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Dr. Carol Spalding named North Carolina Community College President of the Year

The following is a press release from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

SALISBURY, N.C. — Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, has been named President of the Year for 2019 by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges. She is the first leader in Rowan-Cabarrus history to receive the honor.

The President of the Year Award, sponsored by Wells Fargo, was established by the State Board in 2001. This award encourages, identifies, and rewards outstanding leadership and commitment to the community college mission among the presidents of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System.

“My fellow trustees and I are delighted that the State Board of Community Colleges has recognized Dr. Spalding for her visionary leadership,” said Carl M. Short, chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees. “Dr. Spalding’s leadership has taken Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to new heights of excellence by embracing innovation and fostering strong partnerships. She serves our institution, our community and the state of North Carolina with warmth, humility and a passion for student success. This award is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Spalding and reflects positively on the entire Rowan-Cabarrus team.”

Short nominated Spalding as part of a competitive selection process in which an eight-page narrative is submitted and candidates are interviewed by an awards committee. The awards process emphasizes accomplishments that presidents have led in the past three years at their institutions – demonstrating broad community partnerships, improving services through technology, workforce education, economic development, advocacy at the local and state levels, long-range planning, innovation in program development and supporting professional development for college employees, among other criteria.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has played a vital role in the region’s workforce and economic development over the last 56 years.

“For the past decade, Dr. Carol Spalding has built the College’s capability, physical plant, and business proposition to serve the community,” said Short. “Dr. Spalding has dedicated her career to the mission of the community college and its service to students, and we are privileged to have her as our leader.”

Since becoming president in 2008, Spalding has built a reputation as a strong advocate for student success and the community college’s role in developing North Carolina’s workforce and economy. She has grown the College’s continuing education and training programs, and facilitated a group of community leaders to align and leverage economic development efforts within Rowan County.

“I am honored and privileged to accept this award. I want to thank the incredible faculty and staff at Rowan-Cabarrus who have made this possible. We have an amazing team of people here who are committed to changing the lives of individuals in Rowan and Cabarrus counties,” said Dr. Spalding.

Led by Spalding’s focus on student opportunities and community partnerships, Rowan-Cabarrus is at the forefront in workforce education and development. The College is North Carolina’s leader in firefighter continuing education and certification, actively partners with government and industry to identify workforce needs and provide quality training; and is a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education, a prestigious designation from the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Additionally, under Spalding’s leadership, the College has used technology to expand and improve services to students. These efforts have led to Rowan-Cabarrus being recognized four consecutive years as a Top Ten Digital Community College by the Center for Digital Education.

“The list of Dr. Spalding’s achievements goes on and on,” said Short. “From cutting-edge technology and sustainability to partnerships with the community, government, public schools and other community colleges, her vision, passion and energy have led to outstanding student success at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.” 

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is currently accepting applications for eight-week classes beginning in March, as well as summer and fall courses.


Opening its doors in 1963, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is one of 58 colleges in the state-supported North Carolina Community College System. Rowan-Cabarrus is a comprehensive, community-focused institution of higher learning, serving the residents of Rowan and Cabarrus counties at multiple campus locations and through on-line programs. Rowan-Cabarrus offers fully-accredited associate degree programs in more than 30 areas of study, including arts and sciences, business, information technology, health and public services, engineering technologies, and biotechnology, as well as dozens of diplomas and certifications. Rowan-Cabarrus provides more than 2,000 course offerings, serving a yearly overall enrollment of more than 20,000 students. In addition, Rowan-Cabarrus provides the education and job-training programs needed to meet many of the workforce demands of the North Carolina Research Campus being developed in Kannapolis.

E-mail correspondence to and from this address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties by an authorized state official. (NCGS.Ch.132)


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