PAMLICO COMMUNITY COLLEGE

President's Blog


 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

December, 2017

PCC President Dr. Jim Ross Speaks Out on...

Launching a Nursing Degree Program at Pamlico Community College!

 

One of the great joys of being president of Pamlico Community College is working in teamwork with others to take actions that make lives better for the citizens of our wonderful community. This column is to provide you with news of actions that we hope will end up with local residents being trained for great careers that provide life-changing services to others. We are proud to announce that our college has taken the first very important steps, with many more to come, intended to result in offering an Associate Degree in Nursing program for our community!

 

For more than a year, a dedicated team of PCC employees at my request has examined every aspect of what would be required for our college to establish a nursing degree program. After receiving compelling evidence from this task force of the overwhelming benefits of this degree program to our community and of our college’s capacity to initiate it, I recommended to our Board of Trustees at its last meeting that we proceed on a path to gain regulatory approvals required to initiate a nursing program. It was extremely gratifying that the Board voted unanimous approval. I believe this is an important step that can benefit our community in enormous ways in years to come.   

 

Our goal is to enable local citizens to be trained in one of the most in-demand, high-paying positions and to help others who are served by them in medical settings. Not only are we committed to helping students make their lives better, we are also dedicated to making our wonderful rural community better. Wherever I have travelled throughout our community since becoming president and asked others what new programs our community could benefit most from, nursing was almost always first on the list!

We continuously work to develop academic programs and continuing education offerings that take on significant community challenges and address emerging issues and needs for our neighbors here.

 

Within the last 18 months, PCC has added a two-year degree program in Dental Laboratory Technology, which is training students to create dentures, crowns, partials and other prostheses.

 

We have proposed to state officials our plans to offer a Cyber Crime Technology program to teach men and women how to recognize and thwart attacks on computer networks and the vital information they contain.

 

In addition, PCC recently began an Associate’s Degree, Diploma, and Certificate in Legal Office Administration; Banking Certificate in Business Administration, and two new Certificates in Early Childhood Administration.

 

Adding a Nursing program in many ways would transform our community and will be worth the time, financial investment, and effort needed to pursue it. While adding an Associated Degree in Nursing has already taken a great deal of time, analysis, and planning, it will take even more going forward as we diligently seek approvals from the State Board of Community Colleges, North Carolina State Board of Nursing, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. We look forward to working with each of these bodies in seeking their approvals. It is our firm goal to take all steps necessary to provide a first-class program for our community.  

 

The upside of adding an Associate Degree in Nursing program is too great not to take on this challenge, and the impact it could have on our community’s residents and their career prospects cannot be overstated.

 

Pamlico County residents who want to become registered nurses now must leave the county in order to pursue their goals. Adding an Associate Degree in Nursing program not only would bring a wonderful academic option home to Pamlico County, it would open up high quality, rewarding job opportunities that are easily within driving distance.

 

Nurses are essential to our nation’s health care system, and the role they play is expected to grow even more critical as baby boomers retire and the population ages.

 

In our region, there are nearly 300 projected new job openings each year, and projections from the Eastern North Carolina Workforce Development Board show an 11 percent increase in the number of nurses needed annually in our region over the next decade.

 

Registered nurses earn good wages. Positions pay an average of $27.52 per hour. The starting salary for a registered nurse is about 30 percent higher than the average household income in our county.

 

An Associate Degree in Nursing program not only would improve the lives of students and their families, it would improve the quality of life for all of us in Pamlico County. Beyond the obvious growth in household incomes, a local population of nurses would bring quality health care information, advice, and knowledge into our homes and communities.

 

This is our vision at PCC, and it’s one I am committed to taking all steps to achieve. While we must still gain approvals from three bodies, if we are fortunate enough to gain their approvals as we hope to be able to do, our goal is to begin our program as early as the Fall semester of 2019.

 

It is appropriate to be thankful for all that is happening because of outstanding employees and our supportive community to make lives better. We have accomplished many wonderful things, and we are working to achieve even greater goals in the year to come and beyond. On January 3 and 4, we will register students for a Spring semester that will change many lives for the better. Please join us and become part of the PCC family.  

 

Thank you so much for giving me the great honor to serve as President of Pamlico Community College, the top-ranked community college in America.

 

Pam and I hope you and every member of your family have a very happy – and healthy – Christmas season.  

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College's president, to write a monthly column. Dr. Ross welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him.

 

 

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

November, 2017

PCC President Dr. Jim Ross Speaks Out on...

