Section I - Introduction

 I A

History of the College

To trace our history from an industrial education center to a member institution of the North Carolina Community College System and beyond. 

On June 12, 1957, the North Carolina State Legislature appropriated one-half million dollars to develop Vocational-Technical Schools in the state. Randolph Community College was established as the Randolph Industrial Education Center (RIEC) on April 3, 1958 and was governed by the Asheboro City Board of Education. An eight-member joint city-county school board committee was formed in June 1960 to govern policy and operations of the RIEC. Architectural plans were developed in the summer of 1960, and the school’s first Director, Al G. Farkas, was hired in November 1960. Construction on the original building began in 1961 and, until its completion in 1962, the office of the RIEC was located in the old Fayetteville Street High School. Robert E. Carey became the school’s second Director in November 1961. The first out-of-school industrial training program began in March 1962 to train potential employees for the needle trade industries in the Asheboro area. The first class began with four female students. The RIEC officially opened its doors on Sept. 4, 1962, with eight faculty and four staff members.  

RIEC offered its first diploma training programs in the fall of 1962 and initially enrolled 75 students.  

In 1962, the campus consisted of 25 acres and a 33,000 square-foot, L-shaped building with 30 rooms. RIEC offered diploma programs in Welding, Machine Shop, Electricity, Electronics, Automotive Mechanics, and Drafting/Design. Other courses included Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, English, Reading Improvement, and Industrial Organizational Management. 

In September of 1963, six students became the first full-length course graduates by completing a one-year program in Welding. During the first year of RIEC’s operation, over 1,000 students received some type of training. 

In 1963, the North Carolina General Assembly approved the Community College Act, which established the North Carolina Department of Community Colleges. This act separated RIEC from the Asheboro City Board of Education and approved the Center to establish its own governing board of eight trustees, which formed in October 1963. 

In January 1964, Merton H. Branson was appointed Director of the Center and his titled changed to President in 1965, a position he held until his retirement in 1988.  

The first organized graduation exercise was held in what is now known as the Administration/Education Center building on August 16, 1964, with 36 students receiving an institutional diploma for completed work in four trade areas (Automotive Mechanics, Drafting, Machine Shop, and Welding). The RIEC also organized the state’s first Learning Laboratory in 1964, and the first class of Adult Basic Education began in April of that year. 

By the fall of 1965, the Center had grown to 11 staff members, 13 full-time and 27 part-time faculty members and had served approximately 2,700 people. In 1965, the Center was chartered as Randolph Technical Institute (RTI) by the State Board of Education and its Board increased to 12 members. After the change, students completing the required coursework could receive an Associate in Applied Science degree. 

In June 1970, a two-year general college program was added through the Extension Division of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. RTI achieved a significant milestone in its 11-year history in September 1973 by being accredited by the State Board of Education. In December 1974, RTI was also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 

To accommodate growth, an additional 10,000 square feet of floor space was added to what is now the front entrance of the Administration/Education Center in 1968, and, in 1974, an addition of 20,000 square feet was added to what now encompasses the entrance to the Photography program. 

In 1978, the citizens of Randolph County overwhelmingly approved a bond referendum, which provided $2.5 million for expansion of RTI. These monies were used to add a 31,080-square-foot Vocational/Technical Center, a 27,742-square-foot Learning Resources Center, an 18,647-square-foot Student Services Center, a 6,000-square-foot maintenance warehouse, a 3,395-square-foot studio for the Photography Technology program and a 768-square-foot laboratory for the Floriculture program. 

On July 1, 1979, RTI was renamed Randolph Technical College (RTC) to better communicate its comprehensive offerings. The Randolph Technical College Foundation was established the same year to set up the mechanism to solicit and accept donations from private individuals, foundations, and public sources. These monies provided support for student scholarships and any College effort needed to improve its programs and services.  

Near the end of 1984, RTC opened an extension office in Archdale in rented facilities. The center consisted of two classrooms and an office. In the fall of 1985, RTC received funding for a Small Business Center, which was originally located at the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce and was moved onto the Campus in January 1991. 

