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Thursday, May 21, 2009

UNCP, Sandhills Community College unveil interactive classroom

A new interactive video classroom at Sandhills Community College (SCC) will benefit students in Hoke and Moore counties.

From left: Dr. Charles Tita, UNCP’s director of distance education, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Rebecca Roberts, coordinator for UNCP at SCC, President John Dempsey and Dr. John Turner, SCC’s senior vice president for Instructional and Student Support

From left: Dr. Charles Tita, UNCP’s director of distance education, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Rebecca Roberts, coordinator for UNCP at SCC, President John Dempsey and Dr. John Turner, SCC’s senior vice president for Instructional and Student Support

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Jointly funded with UNC Pembroke, the classroom was unveiled May 11 in Little Hall at SCC. It will allow interactive video classes from UNCP to SCC and from SCC to its Hoke campus.

Dr. John Turner, SCC’s senior vice president for Instructional and Student Support, welcomed guests from both institutions and labeled the partnership “exemplary.”

“In the decades I have worked in higher education, I’ve seen a lot of partnerships, but nothing like the one between UNC Pembroke and Sandhills Community College,” Dr. Turner said. “This room is a great example of two institutions working together to meet students’ needs.”

The room has four omni-directional microphones, two 52-inch flat-panel LCD TVs, a 3,500 lumen projector and screen, a Sony PCS G70 video control unit and two robotic cameras. A demonstration linked the classroom with a Raleigh interactive studio.

UNCP, which funded the equipment and installation, and SCC will share the classroom. SCC will use it beginning next semester for day classes and UNCP for evening classes in social work and graduate business courses.

SCC President Dr. John Dempsey called the classroom the product of “a wonderful partnership.”

“The opportunity to work with UNCP and Chancellor (Allen C.) Meadors is one of the best partnerships I’ve had the pleasure of joining,” Dr. Dempsey said. “It’s important that we work together for our institutions, communities and students.”

Chancellor Meadors thanked SCC administrators for their help to UNCP’s students in Moore County.

“This is an example of how important technology is in serving student needs,” he said. “It takes dedicated people to make it happen, and our folks in the Office of Outreach have done an excellent job taking programs to the region.

“Sandhills Community College is truly here for the people they serve,” Chancellor Meadors continued. “Access to education is the bottom line, I believe.”

Ron Layne, SCC’s dean of instruction, said “this project began with a conversation with Dr. Charles Tita,” UNCP’s director of distance education.

Dr. Tita thanked Julie Layne and Rebecca Roberts, UNCP’s program coordinators at Richmond and Sandhills community colleges.

“These are the people who do the work where it matters,” Dr. Tita said. “This project is another example of taking the distance out of distance education.”

At SCC, UNCP offers undergraduate degrees in nursing, business administration and social work and graduate programs in business (MBA), public administration (MPA) and education, including administration, reading and elementary education.

Students may choose from a variety of traditional, online and hybrid classes.

For more information about UNCP at Sandhills, please contact 910.695.3919 or email rebecca.roberts@uncp.edu.

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