ROCKINGHAM — Dr. Dale McInnis, president of Richmond Community College, updated the Richmond County Board of Commissioners on growth, programs and plans for the upcoming expansion of RCC on Tuesday.
During his presentation, McInnis outlined several points of comparison of RCC to other community colleges across the state.
In 2010, RCC ranked 42nd out of the 58 North Carolina community colleges in total enrollment — today it ranks 29th, according to the report, and in 2015-2016, only five other N.C. community colleges grew from the previous year.
McInnis cited an overall eight percent decline in the North Carolina Community College System since 2010, stating that RCC is second among the only seven community colleges that have experience growth. Wake Technical College came in first place with a growth of 36 percent, and RCC followed with 22 percent.
“In 2009-2010, we awarded a total of 265 certificates, diplomas and associate degrees,” McInnis told the board. “In 2015-2016, we awarded a total of 762 certificates, diplomas and associate degrees – so not only is student enrollment up, so is retention and completion.”
McInnis attributed to college’s success, in part, to the addition of programs aimed at educating a work force to meet regional job demand. RCC now offers programs for nurses, electric utility substation and relay technicians, medical assistants, industrial maintenance technicians, dialysis technicians, computer aided machining, welders, HVAC technicians and commercial truck drivers.
“In 2015, we integrated our transfer and career services into one convenient location for students and future students,” he said. “Our career and transfer center is putting current students to work in internships and college jobs and placing graduates into jobs. Local companies are using our center to find qualified employees. We just recently held two successful career fairs on our campus.”
McInnis also went over renovation and expansion plans that will make use of Connect NC bond money, putting forth a timetable for the main campus bond project process. Once the architects are selected, design work is expected to begin this month and wrap up in June, 2017. After that, bids will be open for construction.
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.