The North Carolina Community College System has 58 unique colleges. While programs like advanced manufacturing and nursing are needed around the state, distinct programs like ship building at Cape Fear or viticulture at Surry fit the needs of their local communities. This adaptability to community needs helps each college create its own culture and produce students prepared for local economies.
We look forward to sharing these unique stories throughout this week as we visit all 58 community colleges and as we continue our coverage of these colleges in the future.
To kick off our blitz week, here is one statistic for every college in the system.
1. 5 on the rise
Alamance Community College led the system in enrollment growth for the 2015-2016 school year and was one of only five colleges to not see decline that year.
2. 5 women, 3rd place
In 2015, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College sent an all-women culinary team to Orlando for the American Culinary Federation’s National Competition. The five women finished third place.
3. 66.1% retention
From 2013 to 2016, Beaufort Community College increased their yearly student retention rate by five percentage points to 66.1 percent.
4. 1st distance certification
Bladen Community College is the first college in the system with a certification for their distance learning program.
5. $2 million campaign
Blue Ridge Community College is in the midst of a campaign to raise $2 million by July 2019. A quarter of the campaign will go to local high school graduates through scholarships.
6. 58 but not least
In 1979, Brunswick Community College opened as the 58th and final college in the system.
7. 3 presidents in 51 years
From its founding in 1964 up to 2016, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute only had three presidents serving for 21, 10, and 21 years. The current president, Dr. Mark Poarch, spent 10 years at Caldwell as a vice president prior to taking over in 2016.
8. 4 of 6 champions
Cape Fear Community College has six sports teams, including men’s and women’s basketball and soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s golf. Four of the six teams won the NJCAA Region X championship.
9. 95% transfer success
Carteret Community College had 39 of 41 college transfers from 2014-2015 hold a GPA over 2.25. That 95 percent mark is the highest in the system.
10. 22 gold medals
Catawba Valley set a community college system record with 22 gold medals in the North Carolina SkillsUSA. Over 80 percent of their participants finished in the top five. The previous record was 21 set by Catawba Valley.
11. 5th in the battalion
Central Carolina Community College became the fifth school in the ROTC Campbell Battalion this year joining Campbell, Fayetteville State, UNC Pembroke, and Methodist. They are the first community college in the battalion.
12. 12 weeks of Tesla
Central Piedmont Community College is the first college in the state with a Tesla START program to train students as Tesla technicians. The first 12 week program started in January 2018 with 13 students.
13. $50,000 to the rescue
Cleveland Community College received $50,000 in 2016 from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission in support of agricultural machinery rescue training. According to Cleveland Community College, “the project will feature mobile training equipment and materials that can be taken into tobacco-dependent, agricultural-dependent, and distressed communities. There they will train farmers, their families, farm workers, and emergency personnel on ways to respond to farm accidents.”
14. 65% transfer enrollments
65 percent of Coastal Carolina Community College students are college transfer enrollments. 86.5 percent of those students met the system transfer goals, which is above average for the system.
15. Serving 7
College of the Albemarle has a service area of seven counties including Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Pasquotank, and Perquimans Counties. No other college covers more than four.
16. 10.2% military
The student population of Craven Community College is 10.2 percent active military or dependents.
17. 105.5 points per game
The Davidson County Storm basketball team averaged 105.5 points per game this season, the most of any team in D-III NCJAA.
18. 28 years of service
Phail Wynn, who served as President of Durham Community College from 1980 to 2008, was the first African-American president in the system and at 33 years of age was also the youngest. He was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2000 for his work in the state. He passed away this July.
19. 87,468 feet
An Edgecombe Community College team of thirteen students and instructors competed in a statewide unmanned high altitude balloon challenge received three out of the five top awards. The balloon climbed to 87,468 feet.
20. 5 years of cyber defense
Fayetteville Technical Community College has been designated by both the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education for the next 5 years.
21. 400 line workers
Since 2010, Forsyth Tech Community College has trained almost 400 electrical line workers in their nine week program. The program is limited to 24 students and is held five times throughout the year. Class sizes are kept small for safety reasons.
22. 18 to 36 months
In 2015, Gaston College launched Apprenticeship 321. The program was the first state-recognized apprenticeship program in the system. Applicants split time between shift work and classes at the college for 18 to 36 months.
23. 100% placement
A training program designed by local furniture manufacturers at Guilford Technical achieved 100 percent job placement for eligible students. Many students return to those local manufacturers for job placement.
24. 33 years
Halifax Community College president Michael A. Elam has over 33 years of experience in higher education. He has worked at 5 universities, 5 community colleges, and 1 community college system.
25. 88% basic skills progression
Haywood Community College had 88 percent progression in basic skills last school year. That’s the highest in the system and 28 percent higher than the system average.
26. $400 million of economic impact
In July, Isothermal Community College opened a Agribusiness Clinical site with a 3,500 square foot barn, greenhouse, and pasture. The school is growing quickly in equine in support of the World Equestrian games which is expected to have an economic impact of $400 million and bring 500,000 people to the area in September.
