HAMLET — Richmond Community College reported to its Board of Trustees on Tuesday that enrollment for college curriculum programs is up by 4.7 percent this fall compared to last fall semester. More classes are starting on Oct. 16, so that number is expected to increase slightly next week.
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, said the college experienced a decline in the wake of COVID19 like most colleges did, but now enrollment is picking back up, especially in adults over the age of 30.
“We still have a high percentage of high school students enrolled between the early colleges and dual enrollment partnerships, but we are starting to see more adults come back in both curriculum and continuing education programs as well as our basic skills program,” McInnis said.
McInnis also proudly reported that the new 911 Communications & Operations program has 51 students enrolled from across the state of North Carolina, plus one from out of state. RichmondCC is also currently working with 12 community colleges in North Carolina on partnerships to allow their students to enroll in the 911 Communications & Operations program and earn degrees for this career field.
Dr. Qunna Morrow, who was recently hired to be the new dean of Allied Health programs, gave a glowing update on the licensing exam passage rates for the recent graduating classes of nurses and nursing assistants.
There were 34 graduates in the Associate Degree Nursing Class of 2023; the exam pass rate for this class was 91.25 percent. Since initial testing, all students have passed the board exam and are all now employed.
There are 64 new students coming into the ADN program this fall semester.
All 10 graduates of the Practical Nursing Class of 2023 passed the NCLEX exam on their first attempt, and there are 19 students enrolled into the program this fall semester.
There were 92 Nursing Assistant I program completers from fall 2022 to summer 2023. This cohort had a 97 percent passing rate on the state certification exam for CNAs.
There were 69 Nursing Assistant II program completers from fall 2022 to summer 2023. This cohort had a 100 percent passing rate and all are on the NC Board of Nursing registry.
The Board of Trustees also approved a plan to offer the James Building in Hamlet that is no longer used by the College to Richmond County Schools.
“For the past two years, RichmondCC has not used the James Building for anything other than storage. The College has also been allowing Richmond County Schools to use the building in exchange for their paying all the utility bills and taking care of the grounds and custodial needs,” Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Brent Barbee said.
If the school system does not want to take ownership of the building, RichmondCC will proceed with a plan to auction off the property.
The Board of Trustees also got a virtual walk-through of the architectural plans for the Hendrick Center for Automotive Training on the Hamlet Campus. The video showed a draft of the proposed design and layout for the building.
Plans for the 10,000-square foot Hendrick Center for Automotive Training were first announced in June 2022. The College expects to break ground on the project either summer or fall 2024 with an estimated completion date in winter 2025.
“The training facility will meet the growing need for automotive technicians across the region, as vehicles become increasingly complex and the current skilled workforce is aging,” McInnis said. “The Hendrick Automotive Group and Mr. Rick Hendrick are investing in this partnership because they see the need for a high-quality, short-term program for entry-level technicians that build a lucrative and satisfying career.”