RCC welcomes VP SalangerMay 2, 2023
Carolyn V. Salanger, Ed.D., has joined Rockingham Community College as vice president of Student Development. She started on May 1.
Dr. Salanger was chosen after a nationwide search. She was among the top three candidates who were invited to campus in March to tour RCC and meet employees. The other top candidates hailed from Virginia and California, while Dr. Salanger has lived nearby in Stokesdale for the last year and a half.
“I was thrilled to learn that I would serve as the next vice president of Student Development because I have met the team of dedicated professionals in the Student Services division. Together, we will further student access, success, and completion at Rockingham Community College,” Dr. Salanger said.
“I’ve worked in higher education for 25+ years, and this is a culmination of everything I’ve worked so hard for… to be over Student Development is my passion,” she said.
“My new role allows me to bring my knowledge of promoting consistency of service, fairly administering college policies and procedures, and promoting an inclusive and welcoming place to work and a place for students to learn and grow,” Dr. Salanger continued. “The services and opportunities we provide will need to support each of them on a personal level because no two students are the same.”
Salanger is coming to RCC from Guilford Tech, where she spent the past six years as director of Student Success and Retention Services. For five months, she also served as interim associate vice president of Student Services, managing staff and services related to Counseling and DisAbility Access Services, Advising, Career Services, Assessment Center, and ReEngagement Specialist.
“There are so many issues community college students are dealing with. I will be able to bring all of my years of experience, from four-year schools to online education to community colleges, and work really hard to move forward and improve the success of students,” she said.
Prior to Guilford Tech, Dr. Salanger spent seven years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as senior program manager and Student Success lead. She also worked as assistant director of the Career Center at Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in New York, and various other roles there and elsewhere.
Dr. Salanger earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1989 from Syracuse University, her Masters of Education in Student Personnel Services in 1993 from University of Pittsburgh, and her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in 2021 from UNC Charlotte’s College of Education.
Salanger has some great accomplishments that will fit right into the needs of RCC. At Guilford Tech, she created improvements to the efficiency of the peak registration process, resulting in a 34% reduction in wait time; she trained and managed more than 140 faculty advisors and coaches to prepare them for summer advising. And she initiated a “Finish What You Started” retention campaign to encourage college completion, among other achievements.
At UNC Charlotte, Dr. Salanger provided data analysis to make program improvements, moving the university’s U.S. News and World Report ranking of Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs from #29 to #19 in one year.
During her visit to campus last month, Dr. Salanger found the campus beautiful, and said she can’t wait to see the completion of the new Center for Workforce Development. “It’s a great addition to education for community members. It will add to the environment there and make the campus more exciting for the students,” she said.
“I was really impressed by the student center, where everything comes together for students to interact. It’s so bright and cheerful and welcoming. It’s a one-stop shop that makes it easy to get from one place to another, eliminating possible barriers for students,” she said. “The people I’ve met are so welcoming and friendly. Everybody does whatever they can to support the learning of the students. I’m really honored to be a part of it.”
Dr. Salanger said she often tells her students about one of her favorite quotes, by Søren Kierkegaard, “Life must be lived forward but can only be understood by looking back.”
“As I enter Rockingham Community College, I want students and the community to know that my experiences in higher education have prepared me and have led me to RCC. I will do my best work because everything else falls into place when you have passion for what you do,” Dr. Salanger said.