RCC paves BLET graduates’ path to associates degrees

HAMLET — At its January meeting, the Richmond Community College (RCC) Board of Trustees approved an agreement that makes it easier for the college’s Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) graduates to attain their associates degree.

RCC_50th_logo_horizontalThe new agreement gives students 13 credit hours toward a degree in criminal justice technology if they successfully completed RCC’s BLET program and passed the BLET State Comprehensive Written Examination since 2000.

“There is a great deal of overlap between the BLET curriculum and what is taught in our criminal justice program,” said April Chavis-Johnson, RCC human services department chair. “Our hope is that this new agreement will encourage students not only to come back to RCC to get their associates degree, but to continue on to get their bachelors’ or higher degrees.”

Under the new agreement, those passing the program and the state exam will receive credit for:

CJC 131          Criminal Law
CJC 132          Court Procedures and Evidence
CJC 221          Investigative Principals
CJC 231          Constitutional Law

RCC is currently accepting applications for BLET. The next cohort starts on Feb. 2 and the course runs through July.

Nursing program update

During the September 2014 meeting, the trustees received an update on RCC’s associate degree nursing program. For the class of 2014, 96 percent of RCC nursing graduates passed the NCLEX licensure exam. In a report at the January meeting, Carole Gibson, RCC’s nursing department chair, informed the board that each of those students who passed the exam are employed as their field.

“I have to applaud Carole, her faculty and the student services staff who worked to support our nursing students,” said RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis. “We again had a tremendous NCLEX passage rate and the employment rate is indicative of the reputation RCC’s nursing graduates enjoy regionally and state wide.”

EUSRT program update

Kevin Parsons, RCC’s new vice president for instruction, updated the board on the Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology program, which is enrolling new students in the spring for the first time beginning this semester.

“We have 15 new students starting with us this spring,” Parsons said, noting that there were still two days of registration left before classes start on Jan. 9. “The demand for and interest in the program is very high both from students and employers. We have had inquiries from students as far away as California and electric utilities and contractors from all over the east coast in the past month.”

Parsons cited recent visits from PECO (Philadelphia Electric) and equipment donations from Dominion Virginia Power as examples of the program’s value to electric industry employers.

Fall enrollment

RCC Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability Bill Council gave the Board of Trustees an update on the college’s credit program enrollment for the fall 2014 semester.

“We held our own this fall,” Council said. “Where statewide and nationally colleges saw three-to-six percent drops in enrollment, we were statistically flat from a headcount standpoint and up slightly in full time equivalency (FTE).”

Council said that means that while the college had the approximate same amount of students at fall 2013, the students who were coming to RCC took more classes. Positive FTE growth has a positive effect on the College’s budget.

For fall 2014, RCC served 2,529 students in its curriculum programs. This number does not include students who participated in Workforce and Economic Development classes or programs.

In conjunction with the enrollment report, McInnis spoke about RCC’s new enrollment management plan.

“The numbers are good for the fall, especially in light of the state and national trends,” said McInnis, “and the numbers are looking good for the spring. However, we have to have a structure in place to guide our growth using enrollment trends and capacity data. (Dr.) Devon (Hall) put together a great plan working with faculty all over campus and it provides us with a road map for our recruiting and marketing efforts and our staffing needs.”

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