30Sep

RCC Receives $2.24 Million To Improve Distance-Learning Programs

Rockingham Community College has been awarded a $2.24 million federal grant to expand its distance-learning program.

The project, titled “e-Learning: Access and Success,” will include three components: development or revision of online courses and programs in the college’s existing Associate of Arts and Criminal Justice programs, development of new online student support services, and purchasing and installation of equipment and other infrastructure needs to support the project.

The college will receive $449,868 for the first year of the five-year grant, and the same amount is anticipated for each of the remaining four years. The funds will be used to hire additional staff, provide training to faculty and staff, and buy and install equipment. The grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III – Strengthening Institutions Program.

In its application, the college proposed the project as a strategy to overcome declining enrollments, declining funding, and insufficient technology infrastructure, staffing, and expertise needed to build its online program offerings.

RCC President Dr. Mark Kinlaw explained, “Distance education or online education is rapidly evolving into the typical means by which many students receive all of or at least a portion of their education. RCC needs to expand its offerings in order to stimulate enrollment and provide students with the options they desire. The grant will help RCC keep pace with the changing trends in higher education.”

 

The grant application was written by a team from RCC who worked with a consultant, Ramona Munsell & Associates, in Rogers, Arkansas. The team included Suzanne Rohrbaugh, vice president for academic affairs; Tony Gunn, associate vice president for facilities and external affairs; Kevin Osborne, associate vice president for institutional effectiveness; Celeste Allis, dean of arts and sciences; Kim Shireman, associate dean of learning resources; and Curtis Dunlap, distance learning specialist.

September 30, 2015