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Fall 2015 Spotlight

August 03, 2015 | 10:05 AM

As the Fall 2015 semester approaches, Beaufort County Community College has a wide range of Associate Degree, Diploma, Certificate and Developmental Education programs available. Now is the time to take the first step toward a better future. Here are just a few of the programs your community college has to offer.

For students interested in a four-year degree, BCCC's College Transfer program is designed to provide instruction in the essential skills of oral and written communications, math concepts and critical thinking, as well as the humanities, arts, social sciences and natural sciences, preparing students to transfer to senior institutions as juniors. Enrolling at BCCC for the first two years of a four-year path can result in thousands of dollars in savings, both from lower tuition costs and a lower cost-of-living, greatly reducing the amount of debt accumulated during school.

The average annual cost of tuition and fees at universities in the UNC system is $6,294, compared to only $2,368 at BCCC. Tuition and fees at private four-year institutions in North Carolina range from more than $25,000 to almost $50,000 per year. BCCC College Transfer students also benefit from a more personal classroom experience as well as experienced academic advisors to guide them through the process from placement to completion of their degrees.

For students interested in social services, there is an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) in Human Services Technology. This concentration prepares students for employment with local, state and federal government social service agencies, including family and child assistance, youth services, aging and developmentally disabled programs in public and private settings.

The AAS in Early Childhood Education includes course work in child growth and development, physical and nutritional needs, care and guidance, and communication skills. Graduates are prepared to plan and implement developmentally appropriate early childhood and child development programs. This fall, BCCC is offering the N.C. Early Childhood Administration credentialing courses, EDU 261 and 262, as mini-mester courses, allowing students to gain the credential in one semester.

BCCC's Business and Industrial Technology division also has a variety of valuable programs. Certificate, Diploma and AAS programs in Construction Equipment Systems are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to troubleshoot and repair equipment in the construction industry, preparing them to enter a career in one of society's most fundamental fields.

For those who want to work in an office setting, AAS programs in Office Administration and Medical Office Administration prepare students for administrative support careers, equipping office professionals to respond to the demands of today's workplace.

Registration for the Fall 2015 Semester at BCCC is open, and financial aid is still available. For more information about enrolling at BCCC or to schedule a placement test, contact the Admissions Office at 940-6237. For more information, visit BCCC's website at

BCCC awards first-ever NCCER credentials

July 28, 2015 | 10:52 AM

Seven students at Beaufort County Community College have earned the Core Curriculum Credential from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) as part of a new program made possible by a grant from the Duke Energy Community Foundation.

The Industrial Maintenance Mechanic program began in January, and to date the students have earned the Forklift Training Certificate of Completion, the OSHA 10 card, Career Readiness Certification and the Core Credential. The final credential, to be completed in the coming weeks, is the NCCER Industrial Mechanic Credential – Level 1.

The Core Curriculum Credential certifies that an individual has completed the prerequisite training for any Level 1 credential offered through NCCER (such as the Industrial Maintenance Mechanic program). In this class, training is completed in modules, and the students are required to complete all eight, passing both a written and skills exam. Training modules included basic safety, introduction to construction math, introduction to power tools, introduction to hand tools, introduction to construction drawings, basic communication skills, basic employability skills, and introduction to material handling.

Seven students earned the credential: Dallas Daniels, Jenean "DJ" Robinson, Jennis Crisp, Joey Jackson, Tyrice Johnson, Colton Dixon, and Randall Ballance.

Individuals interested in enrolling in the program for Fall 2015 are encouraged to contact Lou Stout, Director of Workforce Initiatives, at 252-940-6307 or

BCCC Foundation supports students, college

July 28, 2015 | 10:50 AM

Each year, dozens of students at Beaufort County Community College benefit from scholarships offered by the BCCC Foundation, but it does much more.

Founded in 1984, the Foundation has raised money and provided support for the college in achieving its educational and workforce development goals for more than 30 years. It is a non-profit charitable organization that is separate from the college and has its own Board of Directors comprised of civic and business leaders from throughout BCCC's service area.

