RichmondCC Tweaks Delivery of Programs to Better Suit Student Needs
April 8, 2021 – Richmond Community College’s Board of Trustees met Tuesday and approved changes to multiple programs in order to better match the academic needs of students with the training requirements of employers.
Among those changes was a shift of eight college credit programs, or curriculum programs, to short-term workforce training programs that provide industry-recognized credentials, but not college credit.
Dr. Dale McInnis, RichmondCC president, explained that the programs were not going away, just being offered in a different format that saves the student time and money when a two-year college degree is not required for a specific career. McInnis pointed to the success of the Electric Lineman program and how it has become a model for short-term training programs.
“Some careers require a two-year degree, but for many others, there’s equal value placed on the non-credit credential,” McInnis said. “So our goal here is to not cram everybody into the degree courses because not everybody needs a college degree. We’re trying to do a better job of custom fitting the student for the right course that serves their individual needs.”
The Board also approved six articulation agreements that will allow certain workforce training classes to count as college credit in a matching area of curriculum study. For example, students who take AutoCAD as short-term workforce training class will receive college credit for a drafting class in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program.
“We’ve got multiple courses and programs covered here, which speaks to the diversity and the flexibility that we’re promoting,” McInnis said. “Again, it’s all about matching up the right students with the right courses and skills they need at the right time and place in their lives.”
The Board was also informed about changes to developmental instruction to help students be better prepared for math and English classes at the college level.
The changes came about after faculty recognized that the current system mandated by the state was not working for RichmondCC students. When the state relaxed those mandates, RichmondCC was able to develop its own way of placing students in math and English classes that would meet their level of preparation and ability.
“We want all the families and all the students to know that we’re going to help them transition into the program of their choice because every program has a foundational need for some level of English and math skills,” McInnis said. “We know the last year and a half has been a challenge, and as we fully open our campuses this fall with in-person classes, we will have a wider range of options to help new students be successful in transitioning into college level work.”
Also in the area of academics, the Board of Trustees approved the 100 percent online delivery format for two programs, Office Administration Technology and Human Services Technology. Students will now be able to complete these programs entirely online.