Earlier in the summer this column encouraged potential students to apply and begin registering for fall classes, which will start soon at Robeson Community College. Each semester, many potential students arrive a week or two before classes begin with the intent to apply and register for classes. While it is sometimes possible for students to apply and register for classes that close to the start date, as a practical matter it is often difficult, if not impossible, to do so.
The first step in attending any college involves completing an application. Unlike the state universities and most private colleges, there is no application fee at any North Carolina community college. Students must have a high school diploma or its equivalent to enroll in curriculum courses.
This means that prospective students must contact the high school from which they graduated to have an official transcript forwarded to the admissions office of the community college. The community college does not charge for this, but most high schools have instituted a small fee for transcripts. Also, the process of getting an official transcript from the high school to the college does take time. Most schools will not accept faxed copies of transcripts as official copies. In fact, because of privacy issues, most schools will not fax transcripts out. This means a student must either retrieve and deliver a sealed copy of the transcript, or wait on the postal service to transport an official copy via mail.
Once the application for admission is complete and transcripts have been received by the admissions department, the prospective student is scheduled for placement testing.
This is unlike four-year colleges and universities, which are more selective and can deny admission if minimum requirements beyond the high school diploma are not met.
Placement tests guide advisers in placing students in courses that are appropriate for the students’ current academic capabilities.
Once placement testing has been completed, a student can then meet with an adviser to schedule classes. As more and more students register, classes begin to fill, consequently reducing the options available for those who register closer to the start of the semester.
When students can’t get the classes they want or need at the times that they want or need them, it can seem as if the college is not being consumer friendly or not meeting the customers’ needs. In actuality, it is in everyone’s best interest for the college to enroll as many students as possible. Not only do the individuals receiving the education benefit, but so do the employees of the college whose jobs rely on the continuous enrollment of students.
The more individuals the college can educate, the more our community and society as a whole benefits. Industrial recruiters are frequently quoted in the media as saying that one of the primary needs of prospective new industry is an educated, capable, and willing workforce.
At Robeson Community College we want to remove barriers to education and the better life that education offers everyone. Call, email or visit the campus to see how we can help you. Our web page at www.robeson.edu is also a great source of information.
Dennis Watts is the Public Information officer at Robeson Community College. He can be reached at email@example.com.