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SPAN Helping New PCC Students Get Ahead

PCC President G. Dennis Massey welcomes SPAN students to campus on Wednesday afternoon. "I look forward to seeing you walk across that stage to receive your degree, diploma or certificate," Massey told the students, who are spending a good bit of their summer preparing for the start of their first semester of college in August.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College launched its annual Summer Program for Academic Navigation (SPAN) this week to help recent high school and GED graduates successfully transition into higher education this fall.

Started in 2010, SPAN’s objective is to help students save time and money on higher education by familiarizing them with the college environment and helping them reduce or eliminate developmental coursework at the start of their post-secondary careers.

“SPAN is a specially-designed program at PCC to help our new students get ready for college,” said Jasmin Spain, PCC College VISIONS Program Coordinator. “It’s part of a national campaign to create opportunities that foster success for incoming college students.”

Over the course of six weeks, Spain says SPAN participants receive English, math and computer instruction and take part in workshops that cover topics ranging from financial literacy and goal-setting to time and stress management. Classes, he said, run Monday through Friday each week until Aug. 2.

In order to evaluate growth and program success, Spain said students are required to take PCC placement tests in computers, math, reading and writing before SPAN coursework begins. He said the students retake the tests at the program’s conclusion.

“Students who combine a positive attitude with the will to succeed get the most out of SPAN,” Spain said. “We tell them up front that the program requires a good deal of sacrifice and hard work. Those who have accepted that they must forgo a summer of recreation for a summer of advancement have experienced tremendous success, and there are many students have done just that.”

Spain says SPAN’s benefits to students are many. He said their tuition, books and resource materials are provided to them at no cost and they receive three college credits for completing a basic study skills course through the program.

“It’s a winning situation for everyone involved,” Spain says. “Students save time and money on higher education, and PCC is more effective at helping students complete their educational goals.”

Spain said staff from the college’s Foundational Studies Department work in partnership with Student Development Services and Institutional Advancement personnel to make SPAN successful.