BCCC graduation record admirable

Published 6:56 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This week marks an annual rite of passage for a new crop of Beaufort County students celebrating perhaps the most significant achievement of their young lives — high school graduation.

There is certainly much more accomplishment to come. Some will go straight into the workforce. Others will pursue higher education at four-year institutions.

Many will become part of record-breaking classes at Beaufort County Community College.

Community colleges have long played an integral role in their communities, offering affordable, quality education and training.

Here, Beaufort County Community College is enhancing that mission, growing its footprint with a couple of key recent milestones.

The pioneer class of Beaufort County Early College High School was awarded diplomas May 23, capping a five-year commitment allowing students to leave high school with an associate degree, employment certifications and college credits.

The program, a partnership with Beaufort County Schools, is housed at the BCCC campus.

The inaugural commencement ceremony featured 32 local students.

The class was part of the largest ever to graduate from BCCC. A record 272 graduates were awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates this spring. Some 1,200 people witnessed the ceremony held at the Washington High School auditorium.

The influence of BCCC in our community is evident in a diverse range of graduates, from BCECHS students to those returning to school after many years.

BCCC’s graduation marked the release of a significant number of people now equipped with the knowledge and skills to play important roles in our community, such as the 39 graduates of the school’s associate-degree nursing program.

With a hard working faculty and staff and strong leadership from President Barbara Tansey and Board of Trustees Chairman Russell Smith, the future of Beaufort County Community College looks as bright as those in its largest graduating class.