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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College News

Rowan-Cabarrus Welding Program Creates Special 50th Anniversary Gift For College

WELDING STUDENTS WORKED TOGETHER TO DEVELOP LARGE SCALE REPLICA OF COLLEGE’S NEW COMPASS IN HONOR OF COLLEGE’S CONTRIBUTIONS OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS

SALISBURY, N.C. — In honor of the last 50 years of service that Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has provided to the community, welding students presented the Board of Trustees and President Carol Spalding with a large scale replica of the compass featured in the College’s new brand.

Earlier this year, the College unveiled a new logo and branding strategy that better reflects the College’s role and significance to the region. Similarly, welding at Rowan-Cabarrus is not what it used to be. New robots and a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) plasma cutter allow students to engage with and train on industry-recognized equipment.

“Industry-recognized, high-tech equipment is critical to the success of our program and our graduates,” said Robert Simpson, program chair of welding. “If students can’t leave here knowing how to use the equipment that an employer uses, they won’t be as successful as the job requires. We are currently in need of Orbital TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welders and an additional welding robot.”

The orbital TIG is an automated pipe welder that is capable of making perfect welds on piping used in the power and nuclear industry. This equipment is being used extensively worldwide and there are few places where training is available. The welding robot is used in fabrication and welding of assemblies that require repeated parts to be assembled and welded together. The College currently has one robot, but to be productive in training and reduce downtime, there should be more than one robot for students to program.

Unfortunately, the College’s funding does not include an abundance of resources for equipment investments.

“Our resources from the state have continued to decline year after year. Like many public organizations, we are looking at other options and developing a case for support to seek private and philanthropic donations.”

Strengthening the “fundraising muscle” of the College’s foundation is not only important for the immediate future, but also for the long term vitality of the College, and the tens of thousands of students it serves each year.

In January, the College unveiled its new logo, which includes a compass designed by an in-house 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.

“When we saw the new compass and heard about the features that made it unique to Rowan-Cabarrus, we knew we had to use the design as the centerpiece of a 50th anniversary gift for the College,” said Simpson.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has spent the last 50 years serving citizens, business, and industry in Rowan and Cabarrus counties. Welding was actually among the very first classes to be offered at the College 50 years ago. 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.

“We are truly thrilled with this thoughtful anniversary present! What a wonderful example of the work that our welding program does,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “I love the replica of our new brand – I believe it demonstrates our commitment and promise to be the community college Rowan and Cabarrus counties need and deserve, both now and in the future.”

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.

In 1963, Rowan Industrial Education Center became one of the first of 58 colleges in the NC Community College System, under the leadership of founding president Merrill Hamilton. Dr. Richard L. Brownell followed Hamilton as president in 1977 and served in that capacity for thirty years. In 1991, under his leadership, the College earned distinction as the first multi-campus community college in the state of North Carolina.

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

Rowan-Cabarrus: Leader In Online Education And Training

COLLEGE RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF ONLY TWO COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN U.S. TO ACHIEVE INSTRUCTOR TRAINING CERTIFICATION

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College recently became one of only four colleges in the entire country to achieve Quality Matters certification for an instructor training course.

Quality Matters (QM) 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.

“Our growing online programs and courses are high quality. We’ve worked hard to step up our game in the distance education arena,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “Our menu of online courses allows students to participate in learning outside of the traditional classroom. Our goal is to provide students greater flexibility in scheduling classes while providing Rowan-Cabarrus faculty with new and innovative approaches to teaching.”

In 2000, Rowan-Cabarrus became one of the first community colleges in the state to establish formal and required training for faculty. Rowan-Cabarrus instructors are required to take an internally developed online instructor training course prior to teaching any online courses for the College. Even instructors who have taught online courses for other colleges and universities must complete this training.

“The training not only shows them how to use and teach within Blackboard, but also covers the pedagogy and best practices of how to teach online,” said Debra NeeSmith, dean of educational resource services.

Instructors who go through the course apply what they learn in the course immediately – they literally build their online course as they go through the training.

