Rowan-Cabarrus Community College News

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Reveals 2012 Annual Report


img_0316KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College released its 2012 Annual Report to the college’s Board of Trustees on Monday.

The 2012 Annual Report, titled “A Year of Development,” focuses on how the college spent 2012 developing resources, facilities and academic excellence.

“As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, we have the opportunity to look back at the college’s accomplishments and how far we have traveled. Since 1963, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has educated over 600,000 individuals and has developed and delivered programs to meet the demands of our local community,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus, in her opening letter in the Annual Report.

The report highlights student and faculty successes on topics such as online learning, academic excellence, small business entrepreneurship, leadership and scholarships.

“In the next fifty years, we will be going into uncharted territory. Our nation’s economy is changing as is our job market. Our state and local unemployment rates remain high. Our definition of ‘normal’ is being reset,” said Spalding. “Through all of this uncertainty, I believe there is hope. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is committed to the future of our region and its citizens. I believe that education is the compass to navigate forward. Our region’s potential is too important to leave to chance. We must align strategic investments and resources to ensure that we influence and mold a future that provides hope and opportunity for our citizens.”

The Annual Report features the new college brand released last month. The new logo includes a compass which is an original image developed by an in-house design team at the college. A unique element of the design is that the compass needle is fixed at the angle between the college’s North Campus and South Campus.


In addition to the college’s traditional blue and white colors, Rowan-Cabarrus added a vibrant gold. The new logo is accompanied by the new tagline, “Navigate Forward.”

“Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been a vital contributor to the economic health of both Rowan and Cabarrus counties for many years and has long been recognized for its important role in the education and retraining of our citizens,” said Carl M. Short, chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees. “During the recent years of economic turmoil, Rowan-Cabarrus has been a prominent force in attracting and leveraging federal, state and local resources to improve programs and services for the community while ensuring that displaced workers and other citizens receive the training they need to succeed in the workplace.”

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Posted in Board of Trustees, Faculty and Staff, Office of the President, Student Life and Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Transfer Program Enrollment Up, Technical Education Slighlty Down


“We are working to market the value of college training and education, job futures and career opportunities in both of our counties, in addition to demonstrating the value of beginning one’s education with us before transferring to the four-year university or college.”

 KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has experienced an increase in enrollment this spring in its transfer programs such as Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) and Associate in Science (AS). At the same time, enrollment in the college’s Associate in Applied Science (AAS) programs have declined slightly, down about six percent compared to 2012.

 “We’re seeing an increase in the number of students desiring to transfer to a four-year institution,” said Gaye McConnell, vice president of student services and enrollment management at Rowan-Cabarrus. “Some of this increase can be attributed to students and families recognizing the value of the community college in starting their higher education degree.”

 The total headcount of enrolled students is 6,346 students which is a 1.75 percent decline from spring 2012. The overall fulltime enrollment data (FTE) for spring 2013 showed an estimated decline of 2.83 percent compared to spring 2012.

 “The college is working to increase enrollment overall in curriculum courses and programs through better customer service to our community patrons and students, and through improved retention efforts within the semester and into the next semester,” said McConnell. “The final spring enrollment figures are still unknown as we have expanded course offerings to include compressed eight-week and four-week hybrid courses which are still open for registration. The potential gain in enrollment from these classes may reduce the current FTE loss to nearly zero, resulting in flat enrollment.”

 Historically, community college enrollment increases when unemployment increases and vice versa. This pattern is true today. Over the course of the last year, employment numbers improved somewhat with unemployment in Rowan County going from 11.1 percent to 9.7 percent and from 10.1 percent to 8.7 percent in Cabarrus County (based upon the most recent data available for December 2012).

 “The college has heard from students that they have had discontinue their studies and find some kind of work, often part-time, because unemployment benefits have run out,” said McConnell. “We have also had similar feedback from surrounding community colleges with colleges reporting anywhere from a two to 12 percent decrease in enrollment.”

 This past year, the North Carolina Community College System as a whole experienced a decline in curriculum student enrollment.

