Campus grants recapAug 9, 2021
Tina Hamlin, a GED student at Rockingham Community College, worked as a caregiver for years, but quit her job to focus on going to school. She started in fall 2020 and graduated in July 2021.
“She has shown extraordinary strides in her learning, has great attendance, is very positive, and plans to continue into the Surgical Tech program this fall,” said her instructor.
Hamlin is just one of many students at RCC whose finances received a boost, thanks to the RCC Foundation.
With the 2020-2021 academic year in the rearview mirror, it is a perfect time to reflect on how more than $150,000 has helped a wide variety of students and programs through these grants.
Faculty and staff apply for campus grants annually through the RCC Foundation. A committee ranks the requests, and then RCC President Dr. Mark Kinlaw makes a recommendation to the RCC Foundation Board of Directors, which makes the final approvals. Recipients in turn dole out their awarded funds through their programs to help students in various ways.
Hamlin, for instance, benefited from a $3,000 grant the Foundation awarded for High School Equivalency testing vouchers. The grant paid for 74 GED vouchers, 44 computer-based testing vouchers, and 21 paper-based testing vouchers.
Students in workforce development programs that are at least 96 hours received Eagle Train and Gain scholarships. In all, $32,000 worth of scholarships was dispersed among 187 students. As of early June, 95 of 125 scholarship recipients had successfully completed their programs; another 61 students were still enrolled in their programs. The Eagle Train and Gain Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to students whose goal is to earn an industry-recognized credential and enter the workforce. These students are not eligible for federal aid because the courses are not for-credit curriculum courses.
Intercollegiate Athletics received $25,000, which was spent on a backstop and windscreen for the baseball field for RCC’s nationally ranked team, volleyball equipment as the team is rebuilt, and baseball hats. RCC Athletics is extremely successful, and eight student-athletes graduated in May and are transferring to four-year universities.
A total of $12,000 was used to award $1,000 scholarships to students who did not demonstrate enough financial need to qualify for federal- or state-based financial aid.
RCC’s director of Career Technical Education who serves as a career coach in local high schools, also received $12,000 in grant funding. Students were assisted in the following ways: 22 home school/private school/charter school students and 13 public high school received scholarships toward textbooks in the RCC Bookstore; and 11 received scholarships for fee assistance in the Welding and Machining programs.
The Academic Resource Centers (ARC) Peer Tutor Program received $11,000. This made it possible to provide convert face-to-face peer tutoring to online in the spring and summer 2021 semester, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The ARC plans to continue with online tutoring even with the return to face-to-face tutoring on campus.
The Student Ambassador program received $10,000. Ambassadors provide support to RCC’s Admissions Office. They assist with new student communication, including the design of email marketing campaigns; help with New Student Orientation sessions on Zoom; and take on various tasks throughout the semester. Summer ambassadors are helping with Admissions videos and leading campus tours for incoming students.
Fourteen students earned third-party welding credentials, thanks to a grant from the RCC Foundation. Only $1,260 of the $7,000 in funding was used to purchase welding test plates in spring 2021, which were then bend-tested by a Certified Welding Inspector.
Another $7,000 was awarded to the Business Technologies Department to pay for industry-recognized credential fees. All Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist students passed their credential exams. Microsoft Office Specialist students who have taken the exams so far have passed. Additional Microsoft Office Specialist students and CompTIA students continue to take their credential exams.
ACT Workkeys curriculum software and tests were purchased with $3,530 in campus grant funds. The software assists students and helps them prepare for Workkeys tests. NC FAST students and community members who are pursuing job opportunities have taken these tests, and many companies in the area use the Workkeys assessment for hiring and promotions – such as Eastman Chemical and RJ Reynolds. The software also includes materials to help students enhance their employability skills.
The RCC Wellness Committee used $2,000 in grant funds to purchase fitness center equipment such as a heavy bag, and to add to the campus disc golf hole course. In-person wellness classes were offered in the fall and individual activities were promoted in the spring. Gift cards were given to those who participated in a virtual 5k, Adopt-a-Street cleanup, and Winter Move.
Other campus grants were awarded, such as $13,300 for the President’s Fund, used for hosting various outside groups on campus for College business; $3,000 for annual employee awards; two $500 scholarships for graduates of the High School Equivalency or Adult High School programs; and $10,000 for scholarships in programs that lead to third-party certifications. For more information on the RCC Foundation, contact Executive Director Kim Pryor at 336-342-4261 ext. 2201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.