The summit was the largest ever, with more than 1,190 trustees gathering from across the country.
"The summit stressed the vital role of community colleges in training a workforce for new technology jobs being created," McEachin said.
Primarily, attending trustees urged legislatures to stay focused on providing Pell Grant funding. Pell Grants offer educational opportunities to low-income students, which otherwise are difficult for them to afford. Guest speakers included First Lady Laura Bush, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spelling and Martin Lancaster, N.C. Community College System president.
Bush highlighted her husband's, President George Bush, 2006 budget in her speech. The proposed budget provides $125 million to promote dual enrollment programs at public high schools. Under the program students can receive both high school and college credit, without paying tuition.
According to the 2003-04 NCCCS "Get the Facts" publication, more than 20,664 North Carolina high school students took dual-enrollment courses. Currently, RCC and the Public Schools of Robeson County are working on making early college programs accessible this fall, if funded.
"RCC is definitely on the upswing, we have an excellent, knowledgeable president and board of trustees that care about the college, its students and community." McEachin said of Charles Chrestman, RCC president, and fellow board members.
The ACCT is based in Washington, D.C., and its mission is to provide board governance through advocacy and education. Next year's ACCT National Legislative Summit is scheduled for Feb. 5-8.
'Top New Team'
The Ambassadors were named the March of Dimes "Top New Team" during Saturday's annual Walk for Premature Babies at Lumberton High School. They also received the honor of making it into the "$1,000 Club."
"We all had fun raising money for the March of Dimes," Ambassador Deana Caulder said.
This is the first year RCC has participated in the annual Walk for Premature Babies, though the Ambassadors hope to make it a tradition on campus. Students, faculty and staff donated money and/or walked on Saturday. The Ambassadors also sponsored "Blue Jeans for Babies Day" on March 9 in which they raised $535.
"All of the Ambassadors are grateful to those who participated and hope more will next year," Ambassador Laquana Sinclair said.
Last spring, the first six Ambassadors were chosen to participate in the program. Aside from Caulder and Sinclair, James Brown, Betty Dial, Debora Locklear and Anita Carter are also in the program. The progam is funded by the RCC Foundation.
The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects.
Laquana Sinclair was accepted to attend the North Carolina Community College Student Leadership Institute. The institute will be held June 12-17 at Peace College in Raleigh.
"I am excited and shocked to be accepted," Sinclair said.
Sinclair is a first-year college transfer major and student ambassador at RCC. She is assistant choir director and a children's drama teacher at United Pentecostal Church.
The Student Leadership Institute selected 30 community college students who demonstrated leadership potential to attend. The intense program includes daily workshops, interactive seminars as well as individual and group projects. Once completed, students return to their respective community college and educate their peers about what they studied.
"I hope to better my speaking skills and share what I have learned with my fellow students," Sinclair said when asked what she expected to gain.
After graduating, Sinclair hopes to enroll in UNC-Pembroke's optometry program. She lives in Lumberton and likes to sing.
Art on display
Patty Speights was chosen by the N.C. Community College System office to have her artwork displayed throughout 2005. The NCCCS office in Raleigh had an informal reception honoring more than 150 community college faculty and student artists on March 17.
Speights has two vases on display and is currently enrolled in RCC's pottery class taught by Jim Tripp. The class is her first exposure to the art of pottery, she previously took an oil painting class.
"I have done paintings before and thought pottery would be a great class to take," Speights said. "It is so relaxing. I recommend the class to everyone."
Speights is a 1974 graduate of RCC's Adult High School program and lives in Lumberton.
Anyone interested in enrolling in one of eight arts and crafts classes at RCC, please call the Continuing Education office at 618-5680, Ext. 133 for more information.
n Billye Ammons is the public relations director for Robeson Community College.