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Two BCCC graduates make history

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by nprivette No Comments
Two Hyde County students made history Friday, May 11, at the 45th annual Beaufort County Community College graduation exercises.
Maggie Anderson, of Lake Landing, and Maurita Harris, of Fairfield, became the first Early College High School Students to earn associate degrees from BCCC which they earned along with a high school diploma.
For their efforts they received a standing ovation from the crowd of some 1,000 students, family members and BCCC officials, faculty and staff members who at- tended the graduation exercises at Washington High School.
“Many students will take the opportunity to attend the Early College High School and graduate,” said Wesley Beddard, BCCC dean of instruction, in introducing the two to the audience. “But you will always be the first.” Anderson and Harris completed the five-year program in four years – a year ahead of their fellow ECHS classmates – thanks to a grueling academic schedule and honed time management skills, the two said in an interview before the graduation ceremony.
“I’ve learned to manage my time and not procrastinate,” said Anderson, 18, who, this fall, is scheduled to attend the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she will study speech therapy and special education.”
“I feel like I have accomplished something,” said Harris, 18, who is scheduled to attend N.C. State University this fall and pursue degrees in psychology and textiles while also studying Spanish.
The two have been best friends and have helped encourage each other through- out their high school and community college studies and can even finish each other’s sentences.
Anderson and Harris said they are looking forward to attending university and believe the study skills they learned during their high school years will serve them well as they continue their studies.
“I think it will be better for us,” said Harris.
Added Anderson: “That’s because we already have the work ethic that we will need.”
BCCC offers students in Beaufort, Hyde and Tyrrell counties the chance to take high school and tuition-free community college courses and graduate in five years with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in the field of their choice.
The students face a rigorous schedule of classes in the ninth grade – equivalent to honors courses in a traditional high school – that prepare them to begin taking community college courses as early as the 10th grade.
“It’s difficult to say how proud I am of Maggie and Maurita,” said Lisa Hill, BCCC liaison to the early college high schools. The fact that these students are the first early college high school graduates in the history of the college is by itself an accomplishment. But to earn both a high school degree and an associate’s degree in just four years, is remarkable!
“I admire them for their perseverance and hope that other early college high school students will follow in their footsteps,” she said. “I feel confident both girls will be successful as they continue their education at the universities of their choice.”
That night, BCCC awarded some 239 degrees, diplomas, certificates and high-school equivalency degrees at its commencement exercises held at Washington High School.
Read the rest of this article at The BCCC Newsblog

College receives NSF grant to recruit women and engage students

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by nprivette No Comments

A-B Tech Community College has been awarded a nearly $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project to recruit and retain female students and deliver problem-based learning to all students.

The $199,896 grant will fund a project titled Skilled Students Get Jobs: Recruiting Women and Engaging ALL Students. The project will provide relevant problem-based learning in the first-year courses and increase the number of highly skilled workers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) priority areas, according to Business Computer Technologies Chair Pam Silvers, principal investigator of the project. It is funded through March 31, 2015.

“The goals of the project are to increase the number of female students in nine programs and to implement the proven educational strategy of problem-based learning for all students,” she said. The project’s three components are recruiting female students, retaining these students by supporting gender equity strategies and providing relevance through problem-based learning to all students.

Co-principal investigators for the project are Sharon Seuss, Mechanical Engineering Technology Chair; Steven Marcus, Networking Technology Instructor; and Jim Sullivan, Civil Engineer/Surveying Technology Chair.

The nine programs being impacted are Civil Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, Computer Information Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, Information Systems Security, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Networking Technology, Surveying Technology, and Sustainability Technology.

Vernon Daugherty, Dean of Engineering and Applied Technology, and Lewis Lightner, Networking Technology Chair, assisted with the project’s development.  They will serve on the Project Leadership Team and, along with Silvers, will serve as liaisons between A-B Tech and Advanced Technological Education partners, the South Carolina Advanced Technological Education (SCATE) National Resource Center and CyberWatch.

“This project is the result of numerous conversations, meetings, and relationships with industry. Growth during the economic downturn has highlighted the need for more skilled workers and drives the project goal of increasing the number and diversity of skilled technicians,” Silvers said.

CCCC Nursing – almost 50 years of serving

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by nprivette No Comments


SANFORD – Talk about the nursing programs at Central Carolina Community College and the conversation quickly turns to those who developed, led and taught them in the almost 50 years since the first Practical Nurse Education curriculum class was offered in 1963.

Elderlene Keller, 89, of Sanford, smiles as she remembers that class at CCCC – only it was the Lee County Industrial Education Center then. Practical nursing was one of the first seven curriculums established.

