Catawba College to Offer Classes at Davidson County Community College
October 14, 2009
In January 2010, Catawba College will enter into a unique academic relationship with Davidson County Community College (DCCC) in Lexington. Initial courses to be offered at DCCC beginning then will be associated with Catawba's Birth-Kindergarten program, offered currently on Catawba's campus to adult learners through its School of Evening and Graduate Studies. These courses, and others yet to be developed, will be offered on the DCCC campus and will allow DCCC students to have convenient access to high quality baccalaureate level degrees. The initial cohort of DCCC/Catawba students will earn a Bachelor of Arts - Education degree from Catawba.
Catawba College Provost Dr. Rick Stephens says that he recently approached DCCC President Dr. Mary Rittling about offering Catawba programming on that community college's campus. The meeting was productive, he notes, and has resulted in Catawba College President Dr. Craig Turner writing a letter of notification concerning the plans to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and in DCCC President Rittling writing a letter of support for the endeavor to that same accrediting body.
"By establishing a relationship with the community college," Stephens explains, "our educational programming will continue to happen in typical educational spaces, complete with computer labs, a library, and classrooms. DCCC students who become Catawba students taking courses to complete a bachelor's degree on the campus of DCCC will have access to a normal array of academic support services without travelling to Catawba's campus."
Stephens notes that the B-K program requires a fairly narrow set of education courses and that a good number of DCCC students have already attended a meeting on the DCCC campus to express an interest in earning their four-year degree in that major. Students earning their Bachelor of Arts - Education Degree will be prepared to serve in day care, preschools and other forms of child care programs, up to and including kindergarten. A licensure track in the program would allow students with that degree to teach in the public schools.
"The demographics of higher education have changed substantially," Stephens says, "and the fastest growing segment of those demographics is made up of adult learners. Catawba has already recognized how important these adult learners are to our institution and has established its School of Evening and Graduate Studies on campus to serve them, however we're trying to access that population now in more efficient and productive ways.
"One of the most challenging parts of adult higher education is convincing an adult to go to school. Community Colleges do this routinely. They help people make that choice all the time," he continued. "Today approximately 50% of all first-time students are enrolled in community colleges. Of those who go on to earn Associate of Arts or Associate of Sciences degrees, nearly 75% of those will go on to earn a four-year degree.
"We believe that Catawba offers superior educational value to traditional and non-traditional students. This partnership with the good people of DCCC goes well beyond typical articulations. It actively breaks down the barriers to a four year degree," Stephens said. One way that Catawba accomplishes this is through its innovative block schedule, which allows students to take courses one at a time in manageable academic bites.
As this relationship develops, Catawba and DCCC will be exploring other degree programs and delivery formats. The base line is that when 15 students can commit to a course of study, then programs can be delivered.
For further information contact the School of Evening and Graduate Studies at (704) 637-4772 or visit the Catawba College website at www.catawba.edu.