“The State budget called for a modest increase in tuition, included enrollment growth funds, restored Small Business Center funds, and left the Customized Industrial Training program intact,” said McInnis. “This shows the legislature appreciates the work community colleges are doing in this state to help people retrain for new jobs. We want industries to realize North Carolina has made a commitment to have an educated, trainable workforce,”
Tuition increased from $50 to $56.50 per semester credit hour. The maximum in-state tuition for 16 hours or more is $904 per semester. Most courses are three to four semester credit hours in length.
The community college system’s enrollment grew by 15 percent last year, while RCC’s enrollment grew by 14 percent. Many community colleges capped enrollment last semester due to funding issues. Despite budget cuts in other areas, McInnis said RCC will not turn students away and
will invest enrollment growth funds in the classrooms to serve students and strengthen the institution.
RCC’s Small Business Center provides free counseling, resources and seminars for start-up businesses. The Customized Industrial Training program helps new and expanding industries defray the cost of training employees.
“Small business development and growth, job creation, and industrial recruitment are critical to Richmond and Scotland counties. We will continue to build upon and expand our partnerships with our public schools and county governments to develop a workforce that is attractive to industry. We will also continue to help established industries remain competitive in a global marketplace,” he said.
McInnis admitted the budget is far from ideal, and RCC employees will face another year without a salary increase.
“We still have challenges and difficult decisions to make, but we are far better off than we might have been had the priorities of our leadership been different. The governor and our legislators have rightfully recognized that we are a major key to the recovery of our state’s economy and our citizens’ quality of life.