College: It’s about more than just classes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 5, 2015

Trevor Barber started his academic career the same way many other students do: he had a basic plan. Going to Rowan-Cabarrus was a part of his plan, and he planned to transfer on. However, he didn’t know that his time at Rowan-Cabarrus would help him find his career calling.

“I just saw a flyer one day for an intramural basketball team,” Barber said.

Growing up, Barber loved playing basketball, but he didn’t necessarily see how he could do that in college. Playing for the Rowan-Cabarrus intramural team inspired Barber to seriously consider a career in sports management.

“College is about more than just classes and papers and exams. There is an enormous amount of learning that occurs outside of the classroom in the extracurricular programs we offer,” said Natasha Lipscomb, director of student life and leadership development at Rowan-Cabarrus.

The college’s three-on-three intramural basketball team practiced locally and ultimately competed in a statewide tournament.

“I loved that we didn’t compete with others locally, but with other teams across the state,” said Barber. “It was pretty fun to play in the tournament – the competition was good and evenly matched.”

Barber started out by just attending college on track to transfer. Because of one flyer, his plan and potential career path changed.

He’s not alone. Annually, students at Rowan-Cabarrus find fulfillment and confidence by engaging in the variety of student life activities and programs.

“We believe that our ever-expanding set of extracurricular activities and communications creates a holistic student experience, developing well-rounded graduates,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “It’s all about developing leaders and helping them engage in their community.”

The college has also started a new tradition of $5 Fridays, where students can participate in unique day trips that help expand the cultural exposure that students receive. A pre-holiday season trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville was booked at lightning speed.

Students who are engaged in clubs and leadership roles have the opportunity to travel across the country to compete in competitions and learn. Several student leaders have found themselves in locations such as New Orleans, Kansas City and Anaheim, California. Many also found themselves returning with national awards and recognition.

The college is committed to developing student leaders on campus. When Rowan-Cabarrus first started the Sigma Alpha Pi program on campus, the college was the first community college in the state to host the organization. Today, more than 20 additional community colleges in North Carolina have followed suit.

“Student life at Rowan-Cabarrus continues to flourish with record participation in clubs, activities and events,” said Gaye McConnell, vice president of enrollment and the student experience. “Students who take advantage of these experiences are poised for even greater community service and leadership when they complete their studies at Rowan-Cabarrus.”

The College still has eight-week mini-semester classes available this spring, with classes beginning on March 18. For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit or call 704-216-7222.