Richmond Community College opened its early registration at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, creating a big hustle and bustle as students filled the halls and began the paperwork process for getting into the classes they need.
According to Registration Coordinator Ann Morris, many students are new to college and some are there because getting into a four-year university isn’t what it used to be.
“We’re really excited,” said College President Dale McInnis. “We just found out yesterday that we are officially the fastest growing community college in the state … we are happy about leading the trend. We look forward to the fall and we are glad people from Richmond and Scotland counties have faith in us. We have the personal touch and I think that sets us apart.”
McInnis said he thinks a combination of factors contribute to the high enrollment, such as new programs offered to students, new partnerships between the college and larger universities like North Carolina State University and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He said more employers in the area are asking for a higher skill set as well.
According to McInnis, the unemployed and displaced workers are not contributing to the growth as much. However, a big turn-out means a busy fall ahead for staff.
“I have to give a lot of credit to the students and their families,” said McInnis. “It takes a lot of courage to go back to school. It’s a great sign to see people out here so early.”
McInnis said he understands student frustration about jobs and the economy’s current state.
“There are jobs out there, I want people to know that,” he said. “I’m getting calls from companies all the time.”
McInnis said he knows there are jobs in the health care field, in information technology, accounting and industrial maintenance.
Public Services Technology Department Chair April Chavis-Johnson has worked at RCC for over a decade and has never seen this many students schedule early.
“Students have heard classes are filling quickly and are coming now to get the classes they need and the schedule they want,” said Chavis-Johnson. “They also want to avoid the lines that are associated with final registration in August.”
July 10 and 25 are next registration dates.
August 15 and 16 are final registration dates.
Director of Counseling Sharon Goodman spent the day working with students who are returning after a few semesters and need to reactivate their files. Students who were enrolled during spring semester can schedule classes now using WebAdvisor.
“I’m also working with students who are changing majors,” said Goodman. “This is a good time for them to evaluate their transcripts and determine a new pathway. They are aware classes fill quickly, and they need to take action now to get what they want.”
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.