Davidson County Community College receives award

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2016

THOMASVILLE — Davidson County Community College received a North Carolina Career Preparedness Award at the N.C. ACT (American College Testing) State Organization Conference held Tuesday in Greensboro. The award is part of the ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign.

The Career Preparedness Award is given annually to a community college that models exemplary practices in preparing students for transition from high school to college or for career advancement.

“We’re honored that the state organization recognizes DCCC’s commitment to offer programs and services that lead to better, productive lives for our citizens,” says Susan Burleson, vice president of student success and communications, who accepted the award on behalf of the college. “Preparing students for success, whether it be in the classroom or in their professions, offers a positive outcome for not only the individuals but the futures of our communities as well.”

DCCC was commended for its successful partnerships with local school systems and employers.

The college partners with four K-12 school districts to support two early colleges and one cooperative and innovative high school. Students take college classes while in high school, earning college credit tuition free. Career and College Promise, North Carolina’s dual enrollment program, allows high school students to enroll in transfer or career pathways. When barriers were identified that were preventing students from taking full advantage of these opportunities, DCCC hired a coordinator to facilitate finding solutions. As a result, the number of students participating in the program more than doubled in one semester.

DCCC has developed programs with local businesses and industries to offer employees opportunities to seek college degrees or pursue career advancement. Employees at Ingersoll Rand in Mocksville take courses toward earning an associate degree, with class times planned to accommodate work schedules. An internship with GESPIA allows college transfer students to develop critical thinking and other skills that have been identified as necessary to develop a well-rounded future employee.

In addition, DCCC played a key role in the development of the High Performance Manufacturing Alliance, a group of manufacturing professionals and community college educators who network and share best practices in manufacturing. This partnership helps college faculty stay abreast of the latest trends that are incorporated into their classrooms.

ACT selects award winners based on student success indicators, including retention, graduation and four-year college transfer rates, especially for underserved student populations. Other factors include the strength of relationships with local employers and high schools, accessibility of career readiness assessments and career preparation programs and the support structure in place for students.

“For the fourth year in a row, participation in the ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign continues to grow,” said Scott Montgomery, ACT vice president for policy, advocacy and government relations. “We are proud to recognize the notable achievements of the students, educators and employers who lead exceptional efforts to improve their schools and workplaces every day.”

State award winners will be considered for selection as a National Exemplar at the ACT College and Career Readiness gala in June in Washington, D.C.