“RCC and the public schools have received i3D equipment from the Fort Bragg Base Realignment and Closure Regional Task Force. Nationally, there is an initiative to incorporate more science, technology, engineering, and math into curricula to develop a better workforce and to better prepare high school students for college. We want to develop software that incorporates the STEM concept into as many areas as possible,” said RCC vice president for instruction Johnnie Simpson.
Richmond County Schools Graduation Project Coordinator Sharon Johnson said a good example of possible software is one that projects into the classroom a 3-D human heart that can be rotated while the teacher discusses its functions and components. Health care curricula at all three educational institutions could easily benefit from the development of this software. Scotland County Schools Instructional Management Coordinator Lynn Morgan said the current grant has covered the cost of high school students taking the WorkKeys test and RCC’s cost of administering the ACCUPLACER assessment to all high school juniors.
“Getting the WorkKeys credentialing has had a big impact on our students. We are getting calls from students wanting their scores because they are trying to get summer jobs and industries are now requiring the credential. Our chamber of commerce is encouraging industries to require job applicants to have the WorkKeys credential before interviewing them. People with certified skills are now in demand,” said Morgan.
RCC Vice President for Student Development Dr. John Wester said giving high school students the college ACCUPLACER assessment allows them to take any remediation courses at the high school level and save the cost of tuition at a senior institution.
“Giving high school students the ACCUPLACER assessment early lets them know whether they would be successful in a college course. Savvy students can take several courses at RCC for free through the dual enrollment program before graduating and apply them to RCC degrees,” said Wester.
RCC Recruiter Jennipher Love works closely with both high schools and sees the impact the grant has made.
“Professional development seminars and summer internships have allowed teachers to stay abreast of current technology and remain relevant in the classroom. Since its beginning in the mid-80s, the entire Tech Prep project has been to encourage all high school students to take higher level math and science courses in preparation of continuing their education at the community college or university level. A better educated workforce is attractive to industry. We’re working hard to provide that to Richmond and Scotland counties,” said Love.