"A lot of people think we're only here to provide scholarships, and that's not the case," says Bill Wall, a member of the BCCC Foundation Board.

The Foundation also supports the college by helping fund institutional programs, faculty and staff development, and facility improvements. Thanks to a recent fundraising campaign, BCCC's campus will soon feature an electronic sign along Highway 264 that will advertise campus news and events, as well as weather-related closings and hurricane evacuation routes.

The Foundation raises funds through donations from individuals and businesses in the community, as well as fundraising events and trips throughout the year, including the annual Croquet Tournament and, new this year, a Garden Tour that gave participants an opportunity to tour 14 beautiful gardens throughout Washington and Chocowinity.

Scholarships are still an important piece of the equation. Currently, the Foundation maintains 53 individual endowments that fund scholarships for BCCC students. These are referred to as restricted funds and are usually established in memory or in honor of a certain person or organization. The funds from these endowments are invested, and the earnings are used to provide scholarships or services for BCCC, as designated by the donor.

Last year, the Foundation awarded more than $68,000 in scholarships to about 70 students.

"These students are our future accountants, auto mechanics, business owners, electrical engineers, nurses and teachers," says Foundation Director Serena Sullivan. "Without the generosity of our donors, many of them would not have the opportunity to attend college."

The importance of higher education cannot be overstated. Students with an Associate's Degree from BCCC, most of whom stay in the region and contribute to its economy, can expect to earn significantly more than workers with only a high-school education. While BCCC represents a significant cost savings compared to a four-year public or private university, many students in Eastern North Carolina still find it difficult to pay for college. The BCCC Foundation serves to help students pay for that education and to ensure that BCCC can provide the best possible college experience.

BCCC offers two new healthcare programs

July 22, 2015 | 08:54 AM

Washington, N.C. – Beaufort County Community College's Healthcare Division will offer two new programs – Phlebotomy and Registered Medical Assistant – for Fall 2015. Both programs will prepare students for successful careers and address workforce needs within the healthcare field.

"We were getting a lot of calls from people looking for these programs," says Healthcare Programs Coordinator Sue Gurley. "We're excited about both of these new offerings."

Each program will have 10 spots available for classes starting this fall. The 120-hour Phlebotomy program will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from Aug. 18, 2015 to Jan. 14, 2016. The course will provide classroom and clinical training experiences necessary to prepare students to safely and properly collect and handle blood specimens for diagnostic testing.

"This is an excellent add-on credential for employability in the healthcare field," Gurley says.

The one-year, 720-hour Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) program will begin Aug. 10, 2015; classes will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

A comprehensive, two-part training program, it will prepare students for employment in settings such as clinics, home health agencies, physician's offices and healthcare insurance companies. Part 1 consists of classroom, computer-based and laboratory instructional time learning the basic clinical and administrative skills necessary to work as a Registered Medical Assistant in ambulatory patient care settings. Part 2 will entail clinical work with physicians and nurse practitioners.

A pre-requisite course, Exploring Healthcare Careers, is required before registration in the RMA program.

"We believe this is going to be the doctor's office employee of the future because they are multi-trained and multi-skilled," says Gurley. "They can work in the front, the back and the lab. We will see RMAs working in home health, doctor's offices and clinics."

Funding assistance for both of these programs may be available through NCWorks. Interested students must apply to the NCWorks office in their home county. Financial aid and scholarships may also be available. Both programs include clinical experience and thus require a background check.

For more information, contact Sue Gurley at 252-940-6263 or, or visit
BCCC Practical Nursing graduates pinned

BCCC Practical Nursing graduates pinned

July 20, 2015 | 02:16 PM

Twenty-two graduates of Beaufort County Community College's Practical Nursing program received their nursing school pins on Wednesday, July 15, in a pinning ceremony, which is a traditional rite of passage for nursing school graduates across the country.

