Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ugandan student learns skills to make a difference at home

Seven thousand miles is a long way from home. That’s how far Beaufort County Community College student Emily Rukundo has traveled to study so that she can return to Uganda and do something positive for her own community.
“I want to go back home and do something for the kids there,” she says. “There are so many people who have so little.”
Rukundo is working toward an Associate in Applied Science in Human Services Technology, and is on track to graduate in May 2016. The program prepares students for work in a variety of institutions providing social, community and educational services.
“It’s really a diverse field,” says Human Services Technology Lead Instructor Ann Barnes. “Anywhere in life, from childhood through old age, there may be a human services program that’s tailored to provide you with guidance or assistance in some way, and all of those organizations need knowledgeable and well-trained employees.”
The coursework covers a range of topics from counseling and case management to psychology. There is an emphasis on relevant knowledge and skills, often honed during fieldwork as part of BCCC’s Work-Based Learning program.
“I love working with people,” says Rukundo. “I looked at the programs and felt that Human Services Technology would be the best fit for me.”
She came to the U.S. in April 2014 after meeting a local sponsor who had traveled to her country. This semester, she is working with the local Boys & Girls Club, tutoring students, encouraging physical activity and good nutrition habits, and helping with their studies.
“The work-study program gives our students an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom,” says Barnes. “It’s a great benefit for the organization as well, since they get needed help, and in some cases it’s such a good fit that the student might get hired after graduation.”
Rukundo says the distance from home and the cultural differences have been challenging at times, but she is enjoying her time in the U.S. and her studies.
“There is a seven-hour time difference from my family and friends,” she says, “so that has been a bit hard. But it has been great to gain this exposure and experience.”
When she returns home, she hopes to use what she has learned to help provide education and teach job skills to disadvantaged children. She says helping kids attend school and learn marketable skills can make a positive difference in their lives.
For more information about BCCC’s Human Services Technology program, contact Barnes at 252-940-6361 or Ann.Barnes@BeaufortCCC.edu. For more information about the Work-Based Learning program, contact Coordinator Gregg Allinson at 252-940-6428 or Gregg.Allinson@BeaufortCCC.edu.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

LEC is one-stop shop for academic assistance

Whether it’s a matter of studying for a particular class or test, or getting help with technology like email or Blackboard, Beaufort County Community College’s all-new Learning Enhancement Center (LEC) is a one-stop shop for students to get the assistance they need.
For the first time this fall, several student resources that were formerly offered separately are centrally located in the LEC, including academic support, the writing center and the math lab.
“We’ve combined those services so that they’re all available in the same place,” says LEC Director James Casey. “We wanted to streamline the process for our students so they’ll know where to go. If you need help, this is the spot.”
The LEC, located in Building 3, Room 122, is equipped with a full-size computer lab, as well as a silent testing area. Professional, faculty and peer tutoring is available in disciplines ranging from writing and math to humanities and business. A variety of online resources is also available, and Casey says there will soon be a series of workshops, guest speakers and events that will cover useful topics for both students and faculty.
“It’s new, so we’re still working on it,” says Casey, “but it’s a large, comfortable space with a supportive atmosphere. Once a student comes in once and sees how much it helps, they will usually keep coming in.”
All BCCC students enrolled in curriculum programs are eligible to receive assistance with the referral of an instructor. Casey says it’s easy to speak with an instructor; they are familiar with the process and will get the student pointed in the right direction.
Activity at the LEC is already picking up; in the few weeks since classes began, more than 130 students from 50 different classes have logged almost 500 individual visits to the center.

For more information about BCCC’s Learning Enhancement Center, visit http://www.beaufortccc.edu/learning-enhancement-center/ or call 252-940-6338.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pre-Orientation set for Spring BLET Academy

Beaufort County Community College has scheduled the mandatory Pre-Orientation for its Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy for the Spring 2016 Semester. It will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 7, 2015, in Building 10, Room 32 on BCCC’s campus.

Classes will begin on Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

BCCC offers the BLET program accredited by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriffs' Commission. It is designed to give students the skills needed for entry-level employment as law enforcement officers with state, county or municipal law enforcement or private enterprise. Successful completion of a BLET academy also fulfills 19 credit hours, the equivalent of one semester, towards the requirements for an associate’s degree in criminal justice.

The BLET course consists of 34 different subject areas including criminal, juvenile, civil, traffic and alcohol beverage laws; investigative, patrol, custody and court procedures; emergency responses, and ethics and community relations.      

Anyone seeking to become a sworn officer with a law enforcement agency in North Carolina must take the course in its entirety and pass the state exam.

Instructors for the course will be from a wide range of agencies and specialty areas.
To be considered for the class, applicants should complete an application packet and must provide a certified criminal history record check prior to registering for classes. Applicants are required to undergo a medical examination, to provide proof of U.S. citizenship and must have graduated from high school or have earned a General Educational Development, or GED, among other requirements.

