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Information Sessions June 19

Salem College-RCC University Center Program Graduates First Students

ASHEBORO (June 4, 2012)

Portia Moffitt and Justin Henderson - the first graduates from the Salem College/University Center of Randolph County Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program

Portia Moffitt (left) and Justin Henderson on the Asheboro Campus of Randolph Community College, where they recently completed their bachelor’s degree through the University Center of Randolph County and Salem College’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program.


News Release Written by Clark Adams, RCC English/communication instructor
           
In the 1989 film “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner, Costner’s character keeps hearing a voice that tells him, “If you build it, they will come.” Though the University Center of Randolph County is not an actual physical facility, as classes are held in various classrooms on Randolph Community College’s Asheboro Campus, surely Dr. Robert S. Shackleford Jr., Randolph Community College’s president, must have heard a similar voice about the University Center.  Since its establishment in August of 2008, the University Center has provided opportunities for Randolph County citizens that were once unthinkable, as students can now obtain bachelor’s degrees without leaving the county.
           
Salem College, who became a partner in the University Center in 2008 along with Pfeiffer University, has certainly experienced massive growth in the nearly four years of the existence of its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program at RCC. When the program first began, Ed Hartgrove, executive in residence, business and economics faculty, and coordinator of academic advising for the Martha H. Fleer Center for Adult Education at Salem College, and Clark Adams, RCC English/Communication instructor and Salem College liaison, were asked to coordinate the program from their respective campuses. Both looked at the experimental program as an exciting challenge. “It was and has been very exciting to be involved with this program,” said Adams. “It is a very rewarding experience.” 
           
During the program’s first fall semester in 2008, there were only two class offerings, two concentrations (Marketing and Finance), one professor (Hartgrove), and three students, who took two courses on Thursday evenings. As the program prepares to enter its ninth semester this August, there will be seven courses offered on four nights each week (Monday-Thursday), over 30 students, three concentrations (Accounting, Marketing, and Finance), and six professors.
           
The three-course Accounting concentration is a new addition, added to meet student demand. With the two courses in the major, graduates will have completed five Accounting courses (the equivalent of 20 hours) in the discipline. This gives students pursuing the Certified Public Accountant designation an advantage in reaching their goal. It is anticipated that this will eventually be one of the most popular concentrations, said Adams.
           
Hartgrove and Adams have created a new four-year plan for the Salem courses and an updated RCC course plan to help students move toward their graduation dates much more quickly and effectively. Two students are actually taking online summer courses with Salem College in order to expedite their graduation dates. The program provides students with excellent advising through the teamwork of Hartgrove and Adams. This individualized advising process helps students put together what Hartgrove refers to as a MAP (My Academic Plan). This advising document allows students to chart their progress through the program in consultation with Hartgrove and Adams throughout the entire process. This type of individual attention is harder to find in some universities and colleges, said Adams.     
           
On May 19, Hartgrove and Adams saw the first fruits of their labor as the program produced its first graduates, Portia Moffitt and Justin Henderson. Both received their Bachelor in Science in Business Administration degrees at Salem College’s commencement exercises on Salem’s campus in Winston-Salem. 
           
Henderson, 23, of Asheboro, is currently employed as a customer service leader at Just Save, where he has been employed while working on his degree. Henderson completed his Associate in Arts degree at Randolph Community College in 2009. He found the one-on-one interaction and small classes of the University Center program to be a real benefit. “The professors truly cared and would often stay after class to help me. They were always available and accessible and my questions were always answered,” said Henderson. He described the program as “Amazing! It provided a top-notch education, combining both book knowledge and real-world experiences in the business world. It was the best of both worlds. I truly gained a better grasp of the business world and what to expect.” According to Henderson, because of the small classes, the students developed a strong bond and became like a family. “Through the Salem College program, I was able to save money and time, maintain my current job, stay close to friends and family, and not have to pay room and board,” Henderson said.
           
Moffitt, 51, of Randleman, is currently secretary to the principal at Asheboro High School. She enrolled in the Salem College program a few years ago so that she could obtain her bachelor’s degree within close proximity to her home and her job and not have a long commute. “The night classes are great for students who work full time like I do,” said Moffitt. She also realized that almost “every job requires a four-year degree and a bachelor’s degree is needed to advance in most areas of today’s workforce.” Moffitt feels that the courses that she took gave her a much greater awareness of issues within the fields of economics and finance. Moffitt was presented with very relevant, real world experiences by her professors. “I really enjoyed the program and would still come back and take more classes if there was something that I feel would benefit me,” Moffitt said. She feels that the Salem College program is just as comparable to a bachelor’s degree program one would take on the campus of a four-year college or university. Moffitt admits, “It made me buckle down and study. I didn’t think I could finish my degree this quickly. I took three classes at first and then four. I was working full time and was a full-time student. It was difficult, but I made it through.”    
           
Moffitt and Henderson are proof that Salem College’s program and the University Center of Randolph County are here to stay. Through the completion of their bachelor’s degrees, both Moffitt and Henderson have greater opportunities and flexibility in the workforce.
           
For those students who put off pursuing their bachelor’s degrees because of a long commute to a four-year university or college, Salem College delivers all of the courses that students need on Randolph Community College’s Asheboro Campus so that they never have to leave Randolph County to obtain their degrees. Students who are currently enrolled in the program include both males and females ranging in age from their 20s to late 50s and all are Randolph County residents. 
           
For those who are interested in obtaining more information on this program, two floating information sessions will be held on Tuesday, June 19, from 12-1:30 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. in the Foundation Conference Center on RCC’s Asheboro Campus.
           
It is not too late to register for Salem’s fall classes, as registration for the Salem College classes is open until Sept. 5. Check the Salem College website at http://www.randolph.edu/academics/salem.php for future updates. For more information, contact Ed Hartgrove at 336-917-5855 or ed.hartgrove@salem.edu or Clark Adams at 336-633-0238 or wcadams@randolph.edu . Both Hartgrove and Adams will be available by phone, e-mail, and office visits throughout the summer on their respective campuses and can schedule appointments with prospective students.