Small classes account for Stafford’s success

Contributed photo Hailey Stafford of Rockingham graduated from Richmond Community College with an associate in office administration degree.

HAMLET — When Hailey Stafford of Rockingham walked across the stage during Richmond Community College’s graduation ceremony in May to receive her associate in office administration degree, she had a clear plan of what her next step was going to be — transfer to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and major in accounting.

This was not the case when she walked across the stage in 2012 at Richmond Senior High School.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I first went to college,” Stafford said.

In fact, she went one semester at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte before realizing that wasn’t where she really wanted to be.

“So I came home and enrolled in classes at RCC in January 2013,” she said. “At RCC, the classes are smaller, and you can sit down and talk with your instructors. They actually get to know you here at RCC.”

Stafford developed a special bond with economics instructor Kim Parsons and credits Parsons with developing her interest in accounting.

“It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do, but once I got into Mrs. Parsons’ class, I knew I wanted to go into accounting,” she said.

Parsons teaches both economics and office administration courses at RCC.

“Hailey was a pleasure to have in the associate in office administration curriculum program due to her attitude and personality,” Parsons said. “I am looking forward to great things from Hailey as she continues her studies, and I know she will excel in her professional career and be an asset to any business that is lucky enough to hire her.”

Stafford also worked closely with her adviser to make sure she was taking the right courses at RCC that would transfer into the accounting program at UNC-Wilmington, so ultimately she could reach her goal of becoming a certified public accountant.

Stafford recommends RCC to those who do not have a clear career plan because the faculty and counselors at the college work hand-in-hand with students to help define their educational and career goals.

“At RCC, they really get to know you and help you figure out your future,” Stafford said.

New student registration for fall semester is being held from 2:30 to 5:45 p.m. June 25 at RCC’s main campus in Hamlet. Applications can be filled out online at or in person at either of RCC’s campuses located in Hamlet and Laurinburg.

During registration, students meet with an adviser and sign up for classes for fall semester, which begins Aug. 17. For more information, call 910-410-1700.