Fayetteville Technical Community College has signed a strategic regional partnership agreement with Robeson Community College, which will provide RCC students with the opportunity to train in dental hygiene, dental assisting and funeral service programs at FTCC.
FTCC President Mark Sorrells and RCC President Melissa Singler signed the agreement last week at a ceremony at RCC in Lumberton.
“This is an opportunity to create a win-win situation for both colleges,” Sorrells said. "These are high-cost programs that are hard to replicate and hard to sustain in a rural area."
Through the partnership, RCC students will be able to take general education courses in their home community, then go to FTCC for technical training.
“We know it’s going to be a perfect fit for our college and provide many opportunities for our students," Singler said.
Sorrells said he and Singler are working to add more programs to the partnership, including truck driver training, heavy diesel mechanic training, and a college transfer program.
This is the third regional partnership that FTCC has entered into this year. In March, FTCC and Richmond Community College signed an agreement providing Richmond students with access to FTCC’s respiratory therapy, funeral service, paralegal and speech language pathology programs while giving FTCC students access to a Richmond program that provides training in substation and relay technology at electric utilities.
In July, FTCC signed an agreement with Bladen Community College that will increase truck driver training opportunities in the region and allow BCC students to use FTCC’s current and future truck driving instruction facilities.
Like FTCC, Robeson Community College has a truck driver training program with a waiting list. Both programs are limited in the number of students they can accept because of limitations on physical space. Students at both must now learn and practice required maneuvering skills in parking lots at the two schools.
But FTCC plans a $13 million truck driver training facility on land it owns in western Cumberland County near an interchange with Interstate 295. The new facility will provide ample room for an expanded program, including access for students from partner community colleges.
Sorrells said regional partnerships between community colleges benefit their students, communities and businesses.
“My philosophy is we are better working together than we are working separately,” he said.