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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College named Bellwether Award finalist

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

SALISBURY — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College was one of 10 community colleges in the nation selected as a finalist for the national Bellwether Awards.

The college was selected in the planning, governance and finance category. One of four North Carolina community colleges named a Bellwether finalist, Rowan-Cabarrus was selected for an e-textbook initiative.

“It is a true honor for Rowan-Cabarrus to be selected one in 10 of over 1,200 nominated programs,” said President Carol S. Spalding. “Many kudos go to the college’s faculty who were instrumental in both the e-text initiative and the college’s nomination for this award.”

The Bellwether Awards recognize outstanding and innovative programs and practices that are leading community colleges into the future. Finalists are selected based on how well the program addresses the conference theme, an identified critical issue and published criteria.

The college uses the e-text initiative to provide affordable, accessible and adaptable resources though digital learning platforms to students. The presentation illustrated progressive student success over a three-year period, highlighting course completion and course retention in three major areas: English, information technologies and mathematics.

“The college understands the importance of online learning, and we were proud to share some of our student-focused digital initiatives with the Bellwether panel,” said Spalding. “The e-text initiative is important to me and our institution because we know that the benefits it brings can make or break our student’s success.”

Established in 1995, the Bellwether Awards are a part of the Community College Futures Assembly. The assembly is sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida and focuses on cutting-edge programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating.

The Bellwether Awards are given annually in three categories.

“Our e-textbooks help ensure that our students have their learning materials on the very first day of class,” said Jenny Billings, chairwoman of English, developmental reading and English and ACA. “There is no delay in waiting for a textbook to arrive. It also allows us to build in critical course content directly into the text. Therefore, the e-textbook is more valuable to both the instructor and the student.”

Conference participants come from all across the United States and include educators, administrators and professionals.

“Over the years, the e-text initiative has grown from a way to provide some Rowan-Cabarrus students with their digital materials from day one to a national platform saving students time and money while providing them with immediate access and ADA compliant materials,” said Billings.

The Bellwether Awards are sponsored by the NCIA, NCCET and National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges. The Bellwether Futures Assembly is a national conference sponsored by the National Council for Continuing Education and Training.

Winners and finalists are invited to join the Bellwether College Consortium. The annual Bellwether Award is given in the following three categories: workforce development, instructional programs and services and planning, governance and finance.

“I am so proud of the faculty and staff at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. I was honored to see their work come to life in front of the judges. We have a true gem here in Rowan-Cabarrus, and we should all be very proud,” said Carl. M. Short, chairman of the board of trustees.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit www.rccc.edu/apply or call 704-216-7222.

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