 “Some of this decline can also be attributed to the college having our two largest graduating classes ever in 2011 and 2012. Additionally, we are also seeing the decline of educational funding for displaced workers, and the maxing out of all available funding as a result of unemployment benefits,” continued McConnell.

 The college will continue efforts to increase not only transfer program enrollment, but to increase enrollment in the Associate in Applied Science areas, as the emphasis on technical education for job readiness in demand from regional employers.

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Posted in Admissions and Recruitment, Liberal Arts and General Education, Office of the President, Record and Registration, Student Life and Leadership, Student Services | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College To Host Second Annual Literary & Fine Arts Festival



“The community events that we are hosting this year – and those events specifically part of the Literary & Fine Arts Festival – are for our students, faculty, staff and community. Join us in celebrating our community and your community college.”

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is proud to host its second annual Literary & Fine Arts Festival from April 7-11, 2013. The free, family-friendly festival is open to the public; it was developed by Rowan-Cabarrus faculty.

“Many of our students at Rowan-Cabarrus are managing family responsibilities, career, and the demands of their studies. Consequently, they may not have the time or means to appreciate literature and the fine arts,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “The Literary & Fine Arts Festival is a special event that we created to make sure that our students have an opportunity to engage in activities and celebrations focusing on literature and fine arts.”

The festival is collaboration between the English and fine arts faculty at the college and leverages the expertise and creativity of Rowan-Cabarrus faculty and their literary and fine arts associates to provide a yearly festival that will grow annually. The festival will also include music and drama this year.

“As the college celebrates our 50th anniversary in 2013, we want to thank the community for its support over the last 50 years,” said Spalding.

The festival’s two signature events include an evening at the Norvell Theater with two esteemed visiting authors (Cathy Smith Bowers and Robert Morgan), as well as a concluding celebration featuring The Embers at the Kannapolis Village Park. The Embers, with over 25 albums released to date, are known for their marveled beach music. They were inducted into the South Carolina Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.

The college is proud to host three esteemed authors and a renowned artist as part of this year’s events.

Cathy Smith Bowers, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina, has dealt with more loss than one person should ever have to manage. Smith Bowers navigated her personal heartache by writing five poetry collections. Her goal is to demonstrate the power of the spoken word in transforming our hurts and pains into healing and to celebrate our triumphs and joys. Smith Bowers teaches poetry in a Master of Fine Arts program at Queens University in Charlotte.

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Posted in Liberal Arts and General Education, Office of the President, Science, Biotechnology, Mathematics and Information Technologies, Student Life and Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Awarded $491,000 from Golden LEAF Foundation For Training In Advanced Machining


 “The investment from the Golden LEAF Mid-Skills Workforce Training Initiative will have a long-term impact on students’ educational and workplace success in the advanced machining field,” said Dr. Rod Townley, vice president of academic programs.

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College proudly announced its latest grant award at the college’s January board meeting. The college will receive $491,000 from the Golden LEAF Foundation to train individuals in advanced machining through the college’s Computer-Integrated Machining Technology program. Mark Sorells, senior vice president of the Golden LEAF Foundation, attended Monday’s meeting.

Among the local employers who supported the college in their effort to receive this grant are Roush Yates Racing Engines, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Atlas Signs, and Martin Marietta Materials. Seventeen letters of support from local business and industry partners were submitted as part of the grant proposal.

“The skills learned in the computer-integrated machining program at Rowan-Cabarrus are essential for obtaining a job in advanced manufacturing,” said Brad Harris, CNC shop manager for Stewart-Haas Racing.

“I am so proud of the initiative shown by the Computer-Integrated Machining Technology program,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “We could never afford the equipment through our normal public funding channels. Unfortunately, without modern equipment, our machining program would sit stagnant.”

