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Get the Facts

The mission of the North Carolina Community College System is to open the door to high-quality, accessible educational opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success, develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce, and improve the lives and well being of N.C. citizens.

Creating Success: Students

Community colleges in North Carolina are within a 30-minute drive of its citizens. More than 850,000 students, or 1 in 8 N.C. citizens 18 and up, enrolled in classes at one of the 58 community colleges during 2008-09. The North Carolina Community College System is the third largest in the nation. Historically, N.C. has had the lowest tuition in the Southeast Region one of the lowest in the nation. 99 percent of NC Community Colleges graduates are employed within one year. The average age of a community college student in North Carolina is 27. 89 percent of associate degree recipients from the system have a grade-point average of 2.0 or better at the University of North Carolina system institutions or private colleges after two semesters.

In 2008-09, first-time test takers averaged a 96 percent passing rate on their licensing or certification examinations. Aviation Maintenance (100%); Veterinary Medical Technology (100%); Radiography and Radiation Therapy (97%); Cosmetic Arts (96%); Dental Hygiene (92%); and Associate Degree Nursing (89%).

Minority Male Mentoring

In 2003, six colleges participated in the first Minority Male Mentoring program, established with the goal to increase retention and graduation rates among minority males through specialized outreach. In 2010, 41 community colleges applied and received legislative grants of $25,000 each. 38 community colleges currently offer minority male mentoring programs, with seven colleges launching programs as a result of the funding.

Customized Training
For nearly 50 years, North Carolina has offered no-cost, company-specific training to eligible companies in our state. N.C. was one of the first in the nation to offer what has become an important economic development tool. Training may be provided to companies that create eligible jobs, make significant investments in technology or take on critical productivity enhancement efforts. During fiscal year 2009-10, the Customized Training program provided customized job training to 16,346 individuals at 590 eligible over

Creating Success: Programs

NC Community Colleges have many virtual enrollment opportunities through distance education with 248 curriculum and 45 continuing education courses that may be downloaded and offered online at the local colleges. Faculty make up 44 percent of the 6,490 fulltime employees at NC Community Colleges. 42 percent of all faculty members have earned a masters degree or higher.

companies. A total of $8,020,044 was expended at an average cost of $491 per trainee. These numbers represent training conducted for eligible industries through an initial allotment of training funds received by our 58 community colleges and for additional approved projects across the state.

In 2009-10, BioNetwork produced 12 virtual BioForum Webinars on topics from BioFuels to regenerative medicine, which were viewed 2,190 times. BioNetwork also delivered 59 workshops for hundreds of North Carolinians on topics ranging from strawberry DNA to viticulture. For more information on topics, visit This year BioNetwork helped more than 90 companies in finding graduates, connecting with local peer groups, conducting facility tours, answering training questions, and making presentations. In 2009-10, 4,656 students enrolled in BioWork, Capstone Center Courses, and curriculum programs a 34 percent increase. Through education fairs and K-14 outreach efforts, BioNetwork helped more than 16,659 job seekers, employees and students become aware of biotechnology programs and the value of a strong math and science education a 39 percent increase.

Community colleges represent a second chance at education for many North Carolinians. In 2008-09, 19,148 high-school students dropped out of school while NC Community Colleges enrolled 16,403 recent public high school dropouts that same year into a basic skills program (ESL, GED, Adult High School, Adult Basic Education and/or Compensatory Education). The number of GEDs and Adult High School Diplomas awarded in 2008-09 increased by nine percent from the previous year. The Compensatory Education program is offered for students with intellectual disabilities who are working to acquire skills for transitioning to lifelong independence. Annually, more than 6,000 individuals take advantage of this program across all 58 community colleges.

NC Community Colleges JobsNOW 12-in-6 program, initiated by Governor Bev Perdue in 2009, resulted in workers earning 956 stateregulated credentials; 755 industry-regulated credentials; and 5,367 Career Readiness certificates.

Small Business Center Network

NC Community Colleges Small Business Center Network (SBCN) is the most extensive statefunded small business assistance program in the nation. Most seminars offered are free, or at a nominal price, and all 58 community colleges have a Small Business Center. In 2009-10, SBCN provided training to more than 60,000 seminar attendees, counseling to 6,425 individuals resulting in 740 business startups and 3,184 jobs created or retained.

Continuing Education
Workforce Continuing Education programs offer many pathways to train students. Local colleges have the flexibility to offer training as a single course or they may bundle a series of courses and offer students a certificate of completion leading to a recognized credential (licensure, certification, renewal or registry listing). These training opportunities are shortterm, affordable, and have flexible scheduling. There are more than 900 courses available through Continuing Education programs. More than 250 courses lead to a state-regulated or industry-recognized workforce credential. Approximately 85 percent of all public safety personnel (fire, law, emergency) are trained at a community college.

Workforce Development
Offered at NC Community Colleges, the North Carolina Career Readiness Certificate (NC CRC) is a nationally recognized workplace skills credential. Since its initial implementation in 2006, nearly 60,000 individuals have earned the NC CRC credential, which places N.C. sixth in the nation for number certificates earned. Creating Success in North Carolina: