HAMLET — Pruning the tree for better growth and health is how Dr. Dale McInnis described changes coming to Richmond Community College’s curriculum during last week’s Board of Trustees meeting. The Board approved the termination of four programs that had either become obsolete or were creating overlap with existing programs.
“These changes will allow us to strengthen our academic programs, while also maintaining what we are teaching and the faculty we have teaching those courses,” President McInnis said.
The Board approved the termination of the Associate in Fine Arts-Visual Arts, Associate in Office Administration and Associate in Computer Engineering Technology and Health Information Technology degree programs.
“We will be retaining all of our art classes that support the Associate in Arts degree, as well as classes like drawing, painting and ceramics,” McInnis said. “We discovered many people want to take a painting class purely for enjoyment and self-enrichment and do not want the testing, grading and other requirements of a college class.”
RichmondCC had 32 people attend the Design with Wine class that was offered Nov. 30.
“We will continue to offer art classes to the audience who wants a one-time class at a low-cost price,” McInnis said.
The Office Administration program has been offered by RichmondCC since the college opened in 1964. Since then, however, other curriculum programs teach many of the same skills and therefore compete for students.
“There was a lot of crossover between Office Administration and Business Administration and Information Technology. Many of the same classes exist within these three programs,” McInnis said. “We aren’t reducing faculty at this time, and we will be able to continue to teach these courses and satisfy job demand.”
The Computer Engineering Technology degree was also a program competing for students due to the similarity of classes offered in the Information Technology and Mechatronics Engineering degree programs. The College has expanded the certifications within the IT program to meet workforce needs, and there is a growing demand for Mechatronics graduates because of the growth of automation in manufacturing.
“Those engineering technician jobs are in this region. Employers are asking for Mechatronics training by name because of the better understanding of the diverse engineering skills it provides,” McInnis said. “I think these changes put us in a strong position as we head into the new year.”
RichmondCC experienced a 5 percent increase in enrollment this fall semester, especially in traditional college age students. In addition, the numbers indicate that students are taking more classes, which increases full-time enrollment (FTE) figures.
McInnis noted that the new 911 Communications & Operations program had a very successful first semester with over 50 students enrolling in the brand-new associate degree program.
The College is already on the path for strong enrollment this coming spring semester with an 8 percent increase in students signed up for spring classes from this time last year.
The College is registering students for both the 2024 spring and summer semesters. Applications can be completed for free online at www.richmondcc.edu/admissions, or by visiting the Hamlet or Scotland County Campus. Call 910-410-1700 for more information.