One student’s story showcases need for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and the impact of the College on the community
SALISBURY, N.C. — When Teren Mitchell first came to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, she had already tried numerous times to get her high school equivalency, commonly known as a GED. But something about the support she found at Rowan-Cabarrus made this time just a bit different.
Mitchell is one of the millions of community college students across the U.S. celebrating Community College Awareness Month. During the month of April, the American Association of Community Colleges, along with community colleges across the nation have generated awareness about the mission, impact, goals and history of community colleges.
“Community colleges are essential partners in developing our current and future workforce here in North Carolina,” says Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “The dedicated faculty and staff of Rowan-Cabarrus work tirelessly to provide quality training to ensure student success.”
Community colleges, especially those here in North Carolina, have a long history of serving the needs of the community and region. This mission helps fulfill what Dallas Herring, founder of the North Carolina community college system, proposed: “to carry people as far as they could go.”
“Each time I failed the test, I felt my chances of succeeding shrinking,” said Mitchell, now an accounting student at Rowan-Cabarrus.
When she first took the placement test she was placed in the lowest possible level. She worked hard and studied every day and by the end of one year she was in her final level of studies.
After enrolling at Rowan-Cabarrus, Teren had many supporters in the program. “The instructors supported and encouraged me tremendously. When I struggled with a particular subject, they would always tutor me and help me understand,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell received her high school equivalency from Rowan-Cabarrus in 2013, and immediately enrolled in college classes. Mitchell has thrived in the accounting program and will graduate with her Associate in Applied Science Degree in May.
Rowan-Cabarrus provides both instruction and resource materials to students preparing for the GED at no cost. Classes are scheduled on the North and South Campuses and at a variety of community locations for convenience and access.
“Teren’s story is an inspiring one! It was a pleasure to teach her,” said Louise Ginger Pack, developmental mathematics instructor for the College. “When I hear stories like these from my students, I am reminded why our community needs Rowan-Cabarrus and why I do what I do.”
Students work at their own pace, so the time to complete a section of the high school equivalency may take weeks or months based upon the individual’s readiness for the test.
“Rowan-Cabarrus serves a diverse population in the GED High School Equivalency program. Though it can be a challenging program, dedicated students such as Teren not only complete the program and but go do on and do exceedingly well in their college classes,” said Gary Connor, director in pre-college college studies. “We work hard to provide support and tutoring to help students meet their goals.”
In the late 1950s, the North Carolina General Assembly approved funding for a new concept in higher education: industrial education centers for the purpose of training adults in vocational and technical skills needed by emerging industries.
Since 1963, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has served citizens, business and industry in Rowan and Cabarrus counties. The College offers a wide-variety of programs to meet the needs of a diverse student population with respect to age, life-style, academic achievement and employment background.
“Simply put, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is a way forward – for our students, our community, and our economy,” said Carl M. Short, chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees.
Additionally, the College provides a strong general education foundation and transferable credits for students advancing to four-year colleges and universities while helping many adults secure the additional training they need to start or change careers.
“Rowan-Cabarrus is the area’s largest workforce training resource and one of our largest employers. Most of our graduates continue to live and work in our local communities and provide essential and critical services in healthcare, public safety, manufacturing, government, business, and human services,” said Short. “Since its inception in 1963, Rowan-Cabarrus has changed the lives of many individuals in our region and is committed to building sustainable futures for our citizens through public higher education.”
For more information regarding the General Education Diploma High School Equivalency Program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please call 704-216-3510. For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu.