HAMLET — In an effort to promote collaboration over competition, Richmond Community College is partnering with Bladen Community College to make available its new 911 telecommunications program to more students across the state of North Carolina.
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, and Dr. Amanda Lee, president of Bladen Community College, signed an agreement on Monday that would allow BCC students to enroll in the online program and complete an associate degree in 911 Communications and Operations.
The degree program provides a pathway for individuals who are interested in starting a career in this field, as well as providing skills enhancement for those already working as 911 telecommunicators. The program, which will open this fall semester, is unique to RichmondCC, as it is not currently offered anywhere else in North Carolina.
“We are thankful to Dr. McInnis for working with the 911 state board to come up with this program to train new dispatchers, and we are even more excited that Richmond Community College is willing to partner with us,” Lee said.
Lee said there are about 25 vacancies for 911 operators in Bladen County and surrounding counties.
“There is a big demand for dispatchers, and we’re excited to be working together to fulfill that need,” Lee said.
Bladen students will complete the core courses and the work-based learning portion of the program through RichmondCC, while completing other general education requirements at Bladen Community College.
RichmondCC has worked closely with the N.C. 911 Board and the N.C. Department of Information Technology to develop the program.
“911 telecommunicators are critically important positions that we have all across our state, and we need to attract more people into this career field with better pay, better training and more professional opportunities,” McInnis said. “With a specialized program like this being offered in rural North Carolina, our goal is to come together to build up our collective strengths to build a really strong program that can help everyone across the state, rather than duplicate and replicate unnecessarily.”
RichmondCC is now registering students for the 2023 Fall Semester. Students can apply for free online at www.richmondcc.edu/admissions. For more information, call RichmondCC at 910-410-1700. For more information about Bladen Community College, visit www.bladencc.edu or call 910-879-5500.