Tanzanian immigrant finds new opportunities with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College programs



ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) – From Rowan-Cabarrus Community College: When Tahabyona “Tabi” Kamugisha arrived in the United States in July 2019 from Tanzania, one of his first priorities was to learn English. Whatever happened in America, he knew that speaking and understanding the language would make his journey easier and open new doors.

Although he had a good life in Tanzania working on his family’s poultry farm, Kamugisha came to live in the United States with his American wife, who is from North Carolina. Her brother, who lives in China Grove, introduced her to the programs available at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Once he discovered the College’s English Language Learning (ELL) program, he also made connections that directed him towards his high school equivalency diploma and training opportunities for a lucrative career.

Kamugisha quickly completed the English Language Learner program, which Rowan-Cabarrus offers for free. The program gives students of different ages and backgrounds the opportunity to participate more fully in American society and realize their academic potential in learning environments where instruction is largely or entirely delivered in English. Classes help students develop reading, listening, writing and speaking skills.

After completing the ELL program, Kamugisha was excited about the continuing education opportunities and decided to go straight for her high school equivalency / GED diploma.

“It was the best decision I have ever made,” he said. “I have met the best teachers – people you would love to be taught with all day. The College has the best teachers and a good environment.

The Rowan-Cabarrus Adult Education and Literacy Program offers adult basic education programs to eligible adults who wish to earn a high school equivalency diploma. The program currently serves over 160 students, focusing on math, science, social studies, and reading / language arts. Students can take lessons either online at their own pace, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or virtually with an instructor teaching through Zoom.

“I gained a lot of self-confidence through the program, found new friends and changed my life because now I can continue my education,” Kamugisha said. “My journey has not been easy, as my beloved mother, Dorothea Kamugisha, passed away before I graduated. But it was worth it. With the guidance of instructor Mary Jane Hartley, I moved on to the evening class until I was finished. I thank God for not stopping.

“The GED program has helped me achieve my goals,” continued Kamugisha, who officially graduated on September 9, 2021. “If you’ve ever wanted to go back to school, now is the time, and the Rowan -Cabarrus Community College is here to help you like they did to me.

The Rowan-Cabarrus High School Equivalency / GED program is designed for mature students whose tests exceed the ninth grade level in math and reading, but have not graduated from high school. The program prepares students to successfully pass an approved High School Equivalency Assessment (HSEA) to earn their High School Equivalency Diploma, covering social studies, science, literature, math and skills. in writing. An Adult Basic Skills program is available to prepare adult students who test below the ninth grade level in math or reading to acquire the skills needed to earn their high school equivalency diploma.

Now that he speaks and understands English and has his GED behind him, Kamugisha is considering a career in manufacturing after completing short-term training through the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute (NCMI).

NCMI prepares students for employment with nearly 50 local partner manufacturers in just eight weeks, with tuition covered by a scholarship. Graduates with little or no experience can make the transition to secure jobs with good pay and benefits.

NCMI’s education and training partners include Rowan and Cabarrus counties, local economic development authorities, the Centralina Workforce Development Board, Mitchell Community College, and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

“It is a privilege to be able to provide educational opportunities that open doors for students like Tabi Kamugisha,” said Dr Carol S. Spalding, President of Rowan-Cabarrus. “If you are looking to improve your life, find out all that Rowan-Cabarrus has to offer. Whether you are considering a new career, a new life skill, continuing education for an existing job, or courses that will transfer to a four-year college or university, we offer pathways that lead to a better future.

Anyone interested in pursuing a high school / GED equivalency can contact Darrell Graham at [email protected] or 704-216-3785, Mary Jane Hartley at [email protected] or 704-216-3507, or Aaron McNeill at [email protected] or 704-216-7192. Further information on the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute is available at www.ncmanufacturinginstitute.com or by emailing Donna Ludwig at [email protected] For more information on Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.


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