According to Golden LEAF, many firms across the state and nation report having difficulty finding workers with the pre-requisite skills necessary for employment in advanced manufacturing. Recent reports have highlighted the mid-skills gap that exists across the country and the need to take advantage of the emerging trend of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

“Right now, our equipment for the machining program isn’t up-to-speed with the industry. In order to ensure that our students get the best practical training possible, we need them to work on the same equipment that is used in these companies,” said Jason Hill, instructor in Computer-Integrated Machining Technology and project director for the new grant. “You can’t just talk about these skills – students need to actually perform them in a simulated environment.”

rccc-019To assist the state with job creation and address the skills gap that companies are struggling to overcome in hiring qualified workers with the technical skills required in advanced manufacturing, the Golden LEAF Foundation designed a competitive grants program in partnership with the NC Community College System.

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Posted in Corporate and Continuing Education, Corporate Training, Faculty and Staff, Job and Skills Training, Office of the President, Re-Employment Bridge Institute, Student Life and Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebration, Launches New Brand


“We are the navigators of our own future. We are the navigators of our own path. We determine what navigating forward means to us.”

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has unveiled a new logo and branding strategy that officials say better reflects the college’s role and significance to the region.

The transition to the new brand coincides with the college’s 50th anniversary kickoff celebration. The debut of the new logo marks the launch of the college’s plans to celebrate five decades of service to Rowan and Cabarrus counties. Anniversary events began Monday with a large aerial photo in the shape of a “50.” A series of activities and celebrations will be scheduled throughout the college and in the community during 2013.

“I believe our new brand demonstrates our commitment and promise to be the community college Rowan and Cabarrus counties need and deserve, both now and in the future,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.

To help shape the new brand, Rowan-Cabarrus worked with current students, faculty, staff, prospective students, parents of high school students, and community members to test perceptions of the college against those of competitor schools. Focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and a peer-analysis were included in the process.

The market research revealed that Rowan-Cabarrus is distinguished by its ability to help students find their way forward.

“Wherever you want to go, Rowan-Cabarrus can help get you there. Our dedicated and passionate faculty and staff are here to lead the way, and all those who embark on such a journey lead the way for themselves, their families and many others,” said Spalding.

The new logo includes a compass which is an original image developed by an in-house design team at the college. A unique element of the design is that the compass needle is fixed at the angle between the college’s North Campus and South Campus.

In addition to the college’s traditional blue and white colors, Rowan-Cabarrus added a vibrant gold.

“The addition of gold to our school colors is fitting, given the celebration of our golden anniversary,” said Spalding. “Also, Cabarrus County’s claim of the first gold mine in the country is a significant part of our region’s history.”

The new logo is accompanied by the new tagline, “Navigate Forward.”

“Today we become the Rowan-Cabarrus Navigators,” said Spalding at the 50th anniversary kickoff celebration held on North Campus on Monday.

Ultimately, the brand’s long-term success will be defined, not by words, but by the actions of those who know Rowan-Cabarrus best – faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends.

“These individuals know the value of the education provided at Rowan-Cabarrus,” said Spalding.

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Posted in Emergency Medical Services and Fire and Rescue Services, Facilities and Environmental Operations, Faculty and Staff, Human Resources, Office of the President, RCCC Foundation, Student Government Association, Student Life and Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Breaks Ground On New Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility


“The Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility will afford our public safety providers with real life training scenarios that will ensure that our law, fire, and emergency personnel are prepared to protect our community in the event of fires, hazardous materials emergencies, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, and train derailments.”

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College broke ground on its new Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility at the college’s January board of trustees meeting. Local officials, county commissioners and firefighters from across the region joined the college in this important groundbreaking.

The project is the first in a series of Rowan County-bond funded construction projects that will take place over the next few years.

The new Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility will serve an important role for training local public safety providers who protect citizens every day. The facility will include a 3,500 square foot burn building and mock fire station for training purposes. Training pads for various props and a driving course for fire and emergency vehicles will be included in the project.

“It is our goal to be responsive, flexible, innovative, and efficient, as we work together to create a safer and more secure environment,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.

In 2012, over 215,000 hours of training was provided by the college for more than 16,000 individuals. Over 2,700 certifications were awarded to fire and EMS personnel in our community. Rowan-Cabarrus expects that the number of training hours will continue to grow with the new facility.