Becoming Part of the Pamlico Community College Family!

 

Pamlico Community College was recently honored to be ranked as the No. 1 community college in the United States for 2017 by SmartAsset, a New York-based personal finance technology company. 

 

The designation was based on a review of U.S. Department of Education data on 808 community colleges located in every state throughout our nation. One of the most impressive facts: PCC students have an extraordinarily high graduation/transfer rate of 84 percent, compared to the national average of 40 percent.

 

As PCC President, I am extremely impressed by the family atmosphere here that is essential to this success. PCC employees are outstanding professionals who go way above and beyond the call of duty to serve each student.

 

Because of this, I have seen over and over again that students become part of a family at our college. As part of the PCC family, they are surrounded by people who care about them and their hopes, dreams, and family who are counting on them.  

 

This column is to invite you or someone you love to become a part of our PCC family too! There has never been a better time to check out the courses available to prepare you for a better life at your community college.

 

Whether you are a traditional college-age student, a high schooler looking to get ahead in your studies or an adult learner who wants to complete a long-held academic dream or investigate a new career, PCC has something worthwhile for you to consider.

 

This month is a good time to come by and meet with our Student Services staffers to see how PCC can help you get started. From November 13 to 15, the college will be offering Early Advising and Pre-registration for the upcoming Spring 2018 semester.

 

You’re invited to contact our Student Services staff at 252-249-1851, ext. 3001, to set up a visit and to see how your life can become better through your community college. 

 

In selecting a college, I urge you to consider quality and cost.

 

In terms of quality: In addition to being named the best community college in America by SmartAsset, the Aspen Institute recently named PCC one of America’s elite community colleges. PCC in 2016 was ranked the third-best community college in America by WalletHub. Our Medical Assisting program is rated No. 1 among U.S. community colleges by the website rwm.org, which stands for Real Work Matters.

 

PCC students who transfer to universities have had the highest performance success at the UNC system level for three straight years among all state community college students. In fact, we take great pride in the fact that students who transfer from PCC perform higher at the public university level than students who enroll there as freshmen!

 

In terms of cost: With our nation’s citizens in debt by more than $1.2 trillion from student loans, it makes good sense to attend your community college. Annual tuition and fees for a full-time, in-state student for 15 credit hours per semester at Pamlico Community College is about $2,400 per year. The U.S. Department of Education reports that the average cost for tuition and fees for universities in our nation is about $24,000 per year.  This means the PCC cost is about one-tenth the cost of the average university for tuition and fees, yet you will receive an outstanding education at PCC just as you will at many universities. 

I can cite more statistics, honors, and accolades PCC has received in recent months, but here’s what I believe is the most important thing that allows PCC to help you succeed: We care.

 

We offer students a family atmosphere with faculty members and staffers who are committed to your success. We have extremely small class sizes with a 9 to 1 student to faculty ratio, which means much more individualized attention and instruction.

 

Classes are taught by our highly qualified faculty members, and the approved college credits earned here transfer to the 16 public universities in North Carolina and to many private colleges and universities in the state.

 

If you or someone you love is wondering what to do with life, please consider calling PCC and coming to see us to help you have the best life possible.

 

Thank you so much for giving me the great honor to serve as President of Pamlico Community College, the top-ranked community college in America.

 

Thank you for allowing Pam and me to be your very appreciative neighbors.

 

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College's president, to write a monthly column. Dr. Ross has an extremely impressive record of extensive leadership accomplishments in community colleges, business, and non-profits based on encouraging high-achieving teamwork to make communities better. Dr. Ross welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him.

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

October, 2017

PCC President Dr. Jim Ross Speaks Out on...

Serving our Community With Free Use of our Delamar Center!

 

Pamlico Community College’s middle name is community, and we take this very seriously. We provide education in many ways to change lives and make our community even better. We also offer use of the Delamar Center, one of the most beautiful facilities in any community college, to our community.

 

The Delamar Center is one of many parts of PCC that helps us serve our wonderful community in important ways and to live up to our middle name. We are pleased to announce that it is being used much more frequently than at any time in its 10-year history – and that makes us extremely happy because it makes our community even better.

 

Within a two-week period of time last month, the facility has hosted the SPOTLIGHT Pamlico Business EXPO and Job Fair and the NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. Both events brought hundreds of community residents to our campus.

 

I was fortunate to be able to attend both activities and enjoyed them immensely. They allowed me to visit with many friends and enjoy the uplifting mood of each event.

