WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College President Lawrence Rouse announced April 1 that the college is participating in a national campaign this month intended to improve awareness of the benefits of attending community colleges.
Organized by the Association of Community College Trustees, #CCMonth is a coordinated effort to highlight the economic, academic and equity advantages of community college attendance while dispelling longtime stigmas wrongly associated with public two-year colleges.
“Since our start in 1961, Pitt Community College has been working to meet the training needs of Pitt County and the surrounding region,” Rouse said. “For much of that time, people referred to PCC as ‘Pitt County’s best-kept secret.’ While they meant it as a compliment, it’s important to us that our services and educational opportunities are well known throughout eastern North Carolina and beyond.”
In addition to general, arts and sciences, career and technical, developmental and continuing education programming, Rouse said PCC has emerged as a leader in health science instruction. It is also known, he said, for its outstanding business, industrial, construction, public safety and college transfer curricula.
“When state and local leaders pushed forward development of an industrial education center in Pitt County 60 years ago, they envisioned an institution of higher learning dedicated to preparing a skilled workforce that would strengthen the local economy and improve the community’s quality of life,” Rouse said. “In short, they were hoping for precisely what PCC is today.”
Public community colleges are a uniquely American educational model designed to give people access to affordable, high-quality higher education. Without them, many Americans would have no access to higher education.
But for all the good they do, many people wrongly believe community colleges are inferior institutions, and in most states, they receive significantly less per-student funding than universities. It’s a combination that results in ongoing socioeconomic and demographic disadvantages and inequities.
“In addition to offering quality educational programming and services, PCC is dedicated to educational equity, as evidenced by our partnership with the Achieving the Dream Network,” Rouse said. “It’s a commitment pledged by State Sen. Robert Lee Humber, one of our founding fathers, who said PCC would offer ‘everyone, excluding no one’ a chance to earn a college education and enrich the life of the community.”