RCC program honored as No. 1 in state

First Posted: 1/15/2009

LUMBERTON - Robeson Community College has often touted its basic skills curriculum as one of the better programs in the state. It turns out that assessment is not quite correct.
Of the 58 community colleges in North Carolina, RCC's basic skills program is the best.
The Lumberton college was honored last Friday as having the 2004 Basic Skills Program of the Year.
The award came as part of two-day Basic Skills and Family Literacy Conference in Winston-Salem, where more then 800 basic skills instructors, directors, coordinators and volunteers with local literacy councils gathered to share practices, learn new teaching methods and celebrate excellence.
President Charles Chrestman said the award follows RCC receiving a superior rating on the state’s annual Critical Success Factors report.
“It is an additional accolade that is well deserved for the work that the basic skills staff does,” Chrestman said. “We have lot of people in our region that need these services. It is good for the community to know that RCC runs one of the best programs of its kind. This award is certainly indicative of that.”
RCC has about 3,000 students enrolled in its basic skills program, where individuals obtain a high school diploma or GED. The program also addresses the needs of adults who lack basic education skills, may be illiterate or need to improve their English skills.
Across the state, there were about 144,500 adults enrolled in basic skills programs last year. Community colleges award one out of every five of the state’s high school diplomas.
Vickie Tate, assistant vice president for basic skills at RCC, said community colleges were judged on student response to the Basic Skills program, marketing, overall operation and each program's Web page.
“But I think the most important factor that made our program standout was the amount of student involvement,” said Tate, who accepted a trophy that was presented with the honor. “We use our students to push the programs to potential students. They are glad to do it because they feel the program is worthwhile and beneficial. It is the best kind of advertising.”
Justin Oliver, vice president for continuing education, said the 11-member basic skills staff and the 100 part- and full-time faculty members deserve much of the credit for the award.
“We consider it a great honor to win this award,” Oliver said. “A lot of thanks goes to Vickie Tate and all the basic skills faculty and staff. It took a team effort to make this happen”
Also honored at the conference were Barbara Miller, a student at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, who was named the 2004 Basic Skills Student of the Year.
Pat Tanksley, an adult basic skills instructor at Piedmont Community College, was named Instructor of the Year.

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