 

In addition, each event presented the opportunity to meet a number of people who had never before been to PCC. At both, several community residents expressed to me how thankful they were that a facility like the Delamar Center is here and available for community use. 

 

Appropriate credit continues to go to Linda Sanderson, wife of Sen. Norman Sanderson, for asking me last year at this time to look for ways to allow the community to use the Delamar Center more often.

 

After researching her suggestion thoroughly and talking to many people about this for two months, I announced a change last December that has made an extraordinary difference to our community. That change was to permanently allow Pamlico County non-profit groups and causes to rent the Delamar Center free of charge for their events and activities.

 

That change was made last December. Since then, usage of the building has risen an astonishing 300% above what it was projected to be. 

 

Our college is fortunate to have a facility such as the Delamar Center. We are honored to make it as available as possible for the community’s use. In every event we have seen, the fruits are all good from it as community members come together in a spirit of joy, celebration, and often love.  

 

Often an event held there serves as an inspiration for me as much as it does for its organizers and participants.

 

The NAACP Freedom Fund event on September 30 was one such event.

 

Hundreds of people of varying races and backgrounds turned out for the inspiring event. The theme for the evening was “Forward Together, Not One Step Back,” and the mood at the event was extremely uplifting. Several local religious leaders were recognized, and numerous awards were handed out. The entertainment was provided by three incredibly talented vocalists. They were so good, in fact, that it seemed like they could have been singing on Broadway!

 

     The event in its entirety was moving, with the featured speaker Gregory Brad Cutler wowing the audience. Comments from Douglas Pearsall, NAACP President, were mesmerizing as he revealed what it was like to engage in combat service for our nation, be wounded, receive medals, and then come home to find that he was not allowed to enter the same businesses as others because of his color. Just the experience of having people from our community of all races, nationalities, and religions enjoying such a night of harmony together was as moving as the wonderful event itself.   Among the community leaders attending were PCC Board members Larry Prescott, Dr. Sue H. Lee, Al Herlands, Ernestine Mattocks, and Douglas Pearsall.   

 

The annual Business EXPO and Job Fair was held a few days earlier on September 19 and was also a huge success. Another large crowd packed the Delamar Center that evening, this time to learn more about the business offerings and job opportunities available here at home.

 

The college’s Career Center joined with the Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce and Pamlico County Economic Development to put on the event, which featured more than 40 exhibitors.

 

The mood at the three-hour Business EXPO and Job Fair was upbeat and optimistic. Job-seekers and prospective employers were able to meet face to face while area businesses, non-profit groups and others got a chance to showcase their products and service offerings.

 

Free samples of delicious food were given away by local restaurants. The only bad part of the evening was the five pounds I have worked diligently to lose the past several weeks was all back on in one night! But it was worth it!

 

It was great to see Senator Norman Sanderson, PCI Superintendent Faye Daniels, and County Manager Tim Buck there as well as many other leaders from the community’s business and         non-profit sectors. Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce President Debbie Harrison, Executive Director Joyce Swimm, and Pamlico County Economic Development Director Beth Bucksot, who also was the event committee chair, greeted the many attendees. 

 

Longtime PCC Board Chair Bob Lyon enjoyed seeing many of his friends there just prior to the college’s board meeting that evening. PCC Foundation Board President Carla Byrnes brightened the event as always just by being there.

 

We at PCC are thrilled that our college is becoming an even greater provider of service in many ways to our community. Thank you for allowing us to partner with you in any way that serves you.  

 

Thank you so much for giving me the great honor to serve as President of Pamlico Community College, the top-ranked COMMUNITY college in America.

 

Thank you for allowing Pam and me to be your very appreciative neighbors.

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College's president, to write a monthly column. Dr. Ross has an extremely impressive record of extensive leadership accomplishments in community colleges, business, and non-profits based on encouraging high-achieving teamwork to make communities better. Dr. Ross welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him.

 

 

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

September, 2017

PCC President Dr. Jim Ross Speaks Out on...

Our Community College’s Recognition as the Best Community College in America!

 

Five weeks ago, I received a very humbling e-mail. Through that e-mail and two follow-up telephone conversations, official notification was provided that Pamlico Community College has been recognized as the best community college in America.

 

United States Department of Education statistics were utilized by SmartAsset, a New York-based personal finance technology company, to rank PCC No. 1 among its elite list of the Best Community Colleges in the United States for 2017.

 

SmartAsset compiled its list after reviewing 2015-16 federal data on 808 community colleges from every state throughout the United States of America.

