RCC’s Health and Wellness Coach Program Celebrates First Graduates

ASHEBORO (July 6, 2018)

Randolph Community College celebrated the first graduates in its Health and Wellness Coach pilot program on June 27, the first program of its kind offered by a North Carolina Community College. The 120-hour course is designed to provide graduates the basic knowledge, tools, and resources to work under the supervision of licensed professionals supporting individuals to improve their personal health. The class prepares students to sit for the Center for Credentialing & Education’s (CCE) Board Certified Coach (BCC) exam.

The first graduating class of Health and Wellness Coaches at Randolph Community College
Sam Varner speaks to the crowd at the Health and Wellness Coach graduation on June 27.

TOP: The first Randolph Community College Health and Wellness Coach graduates, pictured with their instructor Cathleen Hedgecock (far right), were (back row, left to right) Vanessa Young, Shelly Ingle, Lewis Schirloff, Bryan Spivey, and Ashley Duggins, and (front row, left to right) Mini Singh, Susan Hayes, Sam Varner, and Melissa Thompson. Not pictured are Devin Alston and Wallis Gorden.

BOTTOM: Sam Varner, wellness administrator for Randolph County Government, gives an overview of the Health and Wellness Coach program at the first graduation held June 28 in the JB and Claire Davis Corporate Training Center at Randolph Community College.

Eleven students completed the new program, which was funded by an $8,900 grant from the Randolph County Board of Commissioners that covered student scholarships, instructor costs, books and materials, and course development. The College worked closely with Randolph County Wellness Administrator Sam Varner in developing the program. Varner was also among the first graduates.

County Manager Hal Johnson said the program grew out of the county’s strategic planning process, which emphasized the need to actively promote wellness in the community. “You will be the first health care coaches graduating from a North Carolina community college,” he told the graduates. “It’s about people understanding their health and how to maintain that health.”

The program was approved by the National Credentialing and Education Board in December 2017 as the only community college in North Carolina with CCE-Approved Board Certification.

Elbert Lassiter, RCC vice president for workforce development and continuing education, thanked the various parties involved in “developing the program without a template,” including the county commissioners; Wanda Beck, director of workforce development and continuing education; Cathleen Hedgecock, instructor; and Sam Varner. “It has been a lot of work, but it is addressing a workforce need in the community,” said Lassiter. 

Students in the first Health and Wellness Coach graduating class were Devin Alston, Ashley Duggins, Wallis Gorden, Susan Hayes, Shelly Ingle, Lewis Schirloff, Mini Singh, Bryan Spivey, Melissa Thompson, Sam Varner and Vanessa Young.

Dates have been set for the next Health and Wellness Coach class. It will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesdays, Aug. 15, 2018, through May 1, 2019. The hybrid class is a combination of in-person and online sessions. For more information or to register, call the Workforce Development and Continuing Education Division at 336-633-0268.