HAMLET — Usually when Richmond Community College President Dr. Dale McInnis signs an educational agreement with another college, the deal is with a four-year institution.
This time, it’s with another community college.
McInnis and Dr. Mark Sorrells, president of Fayetteville Technical Community College, inked an accord Monday to give students the opportunity to “to pursue career pathways currently unavailable in their home community,” according to a press release.
The goal of the agreement is to “help surrounding counties meet local workforce needs.”
Students at RichmondCC will be able to transfer into the Respiratory Therapy, Funeral Service, Paralegal and Speech Language Pathology programs at FTCC.
Likewise, FTCC students can take advantage of the Electrical Utility Substation and Relay Technology Program at Richmond. The EUSRT program is the only one in the state and one of only a few in the nation.
McInnis lauded the agreement as “collaboration replacing competition.”
“There was a lot of work that went into this to make it seamless for the students,” McInnis said. “We wanted to open doors for students without having to create new programs.”
N.C. Community College System Interim President Dr. Bill Carver also applauded the announcement.
“Collaborations between colleges work. We’re going to make a better North Carolina, a better workforce, through collaborations just like this one,” Carver said. “What we can agree on across the aisle is a workforce second to none in North Carolina. Where does that happen? It happens at our community colleges. It happens here with this model that is being introduced through collaboration and partnerships.”
According to the RichmondCC website, there are transfer agreements with a number of colleges in the Carolinas, but not one with another community college — until now.
“The economy is changing rapidly. We need to be more responsive to that, and we can do that together,” Sorrells said. “We’re very excited about the partnership with Richmond. We look forward to growing this opportunity with Richmond Community College in other program areas where it makes sense. And I can assure you from Fayetteville Tech’s standpoint, that this will be a win-win for both colleges.”
According to a press release, students will take their first years of study at their respective home college and transfer into their desired programs. The two institutions are “committed to working with students to cluster on-campus classes to minimize the number of times per week students will need to travel to either campus.”
The plan is to offer a combination of online and hybrid classes “when appropriate and develop clinical rotations and work-based learning opportunities closer to home.”