DUBLIN — Coronavirus.
Full year presidency.
New buildings built for 50 years of use.
Those are just three of the significant factors that have impacted Bladen Community College during the past year. The college today released its annual report, a summation of how it stands financially and in enrollment, and with insights on accomplishments by students and faculty.
In prepared remarks, President Dr. Amanda Lee said, “During the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bladen Community College remained committed to its mission and providing a safe environment for its students, faculty and staff. Our dedicated faculty and staff rallied in support of our students — and each other — in pursuit of academic excellence and success in unprecedented times. It is important that we share our sucesses and challenges with the community.”
Lee was chosen to lead the college late in 2018 and on Feb. 1, 2019, assumed duties succeeding Dr. William Findt. Thirteen months later, the coronavirus had moved from China to the U.S. and around the world, leading to in-person shutdowns that included the better part of the Dublin campus.
In progress at the time was construction of the first new buildings in a decade. As Jay Stanley, the vice president of finance and administration would routinely tell trustees at their meetings, “We’re building these hopefully to last about 50 years. We don’t get many.”
The William Charles Findt Workforce Development Building was begun as a $6.5 mllion project. It includes 20,000 square feet, a 125-seat teaching auditorium, two labs for emergency medical services, two science labs, five classrooms and six faculty and staff offices.
The nearly $2 million STEM and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training Facility is roughly 9,500 square feet, built to house allied health, mechatronics, industrial systems and information technology programs.
Both have state of the art facilities and were opened to students in the winter.
In addition to Findt’s name going on a building, the college trustees also have — albeit in the 2020-21 school year, at the same time as they did for Findt — renamed the building housing the college library the John Darrell Page Student Resources Center.
When the virus hit the state, there were a number of unknowns. Lee had an accurate description, too.
“It’s a moving target. As soon as you make a decision, you invariably get a phone call,” Lee said on March 15, the Sunday following major restrictions going into place across the country and particularly in North Carolina.
On the upside, the college was already ahead of the curve with implementation of protocols.
“The things that the system office is advising, Bladen is already doing,” Lee said at the time.
And it remained that way throughout.
Graduation was the biggest event to become adjusted, and many other gatherings were simply delayed or not held. Among them were the spring ceremonial celebrations for the new buildings, and the fall celebration of the Bladen Community College Foundation — the academic fundraising arm that provides numerous scholarships through donations and its investment portfolio.
In the report, the Foundation’s balance stood at $1,245,969. Donations were sought through alternative strategy because of COVID-19, and scholarships have continued to be issued. Bladen We Care topped the $50,000 threshold of donors, and Smithfield Foods’ Hog Production Division eclipsed $10,000. Hayes and Mary Anne Petteway led individuals and families.
Enrollment numbered 5,364 for 2019-20, broken down as 2,459 for curriculum education and 2,905 for continuing education. Those numbers produced 1,231 FTE, an acronym for full-time equivalent and a key element to state money appropriated to the college. All classes earn credit toward FTEs, and the more students in classes, the better chance at budget money available shared among the 58-campus state system.
Students at the college most frequently chose to continue their educations at UNC Pembroke, UNC Wilmington, N.C. State, East Carolina and Fayetteville State. The college awarded 502 credentials: 287 associate degrees, 66 diplomas and 149 certificates. Not surprisingly, general education (294) was the leader in enrollment by degree; next were associate in arts (58), early childhood (53), associate in science (52) and associate degrees in nursing (49).
The college regularly adjusts its curriculum to the needs of the community and its employers. This year that meant adding agribusiness; air conditioning, heating and refrigeration technology; mechatronics; public safety administration; and two teaching preparation tracts, one for associate in arts and one for associate in science.
As the college went deeper into handling the coronavirus in the spring, a new advising center opened. A number of grants came to the college, including in the nursing and allied health programs.
The college reported revenue of more than $17 million for 2019-20, including 64 percent from state appropriations and state capital aid. Seventeen percent was through student financial aid, 7 percent through noncapital grants and 6 percent from county appropriations and county capital aid.
Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @alanwooten19.
The post “Bladen C.C. annual report highlights 2019-20 successes” Was originally published on www.bladenjournal.com