May just arrived, and for everyone at Richmond Community College, that means finishing the academic year, planning for 2017-18, and most importantly graduation.
Because of our tremendous growth these past few years, we now have to hold a morning and an afternoon graduation to accommodate a record 385 graduates this year, 152 of whom are from Scotland County.
Much of RichmondCC’s growth over the last few years comes directly from Scotland County. Back in 2010, 614 of our students came from Scotland County. This past fall, that number grew to 811. The students in Scotland Early College High School, through our wonderful partnership with Scotland County schools, are an important part of those 811 students. Another major reason we continue to grow in Scotland County is the dual enrollment, or Career and College Promise program, which provided qualified students with access to free college courses while still in high school. Thanks to support from Dr. Ron Hargrave and his team, a record 212 Scotland County students and their families took advantage of this opportunity this year alone.
We are proud to be the second fastest growing community college in the state the past 7 years, but that could not happen without great partners like the Scotland County Schools, St. Andrews University, the Laurinburg-Scotland Chamber of Commerce, and the Scotland County Board of Commissioners.
Drive by the Honeycutt Center any time, and you can see just how much the people of Scotland County mean to our college, and how much our college means to them. The parking lot is overflowing with students of all ages and backgrounds, learning new careers in nursing or HVAC, gaining pre-employment skills, or taking college courses that will transfer to any university. We accept all students, from wherever they come, and help them find the path to their own future.
Our college is fully and deeply committed to making Scotland County a better place in which to live, work, and do business. Jobs are open and available, but today’s jobs all require current skills, and we are working hard to match those skills to Scotland County residents, and connect them to employers who need qualified, trained employees.
To meet the growing demand, we are working with our partners to make plans for additional space so we can provide new programs, courses, and student services that will make our college more accessible, affordable, and stronger for all the people of Scotland County. Everyone at RichmondCC is excited about our future growth, and we are all very proud to serve the people of Scotland County.
Dale McInnis, president of Richmond Community College, wrote this week’s Focus on Scotland, an effort by community leaders on making Laurinburg/Scotland County a better place to work, live, and play.