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Ideas listed for the new College of The Albemarle campus

Dare County is aiming to build a new campus for College of The Albemarle.

Some $7.5 million is already programmed in the county’s Capital Improvement Plan.

The building or buildings will be brand new on what is now the college’s Roanoke Island Campus, or the old Manteo Middle School.

To answer the question of what do we build, the Dare County Board of Commissioners appointed a College of The Albemarle Task Force led by Commissioner Danny Couch.

The task force held its first meeting Dec. 6, 2017. Since then, three more meetings have been convened. The next one is set for April 4 at 2 p.m. at the Dare County Administration Building.

At those meetings, task force members and senior staff from College of The Albemarle have listened to members of the community and representatives from various organizations detail the “ask” list.

On March 21, the task force detailed requests in nine different categories. On April 4, the group will prioritize those categories and courses. The desired curriculum will feed building design.

The first category is degree programs.

Back on Oct. 16, Dare Board of Commissioners chairman Robert L. Woodard announced that the college had already promised to provide a full, two-year degree program at the new campus.

The Dean of the Dare Campus Tim Sweeney indicates that the core courses are delivered face-to-face or in hybrid with course work online and lab work in a classroom. One question unresolved is if a selection of elective courses is offered face-to-face.

During public comment periods, the task force received requests for various programs. One of the debates is whether these requested programs should lead to associate degrees, certifications or continuing education that may feed into associate degrees.

In addition to preparing students to transfer to the state’s university system, community colleges are charged with developing a workforce for the state.

Six of the listed categories listed address workforce development:

—Hospitality including culinary arts, customer service, property management, maintenance, housekeeping, outdoor recreation and experimental or experiential education. (Three certification course are offered at the Dare Campus according to the college’s website.)

—Trades: Electrical, plumbing, HVAC (lab available), welding (classes underway), mechanics, carpentry

—Early Childhood Education: including a training site and model center

—Health Science: Certified Nursing Assistant, X-ray technician. Existing programs include phlebotomy (every other year), medication aide, nursing assistant). Comments from COA staff were strongly against a nursing degree program at the Dare campus.

—Public Safety: Emergency Management and Commercial Driver’s License training. In legislation passed June 30, 2017, College of The Albemarle was given permission to spend Connect NC bond money on a public safety facility on Currituck County-owned land and Currituck-built facility which would be leased to College of The Albemarle. The college will put in $1 million in bond money toward the estimated $10 million cost. The facility will be used to offer College of The Albemarle’s comprehensive training for law enforcement, emergency medical personnel and firefighters.

—Agriculture, Environmental and Natural Resources: Aquaculture. Not listed were courses for commercial fishing or marine technology, which was offered at one time but discontinued. One of the proposed criteria for a Standard Commercial Fishing license would be community college courses. The offerings are only taught at Carteret and Brunswick Community Colleges.

—Additional suggestions: Learning opportunities for the handicapped. The college staff responded that opportunity was offered through the PACE program. A Lifelong Learning Institute.


Associate in Arts Degree Requirements

In 2015-16 school term at the Dare Campus, 45 percent of the 969 enrolled Dare students were in the college transfer program, which offers two-year degree programs leading to Associate in Arts, Associate in General Education, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science.

As an example, core courses and electives are required for an Associate in Arts degree.

Required core courses are English Composition (six semester hour credits), Communications (public speaking, three semester hour credits), Humanities/Fine Arts (nine semester hour credits), Social/Behavior Sciences (nine semester hour credits), Math (three to four semester hour credits), Natural Sciences (four semester hour credits).

The Dean of the Dare Campus Tim Sweeney indicates that the core courses are delivered face-to-face or a hybrid course with course work on line and lab work in a classroom.

The degree also requires an additional 13-14 semester hour credits in courses classified as general education and 15 semester hour credits in courses classified as pre-major, elective or general education, which must be courses within the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement. “Students should select these courses based on their intended major and transfer university,” states the curriculum standard for an Associate in Arts degree as approved by the Board of Governors of the N.C. Community College system.

An Associate in Arts degree requires 60 to 61 semester hour credits. Additionally, a note at the bottom of the curriculum standard states “students must meet the receiving university’s foreign language credit and/or health and physical education requirements, if applicable, to or after transfer to the senior institution.”

COA in Dare Statistics (2015-16)

From information provided by College of The Albemarle

Number of Dare Students: 969

Curriculum Degree students: 432

Career and College Promise: 186 High School students

Early College: 66 High School students

Professional Crafts: Jewelry 23

Special credit non-degree: 33

Other Programs: 227

Basic Skills: 138 (2015)

Hospitality course of study at Dare Campus

as described on COA website

Initial courses:

Basic Computer Skills including Data Entry, Microsoft Word, Keyboarding

Customer Service for Hospitality Industry: Communication Skills, Problem Solving, Teamwork

Being an Ambassador: Getting to Know the Outer Banks, Understanding the Tourism Industry

Quality Product Care: Safety in the Field, Troubleshooting 101, OSHA Safety, Recognition, Avoidance, and Prevention of Safety and Health Hazards in the Workplace.

Certifications:

Reservations: Understanding Diversity, Professional Image, Handling Guests’ complaints, Overview of Reservation Software, Tenancy Laws and Vacation Rental Act

Housekeeping: Superior Housekeeping Service, Cleaning, Dealing with the Unexpected, Importance of Company Policies, Simple Solutions to Frequent Challenges, Linens, Bed Bugs and Other Pests

Maintenance: Basic Electricity, Carpentry and Plumbing, Troubleshooting, Introduction to Home Inspection, The Essential Toolset, WiFi and Cable, Making Keys.

Financing for the new Dare Campus

Dare’s Commissioners have allocated $6 million for a new College of The Albemarle campus. The college’s Board of Trustees has allocated $1.5 million of its state Connect NC bond money.

In April 2017, legislation was introduced in the General Assembly to permit College of The Albemarle to spend bond money for county-owned facilities on county-owned land and then lease the new facilities. The legislation originally included “construction of two facilities and renovation of a third facility located in Dare County….” Also included was a public safety facility in Currituck County.

On June 30, an amendment introduced by Sen. Bill Cook deleted the Dare County provision. The amended legislation passed the Senate and House by unanimous votes. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the legislation.

In order for College of The Albemarle to spend the $1.5 million allocated for Dare, new General Assembly legislation will be required.

If new legislation is enacted and the $1.5 million is released, the Dare County Capital Improvement Plan envisions borrowing $7,175,000 in September 2019 with first interest in Fiscal Year 2020 and first principal in Fiscal Year 2021 over a 15-year term with level principal. The plan also envisions spending $1 million on the Russell Twiford campus. 

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