27. Founded in 1784
James Sprunt Community College opened in 1784 as a boys academy and later became a female seminary before becoming a community college.
28. $22 million in projects
Johnston County has planned $22 million in capital projects for Johnston Community College in the last five years.
29. 100 students for free
This year, Lenoir Community College offered free tuition to 100 students for 60 hours of courses. Eligibility is based on student GPAs and previous Career and College Promise courses.
30. 2 decades
Amanda Vick was out of school for two decades before coming back to Martin Community College and later becoming student body president.
31. 91% aid
91 percent of first-time undergraduate students receive financial aid at Mayland Community College.
32. $1,776 per semester
McDowell Technical Community College is the most affordable community college in the system, costing $1,776 per semester according to US News.
33. 75 miles from earth
Mitchell Community College was the first and only community college in NASA’s RockSat-C program. The teams in the program each design their own payloads, functioning information-gathering devices, that travel together on one rocket into space 75 miles from the Earth.
34. 3 custom rifles
Montgomery Community College has a unique gunsmithing program available to students. Students learn 24 custom gunsmithing tools and keep three custom rifles that they build throughout the coursework.
35. 99 offerings
Nash Community College offers 99 academic programs that center mainly on gaining a degree, diploma, certificate, or transfer requirements.
36. 278 FTE
Pamilico Community College is the smallest in the system by full-time equivalency. The FTE is 278 for the fall 2017 semester.
37. 24 years young
71 percent of students at Piedmont Community College are 24 years of age or under. 69 percent are part-time and 98 percent are in-state students.
38. Below 70 square feet
Pitt Community College has the lowest square footage per student of any college in the system. It is one of only seven that fall below the suggested square footage per student (70ft) recommended by the US Office of Education.
39. $14.5 million dollar building
Last week, Randolph Community College broke ground on the Allied Health Center. The 45,000 square foot facility will cost $14.5 million dollars. The center will house classrooms and labs for the medical field.
40. $250 video game
This summer, Richmond Community College held a Rocket League gaming tournament. The winning team received $250. The tournament raised money for STEM camps.
41. Prison in 1967
In 1967, Roanoke-Chowan Community College first opened its doors in an abandoned prison in Ahoskie, North Carolina. The school now has seven buildings on 41 acres of land.
42. 30 times growth
Robeson Community College first began teaching in 1965 with six full time employees. The school now has 189 full time employees. That’s 30 times what it started at.
43. 266 acres of land
Rockingham Community College sits on 266 acres of land with three miles of walking trails. This makes it one of the largest campuses in the system.
44. 170 hours of dental care
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College provided clinical experience to students and dental care to 3,000 people in need, with students and faculty giving nearly 170 hours of community service.
45. 100% passing rate
100 percent of Sampson Community College practical nursing students have passed certification for four straight years, one of only eight colleges to do so.
46. 16 massage therapists
Sandhills Community College certified 16 massage and body work students last year. That is more than any other college and twice as many as all except Coastal Carolina Community College with 13.
47. 92% success
92 percent of 2012 South Piedmont Community College degree, diploma, and certificate graduates were either employed or enrolled in higher education one year after graduation.
48. 3,000 online
Southeastern Community College offers 85 online courses with over 3,000 students currently enrolled.
49. 2nd to accreditation
In 2011, Southwestern Community College’s Emergency Medical Science (EMS) became just the second accredited program in the system. The passing rate for Basic EMT certification is 17 percent higher than the system average.
50. $2.70 to the dollar
A 2014 report showed students at Stanly Community College will receive $2.70 in benefit from every $1 they spend at the college.
51. Top 12 wines
Surry Cellars, the winery of the Surry Community College, had two wines make the top 12 in this years NC Fine Wines Competition. 115 wines were entered in this years competition. Their wins included best sparkling and best dessert wines.
52. 14% higher
Tri-County Community College has the highest first year progression percentage of any college in the system at 84.8 percent of students. That is 14 percent higher than the system average.
53. 106th class of officers
In May, Vance-Granville Community College graduated their 106th basic law enforcement training class. The class graduated 15 students, 13 of which were already in law enforcement careers.
54. Nearly 1/10th of the system
Wake Technical Community College is the largest in the system by full-time equivalency. It makes up 9.4 percent of the total FTEs of the system.
55. $203,000 event
The Wayne Community College Foundation Scholarship Invitational raised $203,000 for student scholarships that will be used entirely this school year. The foundation hosts live and silent auctions and a golf tournament to raise funds.
56. 300+ acres
At 300+ acres, Western Piedmont Community College has the largest campus of any college in the system. The campus includes trails, a pond, tennis courts, and open areas for students to enjoy.
57. Top 3 skills
Wilkes ranks top three in the system for basic skills progression of students at 82.9 percent. The system average is 58.4 percent.
58. 58 high schoolers
58 students graduated from the Wilson Early College this past year.