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Education briefs: RCCC Small Business Center relocates

CONCORD – The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Small Business Center has moved to the new Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at 57 Union Street South.

The Cabarrus Center, a collaborative workspace, welcomes and supports new and existing businesses through educational programs, networking, events and more. The Rowan-Cabarrus Small Business Center continues to serve both Cabarrus and Rowan counties, and its business resource library will remain at the College’s North Carolina Research Campus location in Kannapolis.

“The move to the Cabarrus Center made sense, as we want to collaborate with as many community business partners as possible to offer greater value and opportunity to our clients through the Small Business Center,” said Rowan-Cabarrus Vice President of Corporate and Continuing Education Craig Lamb. “Our clients will continue to receive the same services, with the added benefit of having partners like the Cabarrus Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission under the same roof.”

The Cabarrus Center is a transformation of the former Cabarrus Savings Bank building into a state-of-the-art business model featuring co-working spaces, meeting rooms and private offices, where partners and members can engage and collaborate both inside the building and with the local business community.

“It’s a one-stop shop for business,” Small business Center Center Director Megan Smit said. “I’m excited about it. There is a wide range of options for both new and existing businesses. This type of collaboration and opportunity can be especially helpful for startups who need a business address or office location as well as mentoring and support.”

The Small Business Center currently offers virtual workshops and business counseling.

“We are appreciative to the Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the warm welcome our Small Business Center has received, and we look forward to the exciting ideas and growth that will come from working more closely with business partners in the community,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.

For more information on the services available through the Rowan-Cabarrus Small Business Center, visit www.rccc.edu/sbc or contact Megan Smit at megan.smit@rccc.edu or 704-216-3534. For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

New awareness campaign promotes scholarships for community college students

SALISBURY – A statewide awareness campaign, called “Time for a New YOU,” has been launched to spread the word about scholarships available to students enrolled in short-term workforce training programs at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and North Carolina’s 57 other community colleges.

The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund provides $15 million in tuition assistance to students enrolled in specific programs in high-demand fields that will lead to a state or industry-recognized credential. Program areas available at Rowan-Cabarrus include automotive, construction, emergency medical services, healthcare, information technology, criminal justice, fire and rescue services, industrial/manufacturing, and transportation.

The scholarship awards up to $750, or the cost of the program – whichever is more – and can be used to help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies, credentialing tests, transportation, childcare, and other costs of attendance.

Eligible students must be a N.C. resident and currently enrolled in an eligible continuing education program or course for a minimum of 96 hours.

“We want to spread the word about GEER scholarships to as many people as possible, because this is a wonderful opportunity for anyone looking for a new career path to go to work quickly in a high-demand field,” RCCC President Dr. Carol Spalding said. “These funds can help individuals take a crucial step toward a secure future while creating a well-prepared regional workforce.”

For more information about available scholarships, please contact the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College financial aid office at fin.aid@rccc.edu. For general information about the campaign, please visit TimeForANewYou.org. For general information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

Catawba named to Colleges of Distinction list

Colleges of Distinction’s longstanding support for student-centered schools highlight those that traditional rankings often overlook. Founder Wes Creel created Colleges of Distinction to draw more attention to schools like Catawba College whose student-centered education prevails in applying theory to practice while fostering a dynamic learning community.

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process comprises a sequence of in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools about each institution’s freshman experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, career development, strategic plan, student satisfaction, and more—and accepting only those that adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. These principles are all informed by the High-Impact Practices to prioritize the ways that institutions enable students to have a fulfilling, individualized college experience.

“Every student has their own unique set of abilities, their own goals, and their own ideal settings in which they would thrive,” Creel said. “That’s why we don’t rank our schools. It’s about finding the best opportunities for each individual’s needs and desires.” Catawba College’s inclusion is informed by the unique ways it commits to achieving success.

“We are honored to be included in this year’s cohort as a College of Distinction,” said Dr. Jared R. Tice, Senior Vice President for the College Experience and Dean of Students. “A Catawba College education meets the needs and goals of our students in an ever-changing workforce by blending the liberal arts, hands-on immersive learning, and career preparation.”

Creel and his colleagues found that the most popular college rankings systems rely on metrics like peer reputation, size of endowment, and alumni salaries. They knew instead that the effective strategies for student satisfaction and outcomes were the kinds of engaging experiences found at Catawba College: first-year seminars, community-based learning programs, service-learning programs, diversity and global learning programs, interdisciplinary programs, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, living-learning communities, common intellectual experiences, capstone projects, international study programs, and internships.

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