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The Distinguished Alumni Award is for an ACC Alumnus or Alumna who has excelled in his or her career. *Alumnus / Alumna is defined as an individual who has successfully completed a class at ACC.
Nomination forms are due by March 30, 2022.
A selection committee comprised of ACC Trustees and ACC Foundation Board Members will review the nominations and the winner will be notified prior to the public announcement.
The Distinguished Alumni award winner will be named at the May 26, 2022 Celebration of Excellence Event to be held at the Alamance Country Club.
All nominees will be invited to this event, free of charge.
Self-nominations are acceptable.
Thank you for your time spent nominating this individual!
Alamance Community College has been awarded its first-ever federal TRIO grant from the U.S. Department of Education to implement the Student Support Services (SSS) Program. The total award over a five-year period is approximately $1.3 million.
One of eight TRIO programs, the goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants by providing opportunities for academic development, assisting students with basic college requirements, and motivating students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.
Eligible individuals for SSS are low-income students, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities. ACC has nearly 2,000 curriculum students who meet this eligibility criteria, reported Dr. Carol Disque, Vice President of Student Success.
“We are especially grateful for the timing and multi-year focus of the TRIO grant since the COVID-19 epidemic has highlighted systemic inequities, and worsened college access for first-generation, low-income, and disabled individuals,” said Dr. Disque.
The College reported on its grant application that 11.8% of students with poor academic standing and 37% of first-generation college students do not regularly utilize ACC’s academic advisement services. These eligible students have a lower retention rate, and significantly lower graduation rate than students who do not fit the criteria.
ACC’s Student Support Services Program will assist eligible students by providing academic support and tutoring in developmental and gateway courses, top priority course registration each semester, intensive academic advising, success coaching, career planning services, coaching for transfer to four-year colleges, financial literacy and financial aid counseling, cultural enrichment opportunities, and student leadership opportunities.
Guided by full-time Student Support Services (SSS) success coaches, each student participant will develop and carry out a Personal Success Plan, a roadmap that leads to timely graduation.
The Founder’s Award is given to a professional who demonstrates excellence and achievement in mentoring, community development, business contributions, philanthropy, and overall community leadership.
Award recipient Carolyn Rhode has been employed by Alamance Community College since 2004 and serves as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Director of the ACC Foundation. Rhode was one of eight nominees.
Rhode’s duties at the College are many. In her job to oversee fundraising to assist low-income students, she has helped nearly 15,000 students access the dream of post-secondary education to date. She and her small staff have increased the value of financial assets from $4 million to $13.5 million during her tenure.
Working with a Foundation Board of Directors of 32 members, she has raised $750,000-$1,000,000 annually in corporate and individual gifts. The Foundation’s annual drive has increased full-time employee financial giving to more than 90% participation rate.
In her work at the College that greatly affects women, Rhode co-created and administers ACC’s staff mentorship program to ensure that new employees develop resources outside their own departments; oversees ACC’s student ambassadors, a leadership development program; works with numerous benefactors that have resulted in providing financial support for various summer enrichment opportunities for youth, including the Ladies in Technology camp for high school students; won a National Science Foundation grant to organize and facilitate Girls Take Over Tech, an annual hands-on event at the College that introduces middle and high school girls to advanced manufacturing and trade careers. This event features local female professionals in fields such as mechatronics, machining, and welding who provide encouragement to the young women attending the event.
Rhode’s volunteer activities include secretary of Rotary Club of Alamance since 2006; troop leader for Carolina Peaks to Piedmont Girl Scouts; President of NC Council of Resource Development in 2010; Board member of United Way of Alamance, 2006-2010; and Board member of Alamance Partnership for Children, 2011-2015.