HAMLET — Skills training can be difficult to fit into some Richmond County residents’ budget, but now it can fit in their Christmas stockings.
Richmond Community College has been offering gift certificates for non-credit continuing education courses since last October, according to Holly Russell, administrative assistant at the college’s work force and economic development department.
Certificates are available in denominations of $70, $125 and $180 and can be purchased in the Hugh A. Lee Building at the reception desk.
The concept is simple.
“Anyone can buy them. We record who purchases them for our records, and then when you come to pay for tuition, present them and use them like cash,” said Russell.
Other community colleges around the country use gift certificates, but here in Richmond County, the idea came from former RCC vice president Steve Smith, who was looking for something to take with him to a Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event.
He decided to bring the gift certificates and hand them out as door prizes. They also include a QR code on them which allows students to scan with their smartphones and see what RCC has to offer.
Russell said that several certificates were given out during that Business After Hours event and she’s had quite a few people grab them at the school. The problem has been that people didn’t know about them.
“People sometimes don’t wanna handle cash,” she said. “These are just like cash.”
The gift certificates can only be used for tuition and not on things such as books or meals, but Russell said they do include enrichment courses as well as continuing education courses at the college.
Tuition at Richmond Community College for the upcoming fall semester is $71.50 per credit hour for in-state students and $263.50 for out-of-state students. Final registration and schedule adjustment is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 12-14 and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 15.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674.