RCCC trustees discuss how to increase enrollment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2016

By Rebecca Rider


SALISBURY — The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College board of trustees met Monday before their board meeting to discuss student enrollment and recruiting strategies. College President Dr. Carol Spalding said that the school didn’t worry about recruitment during the “burgeoning enrollment” that followed the recession.

But this year, the school saw an enrollment drop of nearly 900 students, which led to a loss of state funding.

“Now we really want to focus on recruiting as many students as possible,” Spalding said.

Dr. Michael Quillen vice president of academic programs, said that the college has been revising the academic schedule since fall of the current school year.

“I’m not sure that there’s anything we’ve not changed,” he said.

Changes have been made to improve course and schedule consistency so that students know exactly what to expect. The college will follow standardized programs of study, has increased summer classes to eight weeks, follows a standard academic calendar, has long-term plans for course offerings and has moved registration for fall semester to April.

“All of these things are basically to create an environment where you know what’s coming and you know what you need to do,” Quillen said.

The college is also focusing on targeted, multi-platform marketing, more recruitment in local high schools, holding open-houses and previews for prospective students and holding conversations with current students to help them towards completion.

“We are trying our very best, and we are all working together to turn this around,” Carla Howell, chief officer of governance, foundation and public relations, said.

At the board meeting that followed in the Paradowski boardroom on north campus, Duke Energy presented a $50,000 2016 workforce development grant to the college foundation. This donation pushes the company’s investment in RCCC over $1 million.

The grant falls under the advanced technology initiative of the school’s major gifts campaign, and will be used to purchase equipment enhancements for the college’s engineering technologies programs.

In other business the board:

  • Recognized the Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College for being named a School of Innovation and Excellence.
  • Approved pursuing acquisition of the Cabarrus Business and Technology Center off of Highway 29 in a no-cost transfer not to exceed $10, an offer that came from the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners.

“I’d like to thank the Cabarrus County commission for their generosity, and we’ll be glad to take advantage of their weak moment,” Chairman Carl Short joked.

Director of College Relations Paula Dibley said the college has occupied that property since 2000, and as it receives funding from the County Commission for facilities, the transfer is just a shifting of ownership.

  • Approved $300,000 to remodel two rooms in building 300 on the North Campus.
  • Voted in favor of a deductive change order to Monteith Construction for the north campus additions and renovations of buildings 600, 500 and 300 for $1,427.
  • Approved a change order to Crescent Construction for phase II of the outdoor learning center in the amount of $49,929.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.