Keller and her husband, Oscar ran, and still run, a nursing home in Sanford. In 1963, she enrolled to gain the skills to care for their clients as well as to supervise other caregivers.

Mary W. Mock, R.N., of Southern Pines, and an advisory committee from the medical communities in Lee, Chatham and Moore counties, set up the PNE program. It became the first curriculum program at the LCIEC to receive state accreditation.

Esther Burke, R.N., was hired as the instructor in July 1963. Even after almost 50 years, Keller still has fond memories of her.

“Miss Burke was a great teacher,” she said. “She did everything she could to help you. She was to me very much an example of what a nurse should be. Many times since those days, I’ve said when I did something, ‘I think this is the way Miss Burke would have done it.'”

On March 25, 1964, Keller and her 13 classmates received their Practical Nursing diplomas – the first curriculum class to graduate from the LCIEC.

Burke was director of the Practical Nursing program, then chair of the Nursing Department, serving the college and community from 1965 to 1986, when she retired. She passed away in Chatham County in 2011. In recognition of her love for and great impact on nursing education at CCCC, a nursing scholarship was established in her name.

Retired CCCC Director of Nursing Gloria Peele, R.N., of Sanford, also remembers those early days. When she was hired as a nursing instructor in 1965, she and Esther Burke were the only two female faculty. There were only 10 faculty altogether and only one building, Main (now Douglas H. Wilkinson Sr. Hall), on the Lee Campus.

“I’m glad I was there when the college was in its infancy and growing,” Peele said. “All of us were new; all of us were supportive. The school couldn’t do anything but grow. The potential was there; the leaders were there. It was such a challenge, but there were so many great folks to work with.”

In 1982, the college started offering a two-year Associate in Applied Science in Nursing, with training at the old Lee County Hospital on Carthage Street. Nancy M. Hall, R.N., served as director of a Nursing Education Options program within the associate degree program from 1982 until she left the college in 1985.

Students could take classes for one year, graduate, and be eligible to take the national exam for practical nurses or continue and complete the A.A.S. in Nursing. The first A.A.S. degrees were awarded in 1984. In 1994, the program’s name was changed to Associate Degree Nursing.

Peele became Director of Nursing in 1985, a position she held until her retirement in 1995. She said she still frequently runs into former students who express their appreciation for the education they received. One who remembers her well is Carla Peters, a graduate of the Practical Nursing program in 1987 and the ADN program in 1988.

“Mrs. Peele was one of my role models, a caring and compassionate teacher,” said Peters, who is now a home health nurse in West Virginia. “I’ve been a nurse for 24 years and I still love that basic nursing she taught me.”

In 1987, the PNE program was started at the Harnett County Campus under Helen Magda, R.N. She headed it until her retirement in 2009. In Chatham County, PNE started in 1992, with Wanda Bray, R.N., as instructor. These programs continue to be successful.

Following Peele’s retirement, Rhonda Evans, R.N., of Cameron, became Nursing Department chair in 1995, then chair of the college’s Health Sciences Department, a position she held until her passing in 2012.

Evans continued the high standards of training that kept the program among the best available. She was also a member of the committee that developed the new North Carolina Community College System Associate Degree Nursing program format.

“Rhonda was first and foremost a student advocate,” said Linda Blair, nursing instructor, who had worked with Evans since 1990. “She was not only chair of the department, with all those responsibilities, but also active in teaching in the classroom and in clinical settings. She was always working to find means to help students continue in the program.”

The demand for CCCC nursing programs continues to grow. From the original 1963 Practical Nurse Education class of 14, CCCC nursing had grown by fall 2011 to enroll 62 students in Associate Degree Nursing, 321 in ADN General Education preparatory, 62 in the Practical Nurse diploma, and 147 in PN General Education preparatory programs.

CCCC’s nursing program is fully accredited by the N.C. Board of Nursing. Currently, it has five full-time ADN instructors and four for practical nursing. Three of the five in the ADN and one in the PN program hold Master of Science in Nursing with a Concentration in Education degrees. A second PN instructor holds an MS-Nursing with a Nurse Practitioner Concentration.

ADN graduates consistently score high on the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse). In 2011, those taking the test for the first time had a 96 percent passing rate.

CCCC’s nursing programs are offered through its Health Sciences Department. The department also offers a Medical Assisting program, in which students are cross-trained to perform many administrative and clinical duties for work in physician’s offices and out-patient facilities. In fall 2011, there were 33 enrolled in that program and 30 in Medical Assisting General Education.