 

Because of extremely talented and dedicated PCC employees, our college is bringing about extraordinary accomplishments for our students and community that are reflected in federal data cited by SmartAsset. These include:

 

PCC has an exemplary 84 percent student graduation/transfer rate! This dramatically exceeds the national average of 40 percent. In fact, the college’s graduation/transfer rate is the second-highest in all of America.

 

PCC also is a national leader in its student-instructor ratio of 9-to-1. This ratio is one that allows ideal personalized attention in the classroom. This is consistent with the remarkably-personalized attention and support students receive from student services and throughout the college.

 

PCC’s tuition and fees were also cited, which are comparatively very low.

 

“This is purely looking at the data, and the data tells that story,” said A.J. Smith, SmartAsset’s vice president of financial education, when she spoke to us by phone.

 

Information from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System from 2015-16 was used to evaluate each of the more than 800 community colleges across the nation in the same consistent manner, she said.

 

Needless to say, we enthusiastically welcomed this news. We have shared it on campus, through personal contacts, and through the media. It is very humbling to be recognized as our nation’s best community college when there are so many outstanding community colleges in our local region, our state, and our nation.

 

SmartAsset’s ranking is the most recent of several state and national honors PCC has been fortunate to receive this past year.

 

PCC was ranked as the third-best community college in the nation on WalletHub’s 2016 list of Best Community Colleges in America. In addition, our college was ranked No. 8 among not just community colleges, but among all U.S. colleges and universities for Best Online Associate Degree Programs for 2017 by AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org.

 

PCC is also number 1 in another important category. Our students who go on to University of North Carolina system universities achieved the highest grade point average among transfer students last year. This was the third year in a row for this honor. In fact, PCC graduates earn grade point averages at the universities that are actually higher than students who attended these universities from day one.

 

In addition, PCC’s Medical Assisting program recently was ranked number 1 in America by the website rwm.org.

 

We proudly accept the SmartAsset number 1 overall ranking, and word about it has been quick to spread. Everywhere we go, people commend the college on its ranking, and we even received a heartfelt letter of congratulations from U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., who represents this area in the House of Representatives.

 

It’s very important to make clear that this honor is shared with each of you in our wonderful community because of all you have done to begin this college and help make it better over the years. Witnessing your enthusiasm and sense of community pride has been thrilling.

 

This award is made possible by community leaders like Ned Delamar for the vision and commitment to locate the college in our county; for all dedicated leaders serving on our Board of Trustees over the years, such as long-serving Chair Bob Lyon; all County Commissioners; Members of our Legislative Delegation; Legislators; Pamlico County Board of Education members and Pamlico County Schools officials; all local and county governmental employees; businesses; media; donors; Arapahoe Charter School officials and employees; Pamlico Christian Academy officials and employees; Home School leaders; and all non-profit community organizations.

 

Important support for our college and the other 57 has come from the North Carolina Community College System, recognized nationally as one of the very best systems. Acting System President Jennifer Haygood has said that we, as current keepers of the legacy of community college education in this state, are standing on the shoulders of greatness of those who have come before us. That is entirely true of this honor as it is the greatness of every community leader, college employee, and every student here that has built such an outstanding college.

 

This honor rightfully belongs to the generations of Pamlico County hard-working students who have come to our college in search of an opportunity for a better life. It belongs to the dedicated instructors – past and present, full- and part-time – whose life’s work has been to impart their knowledge and expertise to students.

 

It belongs to staff members, past and present, for helping PCC students register and secure financial aid. It belongs to those who operate the college bookstore, who keep the physical plant in working order and who pay the bills and keep our budget balanced.

 

It belongs to everyone now employed and those now retired who worked in any role at our college. This award is because of you in keeping Pamlico Community College’s doors wide open to all who seek to improve themselves, their families, their circumstances, and our community.

 

I am humbled and fortunate to serve as president of this wonderful community college when it has achieved this ranking and received the corresponding publicity. While I have to honestly say that I have not done anything to bring this honor about because I arrived only 14 months ago, other Presidents have done a great deal and should be recognized in this column with deep appreciation going to each. Many thanks go to founding President Paul Johnson; his successor Douglas Kearney; my good friend Marion Altman; and my predecessor, the late beloved Cleve Cox.

 

It is an honor to serve as the fifth President of Pamlico Community College, our great nation’s best community college. The most important part of this inspiring recognition is that it helps our students going forward. Our students will take this reputation for unique excellence with them forever. Knowing they were educated at the best community college will be an asset as they are considered for jobs and promotions and in seeking admission to universities.

