WASHINGTON, N.C. With no interstate highways running through it, no orange glow at night of a major city, it is easy to think of Beaufort County as being tucked away. The service area of Beaufort County Community College is even more rural and remote, spanning 2,008 square miles, the largest of any community college in the North Carolina. This service area includes two of the least-populated counties in the state (Hyde and Tyrrell) and consists of a network of expansive farms, swamps and rivers interspersed with small communities. BCCC is anything but provincial though, as online classes have allowed the college to draw students from all over North Carolina, and across the country.
In 2017, BCCC received applications from students in 11 states outside of North Carolina. These states included Mid-Atlantic states such as Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. The college drew students from as far south as Florida, as far north as Michigan, and as far west as Washington and California.
These students sought out BCCC for a variety of degrees, with the Associate in General Education-Pre-Associate Degree Nursing being the most popular. Students also enrolled in early childhood education, human services technology, medical office administration and electrical engineering technology, among other programs.
In fact, since 2010, over 200 students from 35 other states have enrolled in a Curriculum program. During the past 12 years, the college has attracted students from 91 of North Carolina's 100 counties.
On the Continuing Education side, "The Whole Hog", a class teaching the craft of putting on a pig pickin', has attracted a participant from Alaska. The Pinetown Volunteer Fire Department is leading this class on February 15.
A class on big rig extrication, taught by renowned instructor Billy Leach, has attracted three students from different cities in Canada. The class takes place in March this spring through BCCC's Fire Training program.
While the advent of online classes has allowed students from far-flung locations to enroll, BCCC remains dedicated to providing students in its service area with quality education that is accessible. Nearly 75 percent of BCCC students come from its four-county service area.
As students participate in discussions on Blackboard, a student born and raised in Beaufort County may be replying to comments typed time zones away. No matter where they originate, both students have decided they belong at BCCC.
- Contact: Attila Nemecz