New academic programs proliferate at RCC

As of the Spring 2015 semester, Rappahannock Community College has added six career-friendly programs to its already wide selection. The New Year will bring new educational opportunities in the form of an Associate of Arts and Sciences (AA&S) transfer degree with health-STEM specialization; Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees in horticulture technology and respiratory therapy; and career studies certificates in pre-medical laboratory technology, pre-nursing, and pre-paramedic.

The myRCC publication for Spring 2015 includes schedule information for seven recently added programs.

The myRCC publication for Spring 2015 includes schedule information for seven recently added programs.

The AA&S transfer degree with health-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) specialization prepares students to transfer with junior status to four-year schools where they can enter such disciplines as medicine, dentistry, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, and numerous others. RCC’s many Guaranteed Admission Agreements with highly respected colleges and universities ensure a smooth transition to the institution of the student’s choice.

J. Sargent Reynolds Community College has partnered with RCC to offer three of its programs to residents of this area. An AAS degree in horticulture technology can jump-start a career in landscape design, landscape and turf management, or plant production, to name a few. The AAS in respiratory therapy produces skilled professionals who can provide care for patients with heart and lung problems; U.S. News & World Report expects this field to expand greatly over the next decade. And the career studies certificate in pre-medical laboratory technology trains students as phlebotomists, which can be a rewarding career in itself, but also acts as a stepping-stone to the AAS degree program in medical laboratory technology.

For students who do not feel ready for RCC’s practical nursing or associate-degree nursing programs, the pre-nursing career studies certificate prepares them for entry into these more advanced curricula. In addition, it qualifies them for immediate employment in a health-care setting, so that they can earn money and gain experience while pursuing more education.

The pre-paramedic career studies certificate covers many of the general education courses required for the paramedic certificate program. It prepares students for the national registry exam leading to certification as an emergency medical technician, as well as providing an occupational credential that will make them attractive to prospective employers.

Finally, a partnership with Northern Virginia Community College has made it possible to offer an AAS degree in fire science technology at RCC. This degree qualifies its students to become professional fire fighters, or to take up other fire service careers. Other possibilities include private sector careers in safety, loss prevention engineering, or risk management.

More information about all these new academic programs can be found at, or in the print publication myRCC.