“Our goal is to help instructors create a more robust and interactive learning experience for our students,” said NeeSmith.

Online learning is a different medium – one that requires instructors to think differently about the way they teach their courses. The 25-hour course has received 100 percent in the Quality Matters certification process. Among instructor training classes, only four colleges in the country are Quality Matters certified and Rowan-Cabarrus is only the second community college in the country to achieve this distinction.

“Colleges need to receive at least an 85 percent in order to be granted the certification – we are honored to have achieved 100 percent on the Quality Matter rubric!” said NeeSmith.

Online learning options have become more popular as students become more technically savvy. Likewise, Rowan-Cabarrus faculty have embraced technology in the development and delivery of courses across multiple disciplines.

“Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is committed to excellence for our teachers and our students. We believe in making education accessible to everyone and our online programs are a big part of that initiative,” said Dr. Rod Townley, vice president of the College’s academic programs. “We are extremely proud of our instructional team at the College.”

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Posted in Academic Programs, Center for Teaching and Learning, Distance Education, Student Services | Tagged , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Meets With Chamber and Economic Development Leadership to Discuss Partnership

COLLEGE REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College staff and trustees recently participated in a strategic conversation with representatives from the Cabarrus and Rowan chambers of commerce and economic development commissions about how they can strengthen their partnerships.

“I don’t know of a time when economic development has been more important to our two counties,” said Carl M. Short, chairman of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees.

With significant new leadership in both counties, the College felt that it was an appropriate time to bring together key leaders and emphasize how serious the College is about jobs and improving the economy.

“I think this partnership is exactly where we need to be,” said Elaine Spalding, president for the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is the only public institution of higher learning in the two-county region. Over the last 50 years, the College has served over 600,000 people and 95 percent of them stay and raise families here in Rowan and Cabarrus counties.

Margie Bukowski, vice president of economic development for Cabarrus Economic Development, said she believes there are a lot of opportunities for organizations to help be more involved with community colleges. Bukowski also recommended being proactive.

“Bringing the college in as soon as you can to talk about what skill sets (potential employees are) going to need,” Bukowski said.

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Posted in Board of Trustees, Liberal Arts and General Education, Office of the President, Science, Biotechnology, Mathematics and Information Technologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Serving More Students Than Last Year With Less Funding

ENROLLMENT UP, BUT BUDGET DOWN $1.5 MILLION

“It’s not too late to start your education this fall – we have four-week and eight-week classes that will be available for registration in the next few weeks,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College kicked off a busy fall semester 2013 last week.

“Our numbers are still preliminary because selected classes don’t register until later in the semester. However, Rowan-Cabarrus is serving at least two to three percent more students this year than last, with more than 6,800 students,” said Gaye McConnell, vice president of student services and enrollment management at Rowan-Cabarrus. “ These students are also taking fuller course loads than they were last year.”

The College is funded based upon the number of Full Time Equivalents – which means the number of students (or combined figure) taking a full-time course load. The acronym FTE refers to the term “full-time equivalent,” a calculation used by the state to determine funding levels per student. For Rowan-Cabarrus, this number is expected to be about four percent above last year.

Most sister institutions across the state are reporting decreases in enrollment. There are continued high levels of local unemployment, despite some statewide economic improvement in available jobs. While unemployment certainly contributes to the increased enrollment, Rowan-Cabarrus also attributes the increase to several new initiatives at the College.

“We are serving more and more transfer students at Rowan-Cabarrus. The College is the only public institution of higher learning in our two-county service area, and the most affordable option in the region as a whole,” said McConnell. “The 18-25 year old population alone at Rowan-Cabarrus has grown more this year, indicating that more young people and their parents are recognizing the strategic nature of choosing a low-cost, high value college, especially for the first two years of higher education.”

The College opened its new one-stop center, dubbed Navigation Station, on its North Campus this spring. This unique one-of-a-kind model places all student services in a single, easy-to-access location to minimize the effort and time required for a student to receive basic information and service. Everything from admissions to financial aid, cashiering to testing can be accessed in a single location.

