Students start back at BCCC, on the way to ECU

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

This fall, as students step back onto the campus of Beaufort County Community College, it could be a first step to East Carolina University. A new co-admission program means that students who graduate from BCCC with an associate’s degree are guaranteed admission at ECU. Pirate Promise will save money for students and ease their transition to a four-year degree, while opening up some services previously reserved for ECU students.

BCCC has for years entered into agreements with other colleges, including ECU to ease transitions between institutions. The college regularly sees its students head to ECU after graduation. The difference will be the ease with which they can do so. They will apply to BCCC and ECU simultaneously while committing to maintain full-time status. When they receive their associate degree, they will seamlessly transition into degree-completion programs at ECU.

Other benefits to students include access to ECU libraries and programming through the ECU Office of Student Activities, ECU One Card eligibility, joint financial aid counseling and micro-scholarship opportunities, joint academic advising, and a waiver of the $75 ECU transfer application fee.

Students who earn an associate’s degree can expect to earn 14 percent more than their peers with only a high school diploma, according to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The big jump though, comes when students go on to earn a bachelor’s degree. These graduates can expect to earn 44 percent more than their peers with an associate’s degree and 63 percent more than their peers with only a high school diploma.

A person with an associate’s degree can expect a starting salary around $23,140, while a bachelor’s degree holder can expect a starting salary of $30,836. A person with only a high school diploma can expect to make $10.15 an hour and have access to significantly less employment opportunities. These are national statistics.

“Many of our students have their sights set on a bachelor’s,” said Dr. Crystal Ange, vice president of academic affairs at BCCC. “They want to have access to engineering, chemistry, biology, design and psychology careers here in Beaufort, Washington, Hyde and Tyrrell Counties. With co-admission, we can start students on their coursework, send them to ECU to finish, and get them back into these communities to help innovate and shape our collective future.”

Current and future students can talk to their BCCC advisor or admissions staff about the program. The program is open to high school students participating in Career and College Promise. Student who participate in Pirate Promise are guaranteed admission to ECU if they graduate with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Sciences with a minimum grade point average of 2.5.