The ceremony was held at First United Methodist Church before an audience of college administrators, faculty and staff, as well as family and friends of the graduates.

In her faculty address, Aino Jackson, Practical Nursing Lead Instructor, encouraged the class members to continue to learn, to accept feedback, to ask questions and to utilize the resources around them.

"You can make a positive difference in the healthcare field," she said.

In student comments, Charity Watson, class secretary, thanked the graduates' instructors, staff and family members for their support. She said she and the other students have become very close during the 11-month program.

"We have learned to depend on each other," she said. "We have learned that it's not just about the people you've known the longest, but those you meet who will go the distance with you."

Pinning ceremonies in their currently recognizable form began in 1893. The pin is awarded to the nurse to recognize the achievement of entering the profession and to signify a nursing school graduate's affiliation with a specific nursing school.

The graduates are now qualified to take the state licensure examination.

They are Vanessa Armstrong, Breona Sáde Batts, Gail Mundine Burton, Virjeania Clagon, Kristy Garrish Clayton, LaQuisha Trechelle Dills, Laura Ashley Dunbar, Alexandria Jennette Gibbs, Sayra Beth Hopkins, Alexis Rakia Knight, Belinda Matthews, Jessica Lynne Mooney, Tuwanda Outlaw, Demeka Vines Parker, Audrey Dawn Ramirez, Jillian Katin Rombold, Paige Leigh Wallace, Charity Davie Watson, David Whichard, Sarah Wilson, Whitney Brooke Woolard and Ashley Brooke Zurface.

The program's instructors presented three awards during the pinning ceremony. Sayra Hopkins received the Academic Performance Award; Belinda Matthews received the Clinical Performance Award; and Paige Leigh Wallace received the Leadership Award.

For more information about the Practical Nursing program at BCCC, contact Aino Jackson at 252-940-6395 or visit the BCCC website at

Keeping the college up-to-date

July 13, 2015 | 10:42 AM

Washington, NC – The faculty and staff of Beaufort County Community College work constantly to ensure that the college keeps up with the times. From updating equipment to fostering student success, these are just a few of the initiatives in the works at BCCC.

Keeping equipment and technology up to date on campus is an ongoing challenge, but an important one, as students need to be familiar with the equipment and tools that they'll be using once they enter the workforce. In recent months, BCCC has purchased law enforcement vehicles for the BLET program, while the Business and Industrial Technology Division has added new virtual welding machines and a precision robotic arm.

Through the Success NC program, the college is working with other community colleges to initiate statewide policies that foster student success and develop new performance-based student success measures. The goals are to increase the number of students leaving with a job-ready credential, provide increased student access to post-secondary education and training programs, and continually improve the rigor, relevance and quality of all academic and training programs.

In Continuing Education, class and program offerings are frequently revised and updated, and more and more new courses are being offered online. Many Small Business Center seminars can be viewed online through a live streaming service.

BCCC is also developing a completely new website and utilizing new software and technology applications to streamline coordination and processes across campus. The new web portal is being designed from the ground up using best practices and ensuring compliance with ADA regulations. SharePoint is being used to improve accessibility of documents, forms and content both on- and off-campus. Other software improvements include grant management and reporting, as well as research and reporting tools for monitoring the college's performance metrics.

New ideas and input are always needed, and the BCCC Foundation welcome new and current members to an orientation session on Aug. 5 to bring in fresh perspectives on scholarship fundraising and events. The college's Board of Trustees also had several new members appointed this summer. Interaction with the community is a two-way street, and the college brings in students and members of the community on a regular basis to discuss local topics and areas of concern with staff and faculty. Currently out for bid is a project to install an electronic sign that will help keep the public informed about campus news and events, as well as weather-related closings and hurricane evacuation routes.