“The new Navigation Station includes three different components – an online presence of FAQs that allow students to find answers to commonly asked questions easily, an in-person physical presence and a call center. All of these services combined make it possible for students to have access to support services when they need them and when it is convenient for them,” said McConnell.

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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Awarded $120K Grant from NC Back-To-Work Program

COLLEGE WAS IN THE PILOT GROUP IN 2012-13; GRANT WILL PROVIDE TARGETED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR SHORT-TERM TRAINING TO LOCAL INDIVIDUALS

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been awarded a $120,000 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 unemployed citizens of North Carolina.

Last year, the College was one of sixteen community colleges who were awarded the grant. This year, more colleges received funding, but the funding amounts were significantly smaller. Last year’s NC Back-to-Work grant was for $301,539 and focused exclusively on the long-term unemployed citizens in Rowan and Cabarrus counties.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will leverage this year’s NC Back-to-Work grant to address critical skills shortages in the local labor market. Simultaneously, the initiative will provide significant outreach to unemployed adults who are still trying to recover from substantive job losses.

“These funds will give the College the opportunity to build on the success of the first round of NC Back-to-Work funding by continuing the welding training program in partnership with NC DOL Apprenticeship Program and Mechanical Trades Carolina,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “We want nothing more than to help improve the ability for our citizens to get back to work.”

One of the College’s successes was Brandi Hilliard. Hilliard enrolled in the three-day per week continuing education welding class that started last October at Mechanical Trades Carolina, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s training partner.

“Brandi quickly amazed her instructor and classmates with her natural welding abilities,” said John Sciadini, training director for Mechanical Trades Carolina.

Hilliard’s registration fee and welding tools were covered under the NC Back-to-Work program. Hilliard diligently worked to learn as much as she could in the next eight months. She took advantage of every opportunity to test for American Welding Society certifications and graduated from the welding training program with a total of seven different industry-recognized certifications.

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Posted in Academic Programs, Career Readiness Certification, Center for Teaching and Learning, Job and Skills Training, Office of the President, R3 Center, Re-Employment Bridge Institute, Small Business Center | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Wins National eduStyle Award for Annual Report

“A YEAR OF DEVELOPMENT” FOCUSES ON THE COLLEGE’S EFFORTS IN 2012 TO DEVELOP RESOURCES, FACILITIES AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

annualreport

“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.

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College was awarded 2013 eduStyle’s Best Annual or Community Report for its 2012 annual report website.

Unveiled in February 2013, the 2012 annual report, titled “A Year of Development,” focuses on how the college spent 2012 developing resources, facilities and academic excellence.

A unique feature of the 2012 report was the web version of the annual report. Instead of using a traditional PDF as the online version of the annual report, the college developed an interactive design utilizing responsive web design. Responsive web design is intended to provide an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

EduStyle is the definitive resource for web design in higher education in North America. The eduStyle Higher-ed Web Awards celebrate the best work in college and university websites. This year, eighteen categories recognize the most innovative and exciting developments in key areas of higher education web development.

“We are thrilled to have received this award,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “At the center of our 2012 annual report was the desire to showcase the amazing things that students, faculty and staff are doing at Rowan-Cabarrus.”

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

Rowan-Cabarrus, the only web design nominated in any category by a community college, competed against Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, Texas A&M University and Memorial University.

“An award like this is significant because it brings us great national recognition among higher education audiences,” said Spalding. “EduStyle is an organization that focuses exclusively on the higher education Web environment, and they are tough to impress.”

Each award is given as both a People’s Choice and Judged Award. The College ultimately won the Judged award in the Best Annual or Community Report category. The interactive version can be found at www.rccc.edu/president/annual-report-2012/.

The design of the annual report was developed internally by Allison Robinson, director of graphics, and Angela VandenBroek, web designer.

