RCCC finishes strategic plan for 2011-2014

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 7, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
Several months of meetings between Rowan-Cabarrus Community College officials and leaders from local businesses, municipalities and a variety of community groups has culminated in the college’s 2011-14 strategic plan.
Board of trustees member Clyde Higgs said the plan, which focuses on preparing students for 21st century careers and cultivating a strong community partnership, is very forward thinking.
“They are obviously not just looking at their status today, but how they can be effective three years from now,” he said. “Sometimes I think organizations tend to focus on what’s ailing them right now as opposed to how to position themselves for success in the future.”
RCCC President Carol Spalding touts the plan’s goal to increase completion rates as a key component as the college prepares for the future.
“The college will use many resources to help students finish their education in preparation for the workforce or transfer,” she said.
Higgs said the initiative to get more students to earn degrees, diplomas and certifications caught his attention.
“I was intrigued by it because there are so many people across the nation who have started college and didn’t finish,” he said. “This is a new concept of the community college being a place to help piece those courses together.”
Spalding said the plan also focuses on “sustainable futures” by enhancing current programs and developing new ones to prepare students for both existing and emerging careers.
RCCC Foundation member Katrina King, chief nursing officer at Rowan Regional Medical Center, said as the effects of health care reform unfold within the industry she’s glad to know the hospital has a strong ally in the college.
“Dr. Spalding has been very proactive in partnering with us to understand what we’re going to need in moving forward in the next couple of years,” said.
Higgs, vice president of business development for the N.C. Research Campus, said the plan’s goal to serve as a catalyst for community advancement was also appealing.
“(The college) is a community asset,” he said. “And the idea of positioning it as a preferred partner for business and industry really resonated with me.”

RCCC 2011-14 Strategic Plan
Goals for the next three years include:
• Prepare students for 21st Century careers and opportunities that stimulate sustainable economic and workforce development;
• Produce exceptional learning that demonstrates academic excellence and student success;
• Provide excellent service delivery for current and prospective students to advance achievement;
• Acquire, develop, and manage human, fiscal and infrastructure resources essential to the development and delivery of high-quality education and service.
• Serve as a catalyst for advancing the community.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.