 

After all, students are why we’re here; students are why we earned this honor; and students are why we work so hard every day to become even better.

 

Thank you for giving me the great honor to serve as President of Pamlico Community College. Thank you for allowing Pam and me to be your neighbors.

 

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College's president, to write a monthly column. Dr. Ross has an extremely impressive record of extensive leadership accomplishments in community colleges, business, and non-profits based on encouraging high-achieving teamwork to make communities better. Dr. Ross is going throughout Pamlico County to hear ideas and form partnerships so that PCC can help make our county even better. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him.

  

 

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

August, 2017

Dr. Jim Ross, PCC’s President, Discusses PCC Changing Lives

 

Question:What is the highlight of your first year as President?  

 

Please allow me to thank all in this wonderful community for making my first year as President of Pamlico Community College so blessed.

 

My life has forever been changed by working with you in the common cause of making our college even better so we can serve our community even better. There have been highlights that I could not have even imagined were possible last year at this time that have come true. Some of these highlights have the potential to help an enormous number of lives for years to come. In future columns I will discuss these more.   

 

I absolutely love every day that I serve as your President! There is one part, however, of any day that inspires me more than any other, and that is meeting our students and graduates and hearing how their lives are better because of PCC!  

 

I recently got to know Dianne Golding, an Aurora woman who completed Nurse Aide training, graduating in May, and is working at The Gardens of Pamlico, an assisted living center not far from campus.

 

Dianne is the epitome of extraordinary hard work in making herself better through education. In recent years, she has also earned an associate’s degree in Medical Office Administration and a certificate in Medical Billing and Coding. She now has her eyes set on returning to PCC this fall to work on a Medical Assisting degree.

 

Her eventual goal is to become a nurse. As we are looking into the possibility of being able to offer an associate degree in nursing at PCC in the foreseeable future, Diane tells me that would be an incredible blessing for her and others if we could make that a reality. 

 

What an amazing spirit and drive she has! For the past three years, Dianne has been a full-time student, while also holding down a full-time job, while also most importantly being a full-time mother! She is raising three children – a 10-year-old son, an 8-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. Incredibly, she is also a caregiver for her mother, who is partially blind, and her stepfather, who is now totally blind.

 

Dianne told me she decided to enter the health care field after seeing her father suffer from serious medical issues that led to his death resulting from his service in Vietnam. She resolved to get education to have a career where she could help others with serious health challenges. Dianne’s optimism and work ethic as she progresses through her education are infectious to all around her!

 

Speaking of commendable work ethic and optimism, I’m reminded of Asheton Phillips, an outstanding PCC graduate who works as a loan officer with our good friends at the State Employees Credit Union branch in Grantsboro.

 

Asheton recently received the Oriental Rotary Club’s transfer scholarship, which is awarded to an exemplary PCC student who is moving on to a four-year college or university. She plans to use the scholarship at the University of Mount Olive in New Bern, where she is scheduled to complete her bachelor’s degree this fall.

 

Completing her bachelor’s degree at Mount Olive will enable Asheton to further her career at the credit union in important ways to serve her employer and local residents even better.

 

Asheton states that PCC played an important role in her educational journey. She began taking classes when she was a student at Pamlico County High School and went on to excel while earning an associate’s degree at our college.

 

A small group of us from PCC went to visit Asheton at the credit union to congratulate her after she received her scholarship. The elite professionalism and customer service she exudes as she serves the public was impressive to witness as we were there.

 

And then there’s Kara Ireland, a former PCC student from Arapahoe who graduated from East Carolina University in May. Like Asheton, Kara’s higher education journey began at PCC when she was in high school.

 

She got a head start on her bachelor’s degree in 11th grade when she enrolled in college courses offered at PCC’s Bayboro Center. After graduating from high school, she began attending the college full time, earning her associate’s degree in only one year, thanks in large part to the free college credits she had already earned. By doing this, she literally saved thousands of dollars!

 

Ireland went on to transfer to ECU, commuting to Greenville for classes when she wasn’t working in the office at nearby Camp Seafarer. She appreciates the great education she received at PCC and knows her future is much brighter as a result. 

 

These are only a few of the fulfilling stories that make all PCC employees excited about coming to campus this week and helping new students register for classes and begin the process where they too can improve their lives and the lives of their families as a result.