Keeping BCCC up to date as a college is not a goal with an endpoint, it's an ongoing mission. The faculty and staff are continually working to improve the experience and outcomes for the benefit of its students.
BCCC alum heads local telecom

BCCC alum heads local telecom

July 06, 2015 | 11:24 AM

With an Associate's in Business Administration under his belt, Pantego native Greg Coltrain had enrolled at East Carolina University to purse a computer science degree when he was offered a job at TriCounty Telecom in Belhaven. Not quite 18 years later, he is now the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the company.

"I went to ECU for a semester," Coltrain says, "but I interviewed for the job – a couple of interviews, actually – and then they wanted me to start full-time. I knew that I wanted to stay local, so it was a good opportunity."

TriCounty Telecom has provided telecom services in Eastern North Carolina for 60 years, but with the rapid advance of technology, the mid- to late-1990s was a time of transition, as the company added television and Internet service to its offerings. Coltrain was hired as the Information Systems Coordinator, tasked with building a proper network for the company's own computer system.

"Then they found out I had some experience with customer service as well," Coltrain adds.

In 2001 he was promoted to Customer Service Supervisor, in 2005 to Customer Service Manager, and in 2006 to Operations Manager. In 2011 he became the CEO, and he also serves as Executive Director of the TriCounty Foundation, which manages an endowment that serves the community by funding scholarships and supporting local fire and rescue services and hospitals.

Coltrain says his experience at BCCC built the foundation he needed for his career.

"I liked the smaller class sizes, where you have more connection to your teachers," he says. "The atmosphere and environment was one where people were eager to help; I didn't feel like I would get lost."

His relationship with BCCC has continued since he received his degree. Coltrain currently serves on the BCCC Foundation Board, and TriCounty funds scholarships for the BCCC Foundation.

Other TriCounty employees have received training at BCCC as well; at one point half of the staff were Beaufort alumni. Continuing Education classes have also benefited Coltrain's customers, including training for mobile devices, online safety and security, and streaming video.

"Continuing Education is really important because things change so quickly in this business," he says.

Coltrain says he feels fortunate to have been able to find a job he enjoys in his home community. He and his wife, Tiffany, who attended BCCC's Cosmetology program, live in the Belhaven area with their children.

BCCC would like to recognize alumni who are making a positive contribution to their communities. To nominate a former BCCC graduate, contact Public Relations Coordinator Jules Norwood at

BCCC programs are aimed at community’s needs

July 06, 2015 | 11:08 AM

Beaufort County Community College's administrators and Board of Trustees put the needs of the community first and foremost when deciding what programs and classes the college will offer.

"We look at community need within our service area," says Dr. Crystal Ange, Vice President of Academics. "For example, about three years ago we had several members of the community – farmers and agricultural businesses – who asked whether we could offer an Agribusiness program. So we were tasked with conducting an employment study to see whether there would be jobs available for graduates of the program, surveying local high schools and businesses to gauge interest, and developing a plan. And we are now able to offer that program."

The employment study is a key aspect, as the North Carolina Community College System must approve new programs, and the college must be able to show that there is a need in the community to be served. There is also a fiscal component, as the equipment, supplies, instruction and facility requirements must be taken into account as well.

It usually take a year or more for a Curriculum program to be implemented. For Continuing Education programs, the considerations are similar, but the process occurs more quickly.

"We decide what programs to offer based on feedback from workforce development groups, economic development groups and community members," says Stacey Gerard, Vice President of Continuing Education. "We might have an employer who needs an OSHA certification class. Or it might be a resident asking about a dog obedience class. We'll find an instructor, put it on our schedule, advertise it, and if there are enough registrations, we'll hold the class."

Whether it's a Curriculum program, Continuing Education or Occupational Extension, if there aren't enough students, graduates or job placements to justify the cost of instruction, equipment and supplies, the college may also have to consider dropping a program, either permanently or temporarily.

Ultimately, the decision about what programs BCCC should offer comes down to the region's needs and whether there is sufficient demand within the labor market for students to find jobs after completing the program.

Registration under way for BLET classes at BCCC

June 23, 2015 | 02:17 PM

Thinking of a career in law enforcement?

Registration is now available for Beaufort County Community College's Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Night Academy for the Fall 2015 Semester.