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Posted in Academic Programs, Board of Trustees, Grants Development, Office of the President, RCCC Foundation | Tagged , , , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Becomes One of a Handful to Launch Highly Specialized Space Management Course

“There are only about four other colleges in the entire U.S. teaching this topic. It’s thrilling that local residents here in Salisbury and Concord will have access to an amazing educational opportunity.”

SALISBURY, N.C. — In a world where consumers have unlimited choices, companies invest carefully to ensure their products are placed in the right stores at the right time and in the right locations. Sales and marketing organizations help many of America’s most trusted brands found in major retailers across the country do just that.

Apparently, there is a reason that milk is in the back of the grocery store.

“As an example the milk category (very high-demand products) is typically positioned in the back corner of the store by design – to encourage shopping in other categories,” said Jim Hanson, Senior Vice President, Space Management Solutions, with Acosta Sales & Marketing. “There is an unbelievable amount of strategy that has gone into the layout and contents of your grocery store.”

Space Management isn’t just occurring in grocery stores– chains like Best Buy and Lowe’s employ space technologists to maximize their profits.

In the Space Management taught by Hanson, students will learn how to analyze and place products to ensure successful sales. This course will place students in a position to qualify for roles in space management or retail merchandising for either retailers, manufacturers or a sales and marketing agency.

Using hi-tech, specialized software, space technologists create what is called a planogram, which allows them to produce, modify and conduct analysis on an electronic rendering of each category in a store.

“If a student is comfortable on a computer and completes this course – they will be an attractive candidate for a role as a space technologist,” said Hanson.

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Posted in Academic Programs, Admissions and Recruitment, Center for Teaching and Learning, Faculty and Staff, Science, Biotechnology, Mathematics and Information Technologies, Student Life and Leadership, Student Services | Tagged , ,

Welder Completes Rowan-Cabarrus Training Program & Secures Dream Job

NC BACK-TO-WORK INITIATIVE FUNDED RETRAINING PROGRAM FOR LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED

“The NC Back-to-Work grant was a great opportunity for me and made this all possible.”

CONCORD, N.C. — Brandi Hilliard was becoming really worried – she had been unemployed for over a year and her unemployment benefits would be exhausted in two weeks. That’s when she heard about the NC Back-to-Work program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Last year, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College was awarded a $301,539 grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce in support of the NC Back-to-Work initiative. The program’s focus was providing job training and retraining to long-term unemployed citizens of North Carolina.

“After a year of unemployment, I am thrilled to be working again! Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Continuing Education welding program has been a wonderful educational experience,” said Hilliard, 29.

As part of the NC Back-to-Work grant, Rowan-Cabarrus offered an eight-month welding certification training program.

“I’d heard about the great job opportunities and the potential for high earnings in welding. I was definitely interested in trying my hand at it,” said Hilliard.

Hilliard enrolled in the three-day per week continuing education class that started last October at Mechanical Trades Carolina, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s training partner.

“Brandi quickly amazed her instructor and classmates with her natural welding abilities,” said John Sciadini, training director for Mechanical Trades Carolina.

Hilliard’s registration fee and welding tools were covered under the North Carolina Back-to-Work program. Hilliard diligently worked to learn as much as she could in the next eight months. She took advantage of every opportunity to test for American Welding Society certifications and graduated from the welding training program with a total of seven different certifications.

Hilliard recently became an official member of the Local 421 Plumbers & Pipefitters Union, and her training and certifications qualified her as a fifth year apprentice of the N.C. Department of Labor apprenticeship program.

This summer, Brandi began working in Charleston, South Carolina, as a welder earning journeyman wages ($34 per hour). This prestigious, yet confidential job, also provides Hilliard with benefits and the opportunity to earn plenty of overtime pay.

“Honestly, I love it. I’m surprised how much I’ve loved welding!” said Hilliard. “If I could tell everyone one thing, I would tell them that they can do it. They have no idea how successful you can be – I sure didn’t. It still makes my head spin!”

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Posted in Academic Programs, Career Readiness Certification, College Advancement, Corporate and Continuing Education, Corporate Training, Grants Development, Job and Skills Training, Re-Employment Bridge Institute, Student Life and Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Serving More Students Than Last Year With Less Funding

ENROLLMENT UP, BUT BUDGET DOWN $1.5 MILLION

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College kicked off a busy fall semester 2013 last week.

