SALISBURY, N.C. – In keeping with its commitment to offering high-quality online instruction, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College recently received national Quality Matters (QM) certification for more of its classes, giving the College the most QM-certified courses of any community college in North Carolina. These online courses have met rigorous standards to ensure excellence in development and delivery to support student learning and success.
As of August 2022, 26 courses have active QM certifications. The College currently has six courses undergoing official QM review, with another five being internally reviewed for submission to QM in the near future.
Quality Matters is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning. The program provides an official system for online and blended learning, and QM-certified courses have met rigorous standards. Colleges and universities worldwide use QM certification as a standard of excellence and rely on its tools for developing and maintaining their online courses and training faculty.
Originally receiving certification in 2013, Rowan-Cabarrus became one of four colleges nationally to have a faculty training course certified by QM and was the second community college in the nation and the first 2- or 4-year college in North Carolina to do so. The College was re-certified in 2018 and remains the only 2- or 4-year college in North Carolina with a faculty training course certified by QM.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Rowan-Cabarrus had been designated as a Top 10 Digital Community College and was investing in the growth of online learning, virtual tutoring and related technologies. Twenty-five of the College’s faculty members, along with its Distance Education Services team, have completed Quality Matters training to develop QM-certified courses.
When COVID-19 forced Rowan-Cabarrus to close campus buildings and offer only limited, approved classes in person, the College was well-prepared for a seamless and rapid transition of the majority of its classes to online delivery.
“We are extremely proud of the quality and credibility of our online learning offerings and were already delivering a robust list of courses virtually prior to COVID-19,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “In addition to having the technology and certified instructors in place, it was also critical that we be prepared to assist students during the pandemic by providing access to laptops and reliable internet to ensure that they were able to continue working toward their academic goals.”
Rowan-Cabarrus began offering online classes in 1999 with only eight available sections and now offers more than 250 unique courses online, averaging more than 600 available sections and more than 11,000 student registrations each semester. In 2000, the College became one of the first community colleges in the state to establish formal, required training for faculty to teach online courses.
The College was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in 2002 to offer online degrees and currently offers 17 degrees, nine diplomas and 33 certificates fully online.
“We are committed to excellence in all of our instruction, and our online course and degree offerings provide students greater flexibility in scheduling classes, along with a positive, interactive learning experience,” Spalding said.
For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu call 704-216-RCCC (7222).