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Employees Prepare for New Academic Year

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College employees met for convocation last week to reflect on the previous 12 months, introduce new workers, catch up on the latest news and events, and prepare for the academic year ahead.

Held in the Charles Coburn Center, the annual meeting featured remarks from several college administrators along with Student Government Association President Kyle Murphy, who was elected in May and will serve as an ex-officio member of the PCC Board of Trustees this year.

President G. Dennis Massey, who is entering his tenth year with Pitt, welcomed employees to convocation and called the event a chance “to celebrate who we are as a college and what we have accomplished.”

Massey began his “State of the College” remarks by thanking employees for their efforts to support students and improve college services, and he reminded them that PCC is playing an integral role in helping Eastern North Carolina recover economically.

“… I thank you for your efforts to educate and empower people to positively prepare themselves for a future that will be different from what we have seen in the past,” he said. “There are no certainties, but we offer hope and opportunity to those who persist and earn certificates and degrees and go on to jobs and productive roles in our communities.”

Massey also touched on the college’s efforts to earn reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). He said Pitt is nearing completion of the accreditation process and has already submitted a comprehensive self-study to SACSCOC along with a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that focuses on improving the college’s career planning and academic advising services.

“As our curriculum and our world become more complex, considering an academic major and planning and tracking progress is not easy for any student, let alone the many first-generation college students we serve,” Massey said. “This (QEP) will touch the lives of everyone here, as it will have impacts beyond the specific interventions listed.”

A SACSCOC team will visit the Pitt campus in September to evaluate the college’s QEP and offer suggestions for improvement, Massey said, adding that PCC would receive an initial response concerning its reaccreditation bid in December.

Convocation was also an opportunity for the PCC president to praise the college’s continuing education division for its efforts to train the region’s workforce and promote economic development.

“We know that much of what this division does is out of sight, but I want you all to know that during 2011, they recorded a two percent increase in FTE [which determines state funding for the college] and a 6.4 percent increase in headcount while our [curriculum] credit enrollments leveled off,” Massey said.

Following convocation, employees participated in workshops pertaining to distance learning, academic advising for university transfer and general education students, financial aid essentials, and changes to the college’s ACA 111 (“College Student Success”) course.