Wednesday, 23 October 2019 15:25

RichmondCC scholarships to be offered to all who graduate adult education programs

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Pictured at the Finish for Your Future campaign kick-off on Tuesday are, from left, Dr. Hal Shuler, Associate Vice President for Development; John Kester, Dean of College and Career Readiness and Immured Programs; Joyce McDow, Scotland County campaign co-chair; Brian Baucom, Richmond County campaign co-chair; and Dr. Dale McInnis, president of Richmond Community College. Pictured at the Finish for Your Future campaign kick-off on Tuesday are, from left, Dr. Hal Shuler, Associate Vice President for Development; John Kester, Dean of College and Career Readiness and Immured Programs; Joyce McDow, Scotland County campaign co-chair; Brian Baucom, Richmond County campaign co-chair; and Dr. Dale McInnis, president of Richmond Community College. RCC

HAMLET — Richmond Community College rolled out its collaborative plan on Tuesday to reduce the number of people in Richmond and Scotland County who do not have an adult high school education. Part of the plan includes up to $1,000 in scholarship money for students who complete the Adult High School Diploma or High School Equivalency program and continue on at RichmondCC for further education or career training.


Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, spoke to the crowd at the kick-off for the “Finish for Your Future” campaign about the urgency of this issue.

“Over 20 percent of people in Richmond and Scotland counties over the age of 25 have not completed high school,” McInnis said. “That’s more than 11,000 people in our communities, people whom we know, who are being held back financially, economically and from advancing in their careers.”

Importance of Completion

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 65 percent of jobs in 2020 will require an education and training beyond high school credentials. Studies also show that the fastest growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. 

Spearheading the efforts of this campaign is John Kester, Dean of College and Career Readiness and Immured Programs at RichmondCC. He also provided some discouraging facts about people who fail to obtain a high school education.

“For folks who have not attended or completed high school, their children are 72 percent more likely to be placed in the lower reading level when they start school because they don’t have the structure and support from their parents,” Kester said. “So this campaign will have a broad impact on many families in our communities. These are not just numbers; these are 11,000 individuals who need encouragement, motivation and support, and our instructors and staff members intend to give them the personalized attention they need to be successful.”

Campaign Goals 

Last year, 81 students graduated from the Adult High School Diploma and High School Equivalency programs at RichmondCC. Kester said the campaign’s goal is to double the number of graduates from these Adult Education programs. When students graduate from either of these programs, they will be offered up to $1,000 in scholarship money from the RichmondCC Foundation to continue their education in a college or workforce training program at RichmondCC. 

When students come into one of the Adult Education programs, they now take an assessment using a tool called Career Coach, and they are put in a career cluster that speaks to their interests and skills. 

“We can then correlate the instruction they receive in the program to specific occupations, while also getting them into skills training classes like CPR or OSHA 10 so they have more tools in their tool kit,” Kester said. “Gone are the days when people just come in and want to pass the GED or get a high school diploma and leave. We are going to construct individual career plans for these folks and connect them with all the resources the College has to offer.”

One of the other parts of the campaign is to house the Adult Education classes on the campus of RichmondCC to eliminate the stigma that these classes are lesser than college classes. 

Collaborative Effort

Scotland County campaign co-chair and former educator Joyce McDow also talked about the stigma that keeps some people from going back to school and how she was eager to be a part of this broad-based plan to reach as many people as possible. 

“We are trying to get people educated not just for the sake of being educated, but being educated so they can enjoy a better life,” McDow said. 

Representing Richmond County as a co-chair for the campaign is Brian Baucom of First Bank.

“Finish for Your Future is an investment in the communities of Richmond and Scotland counties, and it will provide many, many benefits now and in the future,” he said.

McInnis wrapped up the kick-off by noting the urgent need for a skilled workforce.

“We are hearing daily from companies who are looking for employees, but they can’t find the help they need because people are not armed with the tools and credentials they need. Our mission is to change this,” McInnis said.

More Information

For more information about getting involved in the Finish for Your Future campaign or enrolling in Adult Education programs at RichmondCC, call 910-410-1771 in Richmond County or 910-410-1831 in Scotland County. Visit the College online at www.richmondcc.edu; search Adult Education.