MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive (UMO) in collaboration with Randolph Community College (RCC) will offer students from Randolph County and the surrounding region the opportunity to complete a bachelor of science degree in multiple agricultural disciplines. Through the agreement, UMO will deliver junior and senior level courses in a hybrid format on the RCC campus. Additionally, students will have UMO advisors and faculty available to them at the RCC site.
Starting in the fall of 2022, students who have completed an agricultural associate’s degree from RCC or other institutions, can enroll seamlessly with UMO to pursue bachelor’s degrees in agribusiness, agricultural communication and leadership, agricultural production systems and plant science on the Randolph Community College campus. Courses will engage students in theoretical applications of agricultural principles through hands-on learning.
According to Dr. Sandy Maddox, Dean of the UMO School of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, an increasing number of students from central and western NC are enrolling at UMO to pursue agriculture degrees. “This partnership will allow UMO to better serve students from that area of the state which relies heavily on agriculture as a vital part of its economy, by providing both a convenient location at RCC and the added level of support from our UMO faculty,” she said.
Maddox noted that the University of Mount Olive has been working with students in Randolph County since 2017 through an articulation with the Randolph County School System entitled The Higher Education (THE) Ag Experience, which is located at Providence Grove High School. THE AG Experience is an agricultural academy which offers high school students the opportunity to simultaneously complete an associates of agriculture degree offered through UMO. Credits earned can be used to complete Bachelor of Science degrees at UMO. Additionally, RCC initiated an agribusiness technology degree program in 2019 to serve students desiring to go into the field of agriculture.
“The placement of a BS degree completion program at RCC through UMO will allow students, to take their education to the next level while remaining in Randolph County,” Maddox said.
Maddox noted that students from the region who have completed college credit or other associate degree programs are eligible for the program as well. “This partnership can be particularly appealing to students who are seeking to earn their four-year degrees while remaining involved in their family farm or other occupational field,” Maddox added.
“This bachelor’s degree completion program with Randolph Community College was the natural next step to provide students the opportunity for access to a bachelor of science degree in agriculture,” said UMO President Dr. H. Edward Croom. “We are excited to be working with the innovative administration and faculty at RCC.”
“Randolph Community College and I are very privileged and pleased to enter into this collaborative agreement with Dr. Croom and the University of Mount Olive,” said RCC President Dr. Robert S. Shackleford Jr. “This is a great example of where education is headed in the future – moving beyond our individual efforts to work with our educational partners to do more together than we could ever do alone. This partnership is a great opportunity for our students and we celebrate this opportunity to work with the University of Mount Olive.”
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists.