RCC poised to hire architects for 2 buildings

By: By Scott Bigelow - [email protected]

LUMBERTON —The Robeson Community College board of trustees heard reports Monday on enrollment and construction and voted to increase fees to nursing students for an online resource that supports student success.

RCC’s enrollment in the first eight-week period is 1,868 ,and there are 289 dual-enrolled students who are high school students taking college level courses on campus, according to Bill Mauney, vice president for Instruction and Support Services. There were 241 dual enrolled students last year.

“That and Early College are great programs,” said Sammy Cox Jr., board chair. “I’d like to see that program grow.”

Channing Jones, vice president for Workforce Development and Continuing Education, said RCC is poised to engage architects to design two major building projects with the $7.3 million approved by voters in a bond referendum. The state approved RCC’s preliminary proposals.

The first project is a new classroom building with parking and infrastructure at a cost of $2.2 million, and the second is a “burn building” and “burn tower” for training firefighters at a cost of $4.2 million.

RCC has contracted with Assessment Technologies Institute to provide nursing students with online resources that will assist them with specific coursed and guide them toward passing the state licensing examination. RCC has been using pieces of the institutes’ study guides and will purchase the entire package going forward.

The per-student fee increases in increments through the 2020-21 school year and range from $122 next academic year to $610 from 2017-18 to 2018-19. The entire package will cost $1,240 in the 2016-17 academic year and $2,125 in the 2020-21 academic year.

RCC is allowed a maximum of 92 students in its registered nursing program, which boasts a 100 percent passing rate on the state exame for three consecutive years. However, the college has identified retention in the nursing program as an issue, although numbers were not provided Monday.

“This is a bundle of resources such as reference materials and assessments for courses,” said Connie Ivey, assistant vice president for Health Sciences. “It will support student success.”

Students at RCC, who are academically capable, often face life issues that prevent them from finishing programs, Mauney said.

Only one board member, Eddie Moore, voted against the fee increases, citing “affordability.”

RCC President Kimberly Gold reported that more than 600 attended the Book ‘Em program on Sept. 23 and approximately 250 were children, who were given free books and enjoyed activities, including face painting and readings by children’s authors.

“We got to show off our campus to many prospective students at Book ‘Em,” Gold said. The event featured authors and presentations by authors, poets and book publishers, including Lumberton author Jill McCorkle.

RCC’s foundation raised more than $19,000 recently at the annual Clifford Bullard Golf Tournament, Gold said. A dinner theatre fundraiser is set for Nov. 21 featuring Purple Door Productions’ “Beauty and the Beast” and dinner prepared by RCC’s culinary program.

RCC recently hosted Southeastern Health’s training program for its new medical records system. The local health care conglomerate used five classrooms for its training.

Lastly, Gold said RCC’s rebranding program is near unveiling. New logos and other unique slogans and art will roll out before the end of the year.

By Scott Bigelow

[email protected]