The deadline to submit all required paperwork in the 16-week academy is Monday, Aug. 3. Pre-Orientation will be held at 6 p.m. on Aug. 3 in Building 10, Room 32, and class will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 18, in the same location.

Students will attend class 6 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday on the BCCC campus as well as some weekends, according to BLET Director Larry Barnes.

BCCC offers the BLET program accredited by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriffs' Commission. It is designed to give students the skills needed for entry-level employment as law enforcement officers with state, county or municipal law enforcement or private enterprise. Successful completion of a BLET academy also fulfills 18 hours or one semester of the requirements for an associate's degree in criminal justice.

The BLET course consists of 36 different subject areas including criminal, juvenile, civil, traffic and alcohol beverage laws; investigative, patrol, custody and court procedures; emergency responses; ethics; and community relations.

Anyone seeking to become a sworn officer with a law enforcement agency in North Carolina must take the course in its entirety and pass the state exam.

Instructors for the course will be from a wide range of agencies and specialty areas.

To be considered for the class, applicants should schedule an interview with Larry Barnes, program director, complete an application packet and must undergo a certified criminal history record check prior to registering for classes. Applicants are required to undergo a medical examination, to provide proof of U.S. citizenship and must have graduated from high school or have earned a General Educational Development, or GED, among other requirements.

Tuition and fees for the BLET academy are $1,184 for in-state students and $4,256 for out-of-state students. The cost of requisite textbooks and uniform are additional. Tuition charges may be waived for those who obtain a sponsorship from a local law enforcement agency, and financial aid is available for those who qualify, according to Barnes.

For more information about the BLET day classes, contact Barnes or Pauline Godley, administrative assistant for BCCC's Law Enforcement Programs by visiting Building 2 on the community college campus. Interested persons can also call Godley at 252-940-6232 or by email at for an application packet. Those interested can also obtain information about the college's BLET program by visiting BCCC's Website at

BCCC Nursing alumnus recognized by hospital

June 18, 2015 | 09:12 AM

Washington, NC – For the third year running, a Beaufort County Community College alumnus has been recognized by Vidant Beaufort Hospital for nursing excellence throughout the year.

Melissa Swain, who earned her Associate Degree Nursing at BCCC in 2003, has worked at Vidant Beaufort Hospital ever since, and is the 2015 recipient of the Juanita Jackson Award for Nursing Excellence. The award is presented by the hospital's nursing management team each May as part of National Nurses Week. The two previous winners, Debbie Deal and Donna Deans, are also alumni of the college.

"In the past 11-plus years, Melissa has continuously proven herself to be one of the most dependable, energetic, compassionate nurses that Vidant Beaufort has ever employed," reads Swain's nomination for the award. She was also recognized for her friendliness, compassion and work ethic.

Swain says she and her husband, who grew up in Belhaven, lived all over the place before returning to Beaufort County. They now live in Bath.

"I like the small community, and recognizing people around town," she says. "It's an amazing outpouring when you have something going on."

While completing a degree in massage therapy through Lenoir Community College, Swain had an opportunity to spend time in BCCC's Allied Health Building, working on members of the faculty and staff. There had been some doctors and nurses in her family, so the medical field had always been in the back of her mind, she adds. That's when she decided to go for the nursing degree.

"I like being with people, and trying to help with their healing," she says. "I try to do some holistic things – the more good things you can do with people, the more they start to take care of themselves as well."

Swain, like Deal and Deans, says BCCC prepared her well for the challenges of a career in nursing. Working on the surgical floor, known as 2 East, she says she runs into others who attended BCCC or who are working to complete their clinicals.

"It's been a good floor," she says. "It ended up being just the right thing for me."

Her coworkers and management team feel the same way about her, which is clear from her nomination letter: "Not only does she exhibit a positive and engaged attitude, but she expects the same from her fellow staff. She has always been a team player for not only 2 East, but for all of Vidant Beaufort."
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