January 1988 ushered in the College’s fourth name, Randolph Community College (RCC). Dr. Larry K. Linker was appointed President in 1988 and served until his retirement in 2000. The 11,800-square-foot Business Education Center was opened in April 1988, and a 14,500-square-foot Computer Technology Center opened in November 1990 as did the 10,603-square-foot Archdale Center facility, located on a 14-acre tract in Archdale’s Creekside Park.  

A statewide community college bond referendum approved in November 1993 provided funds for a 15,744-square-foot addition to the photography studio, completed in August 1995; and a new 21,060-square-foot Health & Science Center and a 6,600-square-foot addition to the school’s Design Center, both opened in January 1997.

RCC opened a 2,800-square-foot two-classroom addition to the Archdale Center in late October 1997, and a 3,720-square-foot Campus Store in spring 1999. 

Beginning with the fall semester of 1997, the College began course offerings in the Associate of Arts-College Transfer Program. 

RCC received reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in December 1999. 

In 2000, Dr. Richard T. Heckman became the third president of RCC and served until 2006. 

In 2001, the College opened its Emergency Services Training Center located on the eastside of Asheboro on 60 acres of property. 

The Foundation Conference Center opened in July 2003, funded by private gifts. The Conference Center was given to the College by the Foundation. 

In 2003-04, the college began offering the A.A.S. in Radiography. 

In 2005-06, three degree programs were initiated in collaboration with partner community colleges across the state: biotechnology, funeral service education, and global logistics technology. An addition doubling the space of the Archdale Center opened in 2006, as did the Randolph Early College High School (RECHS) on the Asheboro Campus.   

In January 2007, Dr. Robert S. Shackleford Jr, became the fourth president of RCC. 

In January 2008, RCC provided the site for Pfeiffer University to offer the last two years of a four-year degree in elementary education.  

In August 2008, The University Center of Randolph County was established with Pfeiffer University offering a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, Greensboro College offering a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, and Salem College offering a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. On Nov. 6, 2012, North Carolina A&T State University joined the University Center, offering a bachelor's degree in Electronics Technology with a concentration in Information Technology.

On Oct. 17, 2012, the Carolina Graduate School of Divinity joined the University Center, offering a Master of Arts degree in Ministry and a Master of Divinity. 

The RECHS modular building opened in August 2008. In July 2009, RCC’s new 20,000-square-foot Automotive Systems Technology and Auto Body Repair Center opened and was named the “Richard Petty Education Center.” In November 2008, RCC began offering classes through videoconferencing and classes are transmitted back and forth between the Archdale Center and the Asheboro Campus. 

RCC receives reaffirmation of accreditation from SACSCOC in July 2011. 

On Aug. 12, 2001, a 5,700-square-foot state-of-the-art Welding lab is opened at the Archdale Center. 

RCC's Cosmetology Center opened to the public in November 2009. Located in Hillside Shopping Center at 1003 S. Fayetteville Street, it accommodated 36 students at a time at styling stations on the floor, plus students in two classrooms. The Center was planned to hold 10 shampoo stations, 12 dryers, a waxing room, and a manicure/pedicure area. 

College enrollment continued to increase and in January 2010, 2,971 students were enrolled in college credit classes.

In March 2010, a quarter-cent sales tax referendum passed, which provided funds to renovate the old Klaussner Furniture plant on Industrial Park Avenue.

On May 24, 2011, RCC's 1,700-square-foot Welcome Center addition to the Student Services Center opened. 

On Jan. 4, 2013, RCC holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the new 46,000 Continuing Education and Industrial Center (CEIC), located on the site of the Klaussner plant. The CEIC, designed to meet LEED gold standards of energy conservation, was believed to be the first public building of its kind in Randolph County. The building contains a Corporate Training Center, the Computer-Integrated Machining, Electronics/Electrical Technology, and Industrial Systems Technology programs, and also provides additional space for the Continuing Education department and Small Business Center. 

RCC dedicated its new Charles W. McCrary Sr. Boardroom in the Administration/Education Center on Nov. 6, 2014. 