“The safety of our citizens is important to all of us,” said Carl M. Short, chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees. “The training provided to our paid and volunteer departments ensures that our communities maintain insurance ratings that keep our taxes affordable while simultaneously equipping our emergency responders with state-of-the-art training.”

The new Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility will include several props that allow for the simulation of critical incidents, emergencies, and natural and man-made disasters.

Public safety personnel require training to respond to rail and train emergencies involving railroad accidents, hazardous material spills, derailments, etc. Because the railroad has such a vital and important history of operations and service in the local community, the college made a written request to Norfolk Southern for consideration for a donation of an actual box car to install as a prop.

“We are pleased to announce that we have been designated to receive a boxcar for this purpose,” said Jeanie Moore, vice president of advancement and continuing education. “Additionally, Norfolk Southern referred us to GATX who has also agreed to donate an oil tanker for the same purpose. This rail equipment will help establish a unique and authentic training experience for our fire and emergency personnel!”

This is the first donation of this kind by Norfolk Southern for training purposes.

“We hope that this contribution will be the beginning of a valuable partnership between the college and Norfolk Southern as the college increases its capacity to provide valuable training to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens and the community,” said Short.

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Posted in Board of Trustees, Center for Teaching and Learning, Emergency Medical Services and Fire and Rescue Services, Facilities and Environmental Operations, Grants Development, Job and Skills Training, Office of the President, Student Life and Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Get Affordable Hands-On Training And Sought-After Certifications


“This is an employment sector where there are lots of jobs, and we are very pleased to be able to offer these stackable credentials. The certifications allow our students to get to work quickly, and to also to build upon their training, earning more certifications and ultimately more money.”

SALISBURY, N.C. – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is launching a new PC and Networking Academy that offers affordable training for advanced technology certification programs with knowledgeable, industry-certified instructors that bring real world, hands-on experience into the classroom.

The PC and Networking Academy is an educational program that trains students to design, build, and maintain local and wide-area networks, and to provide PC software and hardware support. Students will be prepared for networking, PC support, and information technology (IT) related jobs in the public and private sectors, and for higher education in information technology, telecommunications, engineering, computer science, and other related fields.

“Certifications are extremely important in IT,” said John Brand, a networking instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus with over 20 years of industry experience.

The classes are hands-on in nature and provide immediate exposure to the various technologies, allowing students to better and more quickly gauge interest in certain areas. Students are prepared for Cisco and CompTIA certification exams at the end of the courses.

“We believe that certifications and education are critical to our employees’ success, especially in the IT industry,” said Dan Ballister, Time Warner Cable director of communications. “Our education assistance program helps making continuing education possible for many of our employees. I’m thrilled that our employees are finding the training they need at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.”

The program allows students to accumulate stackable credentials. The first level certification is CompTIA’s A+ certification and the next level is either Networking+ or Cisco’s CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry-level Network Technician). CCNA and CCNP certification preparation courses follow, and are held at the college’s Cabarrus Business and Technology Center in Concord.

Upcoming classes include:

PC Repair/A+ Certification

  • Jan. 23 – Apr. 8, M/W (day or evening classes available)

Networking + Certification

  • Apr. 10 – May 31, M/W/Th (day or evening classes available)

Cisco Discovery I/CCENT Preparation

  • Jan. 28 – Apr. 10, 5:30-9:30 p.m. M/W

Cisco Discovery II/CCNA Preparation

  • Apr 15 – June 19, 5:30-9:30 p.m. M/W

CCNP Switching

  • Jan. 28 – June 5, 6-9p.m. T/Th
Posted in Career Readiness Certification, Corporate and Continuing Education, Job and Skills Training, Student Life and Leadership | Tagged , , , , , ,

R3 Center Announces December 2012 & January 2013 Workshops


The center’s mission is built on three Rs – a refocus on individual skills and interests, retraining and further education, and partnering with other workforce development agencies to secure career-oriented re-employment.

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The R3 Center is offering numerous career development workshops and resume clinics in November for adults in Rowan and Cabarrus counties. All of the programs are provided free-of-charge.

