Newest VISIONS Students Participate in Summer Institute


WINTERVILLE—More than 80 rising seniors from six Pitt County public high schools spent the past week preparing for the future by participating in Pitt Community College’s annual VISIONS Summer Institute.

Each June, the institute introduces new VISIONS participants to college life and program expectations through a variety of tours, seminars and hands-on activities. PCC Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement Marianne Cox says it’s a recipe that has proven successful over the years in helping students assess their personal strengths and gain insight they can use to choose a college major that leads to their career goal.

“Our mission is to provide select Pitt County students with the direction and support they need to earn high school diplomas and move on to higher education or join the workforce,” Cox said. “The Summer Institute is an opportunity for us to introduce VISIONS newcomers to the program and help them become more aware of educational and career opportunities available to them locally.”

In addition to visiting curricula and interacting with PCC instructors, the students received sage advice from a panel of successful former and current VISIONS participants. They also toured Greenville’s Grady-White Boats facility, where they received tips for professional and life success from the company’s president, Kris Carroll.

On the institute’s final day, students divided into groups based on their career interests. Those pursuing technical fields visited Winterville Machine Works, while future health sciences students learned about genetics and microbiology. Students focused on public service and business careers heard from a panel of community leaders.

PCC VISIONS College Coordinator Rebecca Warren said the final day was dedicated to giving students additional time to learn about the career fields that interested them the most.

“We wanted students to have as many experiences as possible with the programs they’re considering,” Warren said. “Students wanting health careers, for example, gained valuable insight on the challenging coursework and competitive admissions process associated with health sciences curricula. The group that interacted with our business/public service panelists heard them emphasize the importance of making connections and knowing the community’s needs, and our technical students saw a number of career options firsthand.”

Started 15 years ago to help reduce Pitt County’s high school drop-out rate and increase the number of students attending college, VISIONS is the product of a partnership between the PCC Foundation, Pitt County Schools and the Eddie & Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation.

Students accepted into the program receive a combination of mentoring and academic and career counseling during their final year of high school. Once they graduate, those who enroll at PCC receive scholarships.

To date, VISIONS has served nearly 900 Pitt County students, 97 percent of whom completed high school on time.