On April 14, 2015, Asheboro City Schools, Randolph County Schools, and RCC announce a partnership project called Pathways to Prosperity to create seamless educational pathways for students to go from local high schools to community college into lucrative advanced manufacturing jobs. Apprenticeship Randolph started in June 2016 as a collaboration among Randolph Community College, the Randolph County School System, Asheboro City Schools, the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce, and local manufacturers. The program, which is for high school juniors and seniors, begins with a six-week, pre-apprenticeship summer program that consists of RCC classes and 40 hours per week of on-the-job training. Once a business selects its apprentice after this trial period, the program is spread over four years with students receiving paid, on-the-job training while earning an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Manufacturing Technology, in Automotive Systems Technology, or Information Technology through RCC and a Journeyworker Certificate from the N.C. Community College System and U.S. Department of Labor. 

On March 17, 2016, the RCC Board of Trustees name the CEIC Corporate Training Center room the JB and Claire Davis Corporate Training Center, and, on Oct. 7 of the same year, the College officially renamed its machining program and lab the Gene Haas Computer-Integrated Machining Institute. 

On April 6, 2017, the Foundation Conference Center is renamed the Martha Luck Comer Conference Center. 

On Sept. 15, 2016, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house are held for the new Cosmetology Center on the Asheboro Campus. The 10,865-square-foot facility at 503 Industrial Park Avenue was transformed from an old factory/warehouse building (formerly Bost Neckwear). The facility includes 44 student styling stations, 10 shampoo stations, 16 hair dryers, separate facial and waxing rooms, a manicure /pedicure area featuring massaging pedicure chairs, and three classrooms.

In January 2018, Randolph Community College opened its renovated Photographic Technology facility, which includes 1,400 square feet of added space, for a total square footage of 13,655. The new and renovated spaces include eight multimedia editing suites, renovated classrooms, a dark room, a mat cutting room, a digital print lab, a student commons, and a new equipment checkout area. Technology upgrades to printers, computers, wireless access, security cameras, and digital displays for information and student work also were included. The renovated facility provides specialized spaces for each of the program's disciplines: Commercial Photography, Photojournalism, and Portrait Studio Management. 

On March 28, 2018, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro announced a new co-admission agreement with Randolph Community College to facilitate degree completion and student success by improving access to undergraduate educational resources, university facilities and support systems. The UNCG-RCC “Spartan Passage” partnership expands opportunities for transfer students, regardless of location, to access and complete their baccalaureate degrees in a selection of nearly 60 popular majors including Business Administration, Biology, Psychology, and Computer Science. 

On April 17, 2018, the RCC Foundation and the College named Azalea Park in the middle of the Asheboro Campus in honor of Frank and Ella B. Lowe, and, on May 21 of the same year, RCC named its College and Career Readiness Department in honor of Dahlia Gubalane Oldham. 

On Aug. 23, 2018, RCC held a groundbreaking ceremony for its much-anticipated Allied Health Center. The $14.4 million facility will house the College’s Associate Degree Nursing, Radiography, Medical Assisting, and Emergency Medical Services programs. The 45,000-square-foot, two-story, L-shaped building increases the space available for the health care programs by 86 percent. 

On Sept. 19, 2019, the Allied Health Center was renamed the Dr. Robert S. Shackleford Jr. Allied Health Center after its current president. The facility opened for classes in the fall of 2020. 

On Nov. 16, 2018, RCC’s Welcome Center was renamed the Ann Hoover Welcome Center in honor of RCC Foundation board member and longtime College supporter Ann Hoover. 

RCC held a ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 5, 2019, as the College increased its number of welding booths at the Archdale Center to 31. Approximately 2,000 square feet of classroom and office space was converted into lab space to accommodate more students. 

On Sept. 17, 2019, RCC’s old Allied Health Center was renamed the Kinley Center after Assistant Director of Facilities Ken Kinley, who retired after a record 40 years of service at the College. 

RCC started its Agribusiness Technology Program in January 2020, designed to provide the entrepreneurial and technical skills necessary to manage a profitable, environmentally sound, community based small farm or agricultural business. The objective is the development of a workplace knowledgeable in sustainable agricultural practices. 

In October 2020, RCC is reaffirmed by SACSCOC. 

The College offerings include over 30 vocational and technical degree programs, the college transfer program, and a comprehensive continuing education program.  


Adopted 04/15/1999

Revised: 07/27/2000, 10/25/2001, 07/18/2002, 10/21/2004, 10/07/2008, 02/26/2019, 12/04/2020