Study Shows Positive Impact RCC Has On Local Economy; Student Success Lauded
The Richmond Community College Board of Trustees was treated to several positive reports at Tuesday’s meeting, hearing from two Academic Excellence winners prior to reviewing an economic impact study that revealed local taxpayers are receiving a return on investment greater than $4 from the College.
The economic impact study, conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International, found that the overall impact on the local business community during the 2012-13 analysis year was $104.3 million, which is equal to approximately 5.3 percent of Richmond and Scotland counties gross regional product.
The study also looked at the investment and return from a student perspective, finding that an average RCC graduate earns $8,300 more per year than someone with only a high school diploma or equivalency. Over a lifetime, that equates to nearly $300,000 in higher income for an RCC graduate.
During a separate presentation by RCC instructors Lee Ballenger and David Townsend, board members were also given a chance to see the success of local students on key college transfer performance measures. Eighty-four percent of students who completed at least 30 hours of transfer courses at RCC have maintained a passing grade point average at the four-year university they went on to attend.
Academic Excellence Winners
Richmond Community College students Christi Miles and George Yandle received the Academic Excellence Award for their academic accomplishments and leadership ability. Each spring semester, students from each community college in North Carolina are selected to receive this honor.
Miles will graduate in May with an accounting degree. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree and become a certified public accountant.
“RCC has really changed my life,” she said. “I wanted to go into accounting, and now because of connections I’ve made through the college, I’m about to get a degree and already have a job working in an accounting office.”
Yandle is the first member of his family to attend college. He will graduate from RCC in the fall and then transfer to the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and major in mass communications.
“Maybe one day I can return and be a mass communications instructor at RCC,” Yandle told the Board.
Time was also allotted at Tuesday night’s meeting for a check presentation from Duke Energy, which is a valiant supporter of RCC’s Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology (EUSRT) program.
Duke District Manager David McNeill presented the $50,000 award, saying the company views the funding as a wise investment.
“You have a very unique program here at RCC that is truly making a difference in our industry,” said McNeill.
RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis thanked Duke Energy for the support the company has provided students and the EUSRT program since its inception.
“I can assure you we will put this money to good use,” said McInnis.
Richmond Community College was the first institution in the nation to offer an Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology program, with nearly 100 percent of graduates being offered immediate employment.
Action taken by the RCC Board of Trustees Tuesday included a unanimous decision to discontinue offering classes at the Purcell Building in Laurinburg due to the declining condition of the facility, which was built in the 1930s.
McInnis said programs currently offered at the Purcell Building would be moved to the Honeycutt Center in Laurinburg this summer. He added money saved by no longer operating the dilapidating Purcell Building could be put toward a joint RCC/Scotland County project involving the Morgan Center, which is located adjacent to the Honeycutt Center.
The RCC Board approved offering the Purcell Building back to the Scotland County Board of Commissioners.
The next meeting of the Richmond Community College Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m. April 7 at the Honeycutt Center in Laurinburg.