Located at 200 West Ave., in Kannapolis, the R3 Center is a career development center established by Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to assist displaced workers, those who are unemployed or under-employed.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has also been awarded a $301,539 grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce in support of the NC Back-to-Work initiative. The program will focus on providing job training and retraining to long-term unemployed citizens of North Carolina.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will leverage the NC Back-to-Work grant to provide short-term training leading to stackable credentials and certifications including Career Readiness and third-party technical certifications. Participants will also work with career coaches to determine a realistic career plan for entry-level employment.

The center’s November schedule of workshops includes the following sessions. Due to the popularity of its free sessions, the R3 Center strongly encourages clients to call in advance to reserve a place (704-216-7201).

New Client Launch is an orientation workshop for persons who have never attended an R3 Center workshop or taken advantage of its other services. New Client Launches will be offered on Mondays – December 10 and January 10, 14 and 28 at 9 a.m.; on Tuesdays – January 15, 22 and 29 at 6 p.m.; on Wednesdays – January 23 at 11 a.m.; on Thursdays – January 24 at 2 p.m.; and Fridays – January 4.

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Posted in Career Readiness Certification, Corporate and Continuing Education, Corporate Training, Job and Skills Training, R3 Center, Re-Employment Bridge Institute, Small Business Center | Tagged , , , ,

Free College Tuition Available To High School Juniors And Seniors


SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has announced changes and expansion to a program that allows high school juniors and seniors to receive college credit tuition-free.

The program, Career and College Promise, was revamped at the state level this year and provides a focused means for students to begin completion of college transfer credits or career training prior to their graduation from high school. Courses under Career and College Promise are offered to high school students with no charge for tuition.

“The classes are truly an alternative to advanced placement – they are weighted just like honors classes,” said Dr. Rod Townley, vice president of academic programs. “Unlike advanced placement courses that are taught locally and tested for credit nationally, as long as students pass with a C or better, they are guaranteed full college credit.”

Students have the opportunity to earn up to 36 hours of college and high school credit simultaneously.

“The other perk of this opportunity is getting to experience real college classes – students ultimately feel better prepared when they head off to a four-year college or university because they’re already confident in their ability to do college work,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.

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Posted in Academic Programs, High School Programs, Student Life and Leadership | Tagged , , ,

Silver Lining To College Costs: Affordable Tuition, Access To Support, Higher Earnings And Lower Unemployment


“Ultimately, education affects your income and your likelihood of becoming unemployed,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “The main point of all of this data is that it’s worth your time and money to get more education.”

SALISBURY, N.C. — A recent analysis from Community College Times of the College Board’s “2012 Trends in College Pricing” report prompted Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to look closely at how its costs compared with other institutions of higher learning.

The analysis showed that while the North Carolina legislature raised tuition for community colleges by 58 percent between 2007 and 2011, there remained a “silver lining.”

Unlike tuition increases in state and private universities which are incorporated into the universities’ operational budgets, these increases are not reallocated to fund community colleges.

A review of tuition and fees for surrounding colleges shows that Rowan-Cabarrus is less than half as expensive as the lowest cost college (University of North Carolina at Charlotte – $5,873 per semester).

The silver lining, however, according to Community College Times, is that “… full-time students at public two-year colleges receive on average of $4,350 in grant funds from all sources and federal tax benefits. That means that some students have extra money to cover costs such as supplies, transportation, child care, and other expenses, which for the average two-year college commuter totals more than $5,000.”

About 67 percent of the Rowan-Cabarrus student population receives Pell Grants from the federal government, bringing nearly $16.7 million of federal funds into the community. Additionally, because these funds are grants, they do not need to be repaid, and the funds are largely spent in the local community.

“Simply, more education pays off in higher earnings,” said Carl M. Short, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees. “However, higher education also provides some security against unemployment.”

Average earnings grow from $19,171 to $31,534 annually, by obtaining an associate’s degree.

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Posted in Board of Trustees, Office of the President, Student Life and Leadership | Tagged , , , ,