Preparations on the site pad for the expansion of the John E. Forte Building on the Richmond Community College campus in Hamlet have begun.
On Tuesday night, the RCC board of trustees saw pictures of the project that began last month and is slated to be completed Nov. 24.
Also at the meeting, Vice President for Instruction Anthony Clarke updated the board on articulation agreements between RCC and other universities. These agreements allow students to continue their education to the baccalaureate level.
Some agreements are between all members of the N.C. Community College System and the N.C. University System, while others are between RCC programs and their corresponding programs at specific universities.
Examples include agreements with N.C. State University for poultry or agricultural science, UNC-Greensboro for accounting and nursing, and Fayetteville State University for Criminal Justice and Elementary Education.
An enrollment report on spring registration showed more than 2,000 students enrolled in academic courses. RCC President Dale McInnis said the college’s recent growth comes from the development of new programs, full implementation of the early college high school programs and an increase in the number of high school students taking advantage of free college tuition through the College and Career Promise program.
“What we have seen over the last three years is a 27 percent increase in enrollment. Historically, enrollment followed unemployment trends. High unemployment meant high enrollment. In 2010, we broke from that trend and began seeing students selecting specific programs at RCC or choosing to take their first two years of college here before transferring to a university,” said McInnis.
He said that the expansion of the Forte Building will ease overcrowding in the engineering programs, but the lack of space at the campus “keeps us from offering new programs to meet the needs of students and employers.”
McInnis said they are “exploring options to optimize ways to meet their needs.”
Professor Alan Questell presented an update on the process the college is undertaking to become re-accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
He shared the website that reviewers will use to determine whether the college is in compliance with standards set by the commission. A recent visit by a SACS representative earned the college praise for the website format used to present responses to questions.
Nearly 800 documents are included with the responses. Accreditation is essential for colleges so their students can receive federal financial assistance and the courses they take will be accepted for transfer by other accredited colleges and universities.