In the communities the college serves, there is always a need not only for nurses and practical nurses, but also for nurse aides and those with other health care skills available through the college’s Continuing Education Department. The first nurse aide extension training program started in Chatham County in 1964 with 10 students.

Now, Continuing Education offers a wide variety of health care programs at campuses and centers in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties, including nurse aide, phlebotomy technician, sleep technician, pharmacy technician, nutritional dietary manager, EKG technician, healthcare activities director, and medical office skills – all essential for good patient care. At the spring 2012 Continuing Education Medical Programs graduation, more than 300 received their certificates in these fields.

CCCC’s Continuing Education Department was also one of only 12 in North Carolina chosen to take part in a federally funded pilot program to help develop a program to train Home Care Nurse Aides.

The growth of health sciences programs has required the expansion and addition of facilities to house them. At the Lee County Campus, a health building opened in 1984. With renovations and expansions, it became Gilbert A. Lett Hall in 2005, named for a generous supporter of the college’s nursing programs.

Within Lett Hall, the nursing program facility is named the Louise L. Tuller School of Nursing. In 2010, Tuller’s trust fund donated $325,000 for nursing programs, the largest private gift made to the college, to date.

Continuing Education health care programs in Lee County are held primarily at the college’s Lifelong Learning Center at the W.B. Wicker Business Campus.

In Chatham, nursing and other health care programs are held at both the Siler City Center and the Chatham County Campus, in Pittsboro. In Harnett, CCCC broke ground April 12 for its new Health Sciences Building, in Lillington. Scheduled to open in fall 2013, it will be a state-of-the-art health care training facility.

“Nurses and associated health care workers are critically important to every community,” said Dr. Bud Marchant, president of Central Carolina Community College. “CCCC is proud to have partnered with our communities, their medical facilities, and health care organizations for almost 50 years to provide highly qualified health care professionals who make our communities better places in which to live and raise families. Health sciences education at CCCC has served our communities well for almost 50 years. Working with our community partners, we look forward to an even more impressive future.”

For more about nursing and other health care occupations training at Central Carolina, visit the web site,, and click on “Programs of Study” or “Continuing Education.”

New Global Logistics Initiative Could Bring Jobs to Triad

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by nprivette No Comments


Greensboro, NC — The North Carolina Center for Global Logistics and Piedmont Triad Partnership have partnered with the colleges to expand logistics operations, training and transfer management to the schools.

Logistics companies in the triad employ in excess of 67,000 people, according to the new partnership. This means about 1 in every 10 workers in the area is in logistics. The group is leveraging this as strength to attract even more jobs.

“As the economy starts to rebound, and which we have seen signs of that happening in this particular region with advanced manufacturing, logistics will grow with it,” said Randy Ledford, dean at the Davidson County Community College School of Business Engineering and Technical Studies.

Lefdord says the partnership is looking to spark new interest in logistics, train students “hands on” for jobs, attract companies to bring jobs to the Triad and be a resource center for logistics companies already here.

To do that, the partnership is building a campus near Piedmont Triad International Airport. Community college students in Randolph, Forsyth, Guilford and Davidson Counties will go here for hands-on training.

The initiative is also hoping to situate the industry for growth in this region pointing to the prime geographical location of the Triad; 70 percent of the US population can be reached within a two to three days drive from here.

“It’ll bring in jobs but it’ll also bring in smaller jobs as well. As you feed this particular need it really could help the Piedmont Triad area by having the center to formally collaborate with,” Ledford explained.

Rodney Reece, a logistics instructor at Davidson also adds: “[The partnership] shows that North Carolina is a major role player for logistics now.

“I think that that’s also a good thing because it’s going to offer a lot of opportunities for people in the area as well as people outside that can move into the area. It’s just a big growth rate.”
As far as how many jobs the colleges hope this initiative could bring, they say the sluggish economy has slowed some of the projections.

But they point to recent examples and companies like Fed Ex who opened new logistics centers in the area.

Fed Ex’s October 2011 opening of their center in Kernersville brought 300 jobs.

GTCC to lead management of N.C. logistics center

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by nprivette No Comments

The Piedmont Triad Partnership announced today that it has reached an agreement with four community colleges to manage the North Carolina Center for Global Logistics starting July 1.

The center’s management will be led by Guilford Technical Community College in partnership with PTP and the community colleges in Davidson, Forsyth and Randolph counties.

The center is slated to open in 2013 at GTCC’s Donald W. Cameron Campus near Piedmont Triad International Airport.

“The transition is in alignment with our role to promote regional economic development and to develop a competitive growth strategy,” David Powell, president and CEO of PTP, said in a statement.

