The public signing will be held at 2 p.m. at the Cole Auditorium.
Richmond County, and surrounding area, is a major player in the state’s poultry market. Perdue Farms is the county’s largest private employer.
Monday, RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis said linking the resources at the community college to programs at four-year institutions will better prepare graduates to pursue an undergraduate diploma.
“As we face budget difficulties, all of us in higher education are working to develop new partnerships to benefit our students,” McInnis said. “This relationship with NC State University has great potential for our students and our county.
We understand the poultry industry is important to our region and we support it.”
The degree would allow students to seamlessly transition from the Pre-Poultry Science associates degree program to the Poultry Science Major program at N.C. State by offering all the requisite courses.
“NC State is committed to increasing North Carolinians’ access to scientific degrees. NC State’s partnerships with community colleges are an important part of this commitment.” - NCSU Spokesperson Mick Kulikowski Assistant Director NC State University News Services
At the March meeting of county commissioners, McInnis presented the board with the proposal for the program, outlining its benefits for students, as well as the county’s agri-business economy.
Commissioner Don Bryant was particularly outspoken in his support of the program, saying it could save families as much as $20,000 as opposed to sending their teenager off to a college dorm right after high school.
“I think the biggest thing (about a partnership like this), is if you were to take the first two years of Poultry Science courses at RCC, you’re going to also be taking many of the core classes you’d need if you wanted to major in Engineering or History or any other program,” Bryant said Monday. “If you can get a degree, and not have to take the SAT, and not have to compete with 10,000 other college freshmen who want to go to State, and then look at the money you’re going to save - it’s a no-brainer.
Bryant said one of his daughters studied at RCC before and after transferring to a four-year institution, and was able to save a considerable amount of tuition by taking college courses as a full-time summer semester student at RCC.
“It also gives you two more years to mature as a student, and from the student’s standpoint, if you want to come back home and get a job (after you get your degree) there is plenty of opportunity there for a job,” Bryant said. “… Poultry Science may not have the most glamorous ring to it, but how many times did you eat chicken last month? The field has advanced from what it used to be, and they’re begging for college graduates.”
Bryant also pointed to RCC specialized training capabilities as a key in such economic development announcements as Plastek in 2010, and pointed out it has supplied workers for county industrial titans like Progress Energy.
“Education is going to be our means to make our way out of this recession,” Bryant said. “We’ve got to train our workers for fields where jobs are available, and RCC is key to that.”
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 15, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.