Fayetteville Technical Community College is pleased to announce a regional partnership with Richmond Community College to help surrounding counties meet local workforce needs.
Dr. Dale McInnis, President of RCC, and Dr. Mark Sorrells, President of FTCC, have joined forces to offer several specialized training programs, including those for Respiratory Therapy, Funeral Service, Paralegal, Speech Language Pathology and Electric Utility: Substation and Relay Technology.
The partnership was officially announced Monday, March 13, with an agreement signing held at RCC.
Sorrells said the partnership will help both colleges meet the evolving needs of the economy.
“The economy is changing rapidly. We need to be more responsive to that, and we can do that together,” Sorrells said. “We’re very excited about the partnership with Richmond. We look forward to growing this opportunity with Richmond Community College in other program areas where it makes sense. And I can assure you from Fayetteville Tech’s standpoint, that this will be a win-win for both colleges.”
McInnis called the partnership an example of “collaboration replacing competition” between two of the state’s 58 community colleges and pointed out the goal of making the process of training smooth for students.
“There was a lot of work that went into this to make it seamless for the students,” McInnis said. “We wanted to open doors for students without having to create new programs.”
The colleges’ collaboration will allow students to pursue career pathways currently unavailable in their home community. The colleges are working together to allow students to take first year classes at their home institution, then transfer to complete one of the select programs of study that leads to local employment opportunities.
RCC students will have opportunities to transfer into the following FTCC programs once their first year of study is complete: Respiratory Therapy, Funeral Service, Paralegal, and Speech Language Pathology. Similarly, FTCC students will have options to transfer to RCC to complete the Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology program after their first year.
Both institutions are committed to working with students to cluster on-campus classes to minimize the number of times per week students will need to travel to either campus. The colleges will offer online and hybrid classes when appropriate and develop clinical rotations and work-based learning opportunities closer to home.
N.C. Community College System Interim President Dr. Bill Carver attended the announcement.
“Collaborations between colleges work. We’re going to make a better North Carolina, a better workforce, through collaborations just like this one,” Carver said. “What we can agree on across the aisle is a workforce second to none in North Carolina. Where does that happen? It happens at our community colleges. It happens here with this model that is being introduced through collaboration and partnerships.”