past three years, the free classes from RCC have saved the parents of Scotland and Richmond County children more than $1.3 million in tuition and fees alone.

State of the Foundation

Foundation Executive Director Olivia Webb provided the State of the Foundation address, giving a positive report.

Webb said the Director’s Circle, which is a fund-raising arm of the annual DeWitt Performing Arts Series, continues to exceed expectations with around 30 couples making an additional annual donation to enjoy the many perks associated with the group. The Foundation also collected around $15,000 for the Working Scholarship through RCC’s 50th Anniversary Gala last year, which will now become an annual event for the College in the spring.

Through the efforts of the Foundation, RCC is able to provide more than $100,000 in merit and need-based financial aid to over 110 students each year in the form of donor-funded endowed and annual scholarships.

“Each scholarship is unique in its criteria and requirements, and the sense of achievement that an applicant feels when he or she earns one of these scholarships is tremendous,” said Webb.

Another Foundation project expected to be completed this year is the new Mary Ellen Kindley Fitness Trail, which will be located near the Forte Building and amphitheatre on RCC’s main campus in Hamlet.

“This new trail will provide much-needed health and recreational opportunities for our students, faculty, staff and entire community,” said Webb. “The outpouring of support for this project has been proportional to this community’s true affection for its namesake, and we cannot wait to unveil the end result in the next month or so.”

For more information about the RCC Foundation, go to www.richmondcc.edu or call 910-410-1775.

Filed in: Education, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, News

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