GTCC President Randy Parker added in the statement that he wants the center to be recognized worldwide.

“To accomplish this, we need to create a world-class work force through education and skills development in the field of logistics,” Parker said. “No organizations are better suited to do this than the four partnering community colleges that have been nationally recognized for their work force development standards.”

Teamwork in the kitchen: Culinary program at Alamance Community College teaches aspiring chefs more than just cooking

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by nprivette No Comments

When the 15-minute serving period starts, Alamance Community College’s culinary team is in the weeds.

Initially, the five-member group doesn’t let on, continuing to move with the same calm they possessed throughout the entire cooking section.

But as time ticks away, the breakdown — in communication and with the equipment — is obvious. Emily Totherow stops chopping the pistachio brittle that will coat the edge of a shortbread cookie in her orange Bavarian with chocolate sauce dessert and runs to the pasta maker.

Earlier, Jennifer Phillips, who was cooking the striped bass Provencale appetizer, rolled out a sheet of saffron pasta and left it drying. Totherow finishes, trying to cut it into angel hair. The team knows the handle habitually falls off. This time, the top of the pasta maker drops on the table. Totherow hurries to reattach it.

She tries it all again and then heads to the pot of water on the stove, but is stopped short. A crosswind in the kitchen impacts the flame under the buerre blanc sauce accompanying the striped bass, vegetable stew, tapenade and pistou. The sauce isn’t reducing quickly enough. Totherow stares at the stove, holding the uncooked pasta. Maria Granados, who is preparing the entree and charged with searing the bass, also waits for the testy buerre blanc.

Their rhythm in the kitchen — the moves they practiced for hours and hours since September — is suddenly off.

Read the rest of this article at The Times News

N.C. Wesleyan launches program at Cape Fear Community College

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by nprivette 1 Comment

From the Rocky Mount Telegram

N.C. Wesleyan College and Cape Fear Community College will offer two bachelor’s degree programs on Cape Fear’s Wilmington campuses. After months of planning and coordination between the two schools, more than 30 students have begun their first classes leading to careers in business administration or elementary education.

Wesleyan recruited adjunct professors from the Wilmington area to teach the relevant courses and hired Katie Farrell as the full-time educational coordinator to recruit and advise students interested in these degrees. All instructors have a minimum of a master’s degree with many having earned doctorate degrees. In addition, some of Wesleyan’s full-time faculty will teach occasionally in Wilmington.

Farrell oversees the total program and expressed excitement about the launch of the first classes. N.C. Wesleyan President James Gray joined her to welcome the first group of students.

“I am delighted to work with these great students, who are eager to take advantage of the opportunity to complete their degrees through this unique program that is designed for the convenience of the adult learner,” Gray said.

An additional 60 students are in the process of applying for the program, which offers year-round rolling admissions and course completion in an eight week cycle, Farrell said. The first course offerings include: Business Communications, Religion, Books for Children and Psychological Development in Childhood. The next term begins in early March.

Each course will be offered one night each week for eight weeks with a mix of classroom and online experiences. This schedule is designed to allow students to attend full time, but also, to meet the needs of working students who prefer to attend on a part-time basis. Tuition is comparable to the state university system. Financial aid is available for qualified individuals.

Students will have access to Smarthinking, an online tutoring service, and the N.C. Wesleyan College library has coordinated with the Cape Fear Community College library to teach and assist students with information literacy skills. The elementary education degree provides state licensure for students who complete those requirements.

“It is exciting to see this partnership come to fruition,” said Dr. Evan Duff, vice president for adult programs at N.C. Wesleyan. “The level of interest we have received demonstrates the need for more educational programs that accommodate working adults in eastern NC. Wesleyan is proud to be meeting those needs.”

Duff said the college has agreements with several N.C. community colleges which allow students with associate degrees to transfer credits to Wesleyan’s four-year programs. However, he pointed out that delivering the classes on Cape Fear’s northern and downtown campuses is a new approach.

“This is the first partnership in several years where we’re physically offering the degrees on their campus and accommodating their students,” Duff said. “So, this is a different approach for Wesleyan.”

Many students with an associate’s degree in applied science from Cape Fear Community College’s vocational programs have some difficulty finding four-year colleges that accept their credit hours, Duff said. The N.C. Wesleyan program allows students to transfer up to 64 credit hours from many of the AAS degrees, which is the maximum a four-year school can accept for a two-year degree.

Individuals seeking more information should visit the N.C. Wesleyan College website or email Katie Farrell at or call (910) 520-6786.