Board of Trustees Approves Request for Two-year Emergency Medical Science Degree
June 5, 2019 – Richmond Community College’s Board of Trustees approved a request Tuesday to add an associate degree in Emergency Medical Science to its curriculum programs beginning fall 2020. RichmondCC will now submit an application to the State Board of Community Colleges to be able to offer this new two-year degree.
Dr. Dale McInnis, College president, explained that beginning 2022, paramedics and EMTs are expected be required to have a two-year associate degree to become licensed. Currently, the College runs EMT classes through its Workforce & Economic Development division, which meets the requirements of the licensing laws in place now.
“We’ve been talking to surrounding EMS directors and our hospital partners, and we have found a need for paramedics that justifies our providing this new program,” McInnis said. “Having this program will also strengthen our continuing education programs for emergency responders.”
McInnis said the College also conducted a survey in the high schools, and more than 50 percent of seniors said they would be interested in taking the two-year EMS program.
Rising Enrollment Numbers
The Board of Trustees was given encouraging enrollment reports for both spring and summer semesters. This past spring, the College more than doubled the number of students in its occupational classes, while it also experienced steady increases in its basic skills and curriculum classes.
The College has been seeing a steady growth in its summer enrollment over the past couple years, and this summer, a new record was set for enrollment with more than a thousand students taking advantage of summer classes.
McInnis spoke specifically about the growth and diversity in its Electric Utility Substation & Relay Technology program.
“We had more women and more minorities graduate from the substation program this year than we’ve had total in the program since its inception in 2011,” he said. “It is now our single largest technical program in terms of enrollment and graduation, and the success of the graduates who come out of this program speaks volumes for how RichmondCC can put people on the path to high-wage, high-demand careers.”
McInnis also noted that the Associate Degree Nursing program graduated its largest class this spring and has met its cap for nursing students for fall semester based on classroom space and clinical sites.
“The growth in enrollment is a direct result of an action plan that was put into place last year and the hard work of our faculty and staff to implement these changes to better serve our students and potential students,” McInnis said.
Planning for Next Year’s Graduation
McInnis also informed the board about a new format for graduation next year that would accommodate the growing number of students completing degrees and diplomas at RichmondCC.
“Graduation will be moved to the Friday before Mother’s Day and will be split into three ceremonies at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.,” he said. “This will allow us to give each graduate more tickets for their family and friends who want to share in this milestone moment.”
McInnis provided an update to the progress of the Robinette Building in downtown Rockingham. The building is still on schedule to be completed by late December. The overall shape of the building is becoming visible now that the steel structure is being erected.
Bids for the main campus addition and renovation were extended as the total number of bidders did not meet state requirements. The project bids did come in over-budget, and the College administration is working with the architect to determine areas where changes and cost savings may be found, as well as potentially being able to increase the overall budget for the project.
In Laurinburg, the county continues to make repairs and renovations to Covington Elementary School, which will become a part of the College’s growing campus in Scotland County in September. The Covington school will house the Scotland County Early College (SEarCH) program once renovations are completed and ownership is transferred over to RichmondCC.
Because of delays in construction, SEarCH students will begin the school year at North Laurinburg Elementary School, which is where their classes were held last fall after St. Andrews University suffered major damage from last year's hurricane.
The Board approved emeritus status for three employees who are retiring this summer after many years of service to the College.
College and Career Readiness Coordinator Lenae Thompson will be retiring after working 30 years in the Adult Education division for the College. Terry Thompson, also a College and Career Readiness Coordinator, will be retiring after 23 years. Alan Questell, business instructor and distance learning director, will be retiring after 29 years.