For more information about the BLET Academy, interested persons can contact Larry Barnes, BLET School Director, at 252-940-6228 or by email at Larry.Barnes@BeaufortCCC.edu. Information and an application packet can also be obtained by contacting Pauline Godley, Administrative Assistant for Law Enforcement Programs, at 252-940-6232, or by email at Pauline.Godley@BeaufortCCC.edu. More information is available on BCCC’s website at http://www.beaufortccc.edu/progrm/busines/BLET/blet.htm.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tyrrell County Fire Dept. hosts BCCC Fire School Weekend

COLUMBIA, N.C. — The Albemarle Fireman’s Association and Beaufort County Community College will host a Fire School Weekend in Tyrrell County on Oct. 2-4, 2015. Classes will be held at the Tyrrell County Fire Department at 618 North Road St. in Columbia, N.C.
Eight classes are currently planned, including Safety and Survival; Driver/Operator: Introduction to Pumps; Mayday; Forcible Entry; Technical Rescue: Lowers and Raises; NCRRS Rural Water Supply: Preparing for a Water Haul Inspection; Grain Bin Rescue; and Emergency Vehicle Driving.
“The Fire School Weekend is part of our effort to make sure that all fire personnel throughout our service area are able to get the continued training that they need,” says BCCC Director of Fire Training Programs Johnny Williams.
There is a $20 registration fee for all students, which includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday. The $70 fee for each individual class is eligible to be waived for students affiliated with any North Carolina fire and rescue agency.
For more information contact Williams at 252-940-6363 or Johnny.Williams@BeaufortCCC.edu.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Late Start Classes for Fall 2015

Check with your advisor about adding an 8-week, full-credit class to your Fall 2015 schedule. The following classes are available in Late Start format:

ART 111 - Art Appreciation
BUS 110 - Intro to Business
BUS 121 - Business Math
CIS 110 - Intro to Computers
CJC 111 - Intro to Criminalistics
CJC 221 - Investigative Policies
EDU 262* - Early Childhood Admin II
ENG 111* - Writing and Inquiry
HEA 110 - Personal Health
MUS 110 - Music Appreciation
PED 111 - Physical Fitness
PSY 118 - Interpersonal Psychology
PSY 150* - General Psychology
REL 110 - World Religions

*Prerequisites apply

Late Start Classes will begin Oct. 14. Contact Kimberly Jackson at 252-940-6252 or Shelby Phillips at 252-940-6443 for more information.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

College works to attract, assist, retain students

A combination of factors has resulted in a dip in full-time enrollment at Beaufort County Community College for Fall 2015, but the news isn’t all bad. The staff and faculty are responding to the challenge by redoubling efforts to ensure that the institution meets the educational needs of the community as effectively and efficiently as possible.
First, the numbers: for Fall 2015, BCCC has 1,607 students enrolled in curriculum programs. For comparison, enrollment for Fall 2014 was 2,029.
Students enrolled in College and Career Readiness, Occupational Extension and Personal Enrichment courses through the Division of Continuing Education are calculated separately, and those numbers are expected to remain steady or even increase. Employees are still needed to fill the area’s trade jobs, and the short-term training programs offered through Continuing Education are designed to fulfill that need.
BCCC’s participation in the federal student loan program from 2010-2015 boosted enrollment numbers, but turned out to be problematic for both students and the college, as too many students borrowed more than they could afford and later defaulted on the loans. The college was required to inform students of the maximum amount they could borrow — which many did — and it was not permitted to run credit checks when issuing loans. Colleges with high default rates risk losing federal funding such as Pell Grants for students, so the Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to exit the student loan program, effective July 2015.
There were 604 students who participated in the student loan program in Fall 2014, and 408 of those students are not enrolled in fall classes this year, accounting for the majority of the drop in enrollment. Other factors include an improving economy — fewer students go to school when there are more jobs available — and the demographics of BCCC’s service area, whose population, especially of college-age residents, is not increasing.
The staff has worked hard to find other funding sources to help students pay for school and keep them enrolled, providing more emergency grants and scholarships, offering short-term loans to bridge the gap until financial aid checks are issued, and creating a payment plan option (starting Spring 2016). The college’s administration is also working to boost enrollment for 8-week Late Start courses that start in October, and to promote spring enrollment.
A drop in enrollment means a smaller budget for the next fiscal year, so efforts are also under way to streamline wherever possible by merging low-enrollment classes, using full-time instructors first to minimize the use of adjuncts, and offering more online courses, for which there is increasing demand.
“The mission of BCCC is to meet the educational needs of our citizens and to train workers for the available jobs in our service area,” says BCCC President Dr. Barbara Tansey. “That means we are working constantly to make sure the college is the right size for our community and offers the right programs and services to meet its needs.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New program trains fiber optics technicians

The days of copper wire within the communications industry are coming to an end. Today,
modern telephone, cable television and internet data are carried through fiber optics systems.
A new program at Beaufort County Community College is aimed at training technicians to install
these high-tech systems.

The Certified Fiber Optics Technician program is offered by BCCC’s Continuing Education
division in partnership with BDI DataLynk LLC and consists of three courses: a Certified Fiber
Optics Technical Course, a Certified Fiber Optics Splicing Specialist Course, and a Certified
Fiber Optics Specialist in Testing and Maintenance Course. The three courses will be offered in
succession over a one-week period beginning Sept. 14.

“These courses are designed for anyone interested in becoming a Certified Fiber Optics Technician,”
says Justin Rose, Director of Occupational Extension.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2011, the median salary for a fiber
optics technician working in the United States was $51,720 or $24.87 an hour. More and more of
the country’s communication infrastructure is being changed over to fiber optics, and technicians
are in demand. Construction is currently in progress on a Google project to bring fiber
optics-based high-speed internet to the Triangle area.

“With Google Inc. working alongside the city of Raleigh to install fiber optic cable, it is an exciting
time to be involved in the endeavor to provide high-speed internet service to all of North
Carolina,” adds Rose. “The News and Observer reports that as a result of this project, there will
be a need for Certified Fiber Optic Technicians to help install fiber optic cable in cities including
Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Garner and Morrisville.”

For more information regarding this program, contact Rose at 252-940-6262 or Justin.Rose@