Richmond Community College and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke have a long, rich partnership. Many students transfer from RCC to UNCP, and the university offers the junior and senior years of study in several programs at night on the RCC campus.
Representatives from both institutions were joined by community members Wednesday on the RCC campus in Hamlet for the signing of enhanced articulation agreements which allow RCC graduates to transfer to UNCP as juniors in the fields of business, education, and criminal justice.
UNCP Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Kenneth Kitts said it is fashionable for community colleges and universities to speak of their partnerships, but in the case of UNCP and RCC, there is a true working relationship.
“There is a firm presence of our partnership through the courses we offer on site here and our past commitment to keep those courses here through lean budget years. The faculty at both institutions have worked on these agreements we are signing today and have hammered out the details that allow us to provide more educational opportunities to students,” said Kitts.
UNCP Richmond Coordinator Julie Layne said this is the 17th fall UNCP has offered evening programs on the RCC campus, and she has been with the programs since the beginning.
“Any time someone visits, I’m able to point to RCC employees and note who went to UNCP. Some never even left campus except to walk across our stage at graduation. It’s important for us to be here. People in Richmond and Scotland counties who have jobs are not going to give them up to go to school. Having educational opportunities here in the form of RCC and UNCP classes allows people to gain the advantage an education gives them. We make their time at a community college count and, in these economic times, that’s important,” said Layne.
She noted she would leave the ceremony to assist students registering at RCC for fall semester. Working closely with RCC staff and students, she helps students make the correct course selections at RCC to be sure they will transfer to their desired programs at UNCP.
RCC Public Services Department Chair April Chavis-Johnson and RCC Business Technologies Chair Alan Questell spoke about programs in their departments affected by the agreement and the expanded opportunities it provides to their graduates.
RCC President Dale McInnis said he looks forward to developing more agreements.
“This partnership provides students accessible, affordable bachelor’s degrees and the quality of education students receive here from UNCP faculty is first rate and equal to what they would receive on campus,” McInnis said.
“Students receive a quality education from our faculty here at RCC. We need everyone in Richmond and Scotland counties to recognize opportunities are available for them to get a two-year degree and enter the workforce or transfer to UNCP for a bachelor’s degree. We’re here to give students a brighter future,” he said.