PAMLICO LIFE: BCCC enrollment on the risePublished 9:27pm Sunday, August 18, 2013
Beaufort County Community College opened its doors to a record number of students Thursday.
Vice President of Research Jay Sullivan reported the latest registration figures had topped the 2012 fall record of 1,934 students. At last count, fall 2013 enrollment was at 1,967.
Debra Baker, lead instructor of medical office administration curriculum, said the first day was a very busy one, but she didn’t mind.
“Today has been really great. I love being able to see them again, just the nice, fresh beginning again,” she said.
Dawn Fletcher started her second year this at BCCC.
“Today has been fine – even in the rain,” she said.
Instructor Cynthia King is always excited to return to school. She spent the first day covering for a colleague’s business insurance class. The business administration course was relatively full on its first morning.
It was the same story across the campus as instructor Matthew Lincoln worked with new and returning students.
“Today is kind of an icebreaking day. We have a lot of new students,” he said.
Lincoln likes to take the first day to encourage his students to take advantage of the full campus. He reminded them of the Learning Resource Center, where students had access to help in any of their classes. Lincoln also shared arrangements he had made to give some of his returning students a physics tutor who would hold study groups in their department.
“Don’t fret,” Lincoln told a returning student. “Trust me just a little bit. These are hills you can overcome.”
Tammie Lawrence and Juanita White had to regroup (and fret a bit) in the library. Lawrence said the semester had gotten off to a good start, but one class syllabus had her nervous.
“Next time you see me, I’ll probably have bags under my eyes and be pulling my hair out,” she laughed.
The new class of nursing students could probably relate to Lawrence’s rising nerves. They spent hours in their introduction to the program, with a syllabus about three inches thick before them. In a matter of days, they would begin clinical labs.
About 350 students applied to the nursing program. The staff whittled the number down to 120 and then narrowed the field to 80 by looking at transcripts and pre-requisites.
Cara Jones was on the waiting list, but got the news that she was back in the program she had left two years ago because of family obligations.
“I’m like so excited,” she said. “I think the teaching with sym labs and concept-based learning is cutting edge. It’s one of the better schools in North Carolina and the graduating rate is really good.”
Wesley Adams handled the crowds at the bookstore with ease. As director of campus operations, the first day of school marked the end of a hectic summer of preparations. The grounds were spruced up, classes were prepared for new courses and he signed a contract for a new café operator. Ann Hill, formerly of the Cypress Landing Grill, will soon reopen the campus café.
Rick Anderson, vice president of student services, enjoyed his morning surrounded by familiar faces. The former Southside High School principal spotted at least five congregating around a Coke wagon where the Student Government Association welcomed students back with drinks and snacks.
“It’s just like a reunion,” Anderson said. “I’m seeing my kids from Northside, Southside and Washington High School. I’ve got them scattered all over. It’s bee fun.”