2021 PCC Year-in-Review: Part III (Sept. – Dec.)
WINTERVILLE—After resuming full campus operations at the start of fall semester, Pitt Community College closed out 2021 on a high note with a major career fair, technological improvements, and the school’s first-ever fall commencement.
In many ways, the final four months of PCC’s 60th Anniversary year represented a return to normalcy for employees and students, after an extended period of pandemic-induced isolation. The return of in-person activities, albeit with safety protocols in place, often appeared to infuse energy and excitement into PCC operations, as evidenced by Down East Holiday Show attendance and the many smiling faces at December’s graduation.
As 2022 approaches, the following is the last of three installments recapping the past 12 months at PCC.
- Prospective students can tour PCC’s campus without leaving the comforts of home, thanks to 360-degree video captured through GEAR UP NC, a federally-funded initiative to increase the number of students entering and succeeding in post-secondary education.
- The Truist Foundation presents a $50,000-grant to Pitt’s VISIONS program as part of its commitment to helping communities it serves enjoy a better quality of life.
- PCC and the Association of Mexicans in North Carolina organize “Latino Day” to introduce the local Hispanic/Latino community to Pitt’s educational programming and services.
- PCC’s new Bulldog Promise Scholarship program is off to a good start with 50 members of Pitt County’s 2021 graduating class enrolled in courses. The program gives recent Career & College Promise students a chance to earn a two-year degree, tuition-free.
- The Hunt Institute announces PCC President Lawrence Rouse has been selected to serve on its second ElevateNC: Higher Education program cohort.
- Utilizing federal CARES Act funding, PCC adds Cisco Webex technology to classrooms and conference rooms. The equipment creates a synchronous learning environment for students to continue their studies should they be quarantined due to COVID-19.
- The N.C. Community College System recognizes the outstanding performance of PCC Basic Skills students after their collective Measurable Skill Gain rate exceeds state and national standards during the 2020-21 academic year.
- PCC’s Tutorial and Academic Success Center celebrates “National Tutoring Week” to recognize the positive impact its tutors have on student retention and program completion.
- The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity awards the N.C. Partnership for Cybersecurity Excellence, which includes PCC, a $2 million-grant to help establish a skilled cybersecurity workforce that protects the state’s financial and intellectual property assets.
- PCC hosts a “Drive-In to Your Future” event to help high school seniors and current college students complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms.
- Jeanette Darden, an English teacher with the Pitt County Schools Early College High School on PCC’s campus, publishes her first book, “Heart Strings: Verses from a Woman’s Heart.”
- PCC’s Health Sciences Divisions modifies its admissions process in an effort to fill health care program seats with students prepared for success.
- The “Better Skills, Better Jobs” job fair draws more than 600 adult jobseekers and Pitt County high school students to the Greenville Convention Center. The fair, which stems from a collaboration between PCC, the John M. Belk Endowment, Greenville ENC Alliance and Pitt County Economic Development, features nearly 100 area employers and community partners discussing career options and resources available to prepare for them.
- Pitt’s Construction and Industrial Technology Division sells a pair of student-built homes by auction. Proceeds will fund future homebuilding projects at the college.
- Pitt’s Financial Aid Office resumes its “FAFSA Mondays” series to assist students with filing federal student aid applications for the upcoming academic year.
- Construction begins at the site of the future Eddie & Jo Allison Smith Center for Student Advancement on PCC’s campus.
- PCC Foundation officials thank the community for its “outstanding support” of the 2021 Down East Holiday Show. More than 10,000 shoppers attended the four-day event, including a record 1,566 shoppers who came out for the adult-only shopping opener.
- PCC honors military veterans with its annual Veterans Salute outside of the Vernon White Building.
- Pitt’s commitment to equity leads to a new, on-campus center dedicated to serving adult learners.
- Associate in Fine Arts Instructor Matt Amante takes top honors in a national outdoor sculpture competition.
- As a 2021 Fulbright-Hayes Seminar Award recipient, Arts & Sciences Dean Stephanie Rook studies Mexico’s African heritage.
- PCC’s Jasmin Spain and Trish Gaither complete the N.C. Community College System’s inaugural Equity Coach Academy. The training is part of the system’s effort to foster educational equity on its 58-member campuses.
- Southern Bank presents a $25,000-check to the PCC Foundation as part of an overall $100,000-pledge it made to the successful VISIONS Matching Campaign.
- The Longleaf Commitment Grant program is expanded to give 2020 North Carolina high school graduates a chance to attend PCC, tuition-free. Beginning with the 2022 Spring Semester, full-time students who meet program guidelines could receive as much as $2,800 a year for two years.
- On #GivingTuesday, the PCC Foundation encourages supporters to purchase customizable bricks to honor loved ones. Bricks purchased through the fundraiser will be placed into a patio surrounding the base of Pitt’s Ed and Joan Warren Clock Tower.
- PCC’s Curshenia Wilson helps organize a fun holiday activity for senior citizens at the Pitt County Council on Aging.
- Rather than spending money on an interoffice gift exchange to celebrate the holidays, faculty and staff from PCC’s Developmental Education and Academic Support Department donate $145 and two large boxes of food to the campus food pantry.
- Electrical Systems student Alex Harrell competes in the 2021 IDEAL National Championship Finals. Harrell earns the right to participate by posting North Carolina’s top score in a qualifying event.
- PCC holds its very first fall commencement ceremony, with retired administrator Susan Nobles serving as graduation speaker. Of the 248 fall graduates, 127 participate in the event, which takes place at the Greenville Convention Center.