 “It’s not too late to start your education this fall – we have four-week and eight-week classes that will be available for registration in the next few weeks,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.

“Our numbers are still preliminary because selected classes don’t register until later in the semester. However, Rowan-Cabarrus is serving at least two to three percent more students this year than last, with more than 6,800 students,” said Gaye McConnell, vice president of student services and enrollment management at Rowan-Cabarrus. “These students are also taking fuller course loads than they were last year.”

The College is funded based upon the number of Full Time Equivalents – which means the number of students (or combined figure) taking a full-time course load. The acronym FTE refers to the term “full-time equivalent,” a calculation used by the state to determine funding levels per student. For Rowan-Cabarrus, this number is expected to be about four percent above last year.

Most sister institutions across the state are reporting decreases in enrollment. There are continued high levels of local unemployment, despite some statewide economic improvement in available jobs. While unemployment certainly contributes to the increased enrollment, Rowan-Cabarrus also attributes the increase to several new initiatives at the College.

“We are serving more and more transfer students at Rowan-Cabarrus. The College is the only public institution of higher learning in our two-county service area, and the most affordable option in the region as a whole,” said McConnell. “The 18-25 year old population alone at Rowan-Cabarrus has grown more this year, indicating that more young people and their parents are recognizing the strategic nature of choosing a low-cost, high value college, especially for the first two years of higher education.”

The College opened its new one-stop center, dubbed Navigation Station, on its North Campus this spring. This unique one-of-a-kind model places all student services in a single, easy-to-access location to minimize the effort and time required for a student to receive basic information and service. Everything from admissions to financial aid, cashiering to testing can be accessed in a single location.

“The new Navigation Station includes three different components – an online presence of FAQs that allow students to find answers to commonly asked questions easily, an in-person physical presence and a call center. All of these services combined make it possible for students to have access to support services when they need them and when it is convenient for them,” said McConnell.

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Posted in Academic Programs, Admissions and Recruitment, Board of Trustees, Distance Education, Faculty and Staff, Office of the President, Student Services | Tagged , , , , ,

Free Career Readiness Certifications Available to First 10 Clients

R3 CENTER ANNOUNCES SEPTEMBER 2013 WORKSHOPS, FREE PROGRAMS FOR THE UNEMPLOYED OR UNDER-EMPLOYED

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

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Employability Lab is now available at the R3 Center in Kannapolis. The lab will be open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and walk-ins are welcome.

“The Employability Lab is a great edition to R3, because our clients will be able to work with an instructor on tools they are learning in R3 workshops and their individual coaching sessions,” said Keri Allman, director of the R3 Center. “In the lab, clients will also be able to work on a certification that helps recognize an individual’s current skill set called Career Readiness Certification.”

To mark this exciting occasion, 10 selected clients entering the lab in September will receive a scholarship and take the required testing for the certification (Work Keys) for FREE!

Each Wednesday in September, the R3 Center will have “R3 Clinics” available at the NC Department of Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions/JobLink Career Centers in both Rowan and Cabarrus counties. The clinics will feature New Client Launch Appointments, Resume Screening, Career Coaching and R3 Workshops. Clients wanting to attend an R3 Clinic are asked to call 704-216-3664 to schedule an appointment. The Workshop schedule for September will be:

  • September 4: Stand Out from the Competition
  • September 11: Looking for Work as a 20-Something
  • September 21: Interview Techniques

The clinics are designed to be quick and informative. For over six years the R3 Center has provided advanced career services to job seekers. These mobile R3 Clinics are a great way to meet new clients and work closer with JobLink partners.

Salisbury Location:

DWS/JobLink Center

1904 South Main Street

Salisbury, NC 28144

 Concord Location:

DWS/JobLink Center

2275 Kannapolis Hwy.

Concord, NC 28027

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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 | Tagged , , , , ,