 

It’s why the hustle and bustle of this week’s registration period at PCC brings a giant smile to my face. As I witness local residents this Wednesday and Thursday registering for classes, I know many are nervous and some are wondering if they have the ability to succeed in college. Then I see our incredibly dedicated employees slowly ease their fears, walk them through the registration process, and give them a greater sense of confidence that they can succeed. In a matter of weeks I will then be able to talk to them and see their outstanding faculty members are helping them as well.

 

For anyone who wants to pursue a college degree, please know that one reason our college is recognized as the third best community college in America is because the employees here sincerely care about making your life better and are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help you succeed.       

 

Thank you to each of you at our college and all in our community. It is an honor to serve as your community college President.

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College’s President, to write a monthly column. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please email jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him.

  

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

July, 2017

Dr. Jim Ross, PCC’s President, Discusses Participation in the Croaker Festival!

 

Question: I saw the college had a float in the recent Croaker Festival with numerous people taking part. Why do you think you had so much participation?  

 

This month marks a full year that I have been blessed to serve as your President at Pamlico Community College. It also means that my wife and I have been your neighbors here in this delightful community for 12 months, and our lives are better because of it!

 

I often have said that Pamlico County is one of the best communities in America, and earlier this month, I was reminded of why. I could not have been more impressed by the 37th annual Croaker Festival in Oriental, particularly the Saturday morning parade on July 1. I also was pleased – but not surprised – to see a strong turnout of my colleagues at Pamlico Community College for the fun and festive event.

 

The Croaker Festival is much more than a celebration of a delicious little saltwater fish. It’s a time to come together as a community to celebrate our nation’s independence, to enjoy each other’s company, and to spread the word about the wonderful things happening around our area. It is incredible to me that there are so many great events organized and attended by so many community residents here. We were honored to be among the caring people who love Pamlico County who took part in the parade. We also had a lot of fun, too, as you can see from the above parade photo, (which I am sure I will never live down!)

 

It was heartwarming and frankly amazing to see that nearly a quarter of all full-time PCC employees volunteered and took part in this parade in some way. Nearly a quarter! Kathy Nicodemus led our participation plans. She enlisted the help of several PCC co-workers, including Michelle Willis, Michelle Noevere, Gregory Skelly, and Sandy Wall. Together they formed a committee to brainstorm ideas for the college’s parade float and for our festival booth.

 

The festival’s theme was “Celebrating Our Fishing Heritage,” so right away, Kathy and her committee decided the college’s parade float should have a fishing boat theme – or, as it turns out, to be an actual fishing boat more than 20 feet long! We were fortunate to borrow a fishing boat belonging to a family member of Kathy Mayo, and PCC staff volunteers decorated it with fishing nets, crab pots, inflatable fish-shaped balloons, tablecloths that resemble water and PCC banners.

 

Kathy Mayo drove the college’s pickup during the parade, towing the decorated boat through the streets of Oriental. Vice President of Student Services Jamie Gibbs walked, ran, and even danced along in front of our parade entry as it traveled the parade route. Every time I see him in action in a parade I think it would be great to record this for a national television show to bring joy to people everywhere! He and a team of other walkers handed out candy to spectators and enthusiastically engaged the crowd.

 

I had the pleasure of riding in the bed of the pickup truck with several colleagues. We tossed candy to residents and visitors alike and waved to friends old and new. I saw a great many familiar faces in the crowd, and it touched my heart to see so many families enjoying the event together.

 

It also gave me great pride to see so many of my PCC colleagues show up on a hot, sticky Saturday morning – on their own time – to take part in this wonderful parade and festival. Joining the aforementioned Jamie Gibbs, Michelle Willis, Kathy Mayo, Kathy Nicodemus, Michelle Noevere, and Sandy Wall at the parade and/or festival booth were PCC employees Susan Adams, Barbara Cayton, Eric Cedars, Michelle McGuire Egan, Electra Krelie, Denise Meyerson, Rebecca Pesko, Cristy Lewis Warner, and George Willey. Student Anthony Raisch and local artist Lee Hood also staffed PCC’s booth. (Mr. Hood will be offering an introductory drawing class at the college in the fall.) Some PCC folks even brought their spouses and children to help!

 

The guest of honor on the college’s parade float and at our festival booth was Ol’ Salty, a 5-foot-tall wooden statue of a mariner that some say is PCC’s longest-enrolled student. We had some fun with Ol’ Salty, who has been posted by the doors of the Johnson Building for years. We invited festival-goers to fill out a quick survey and guess how much Ol’ Salty weighed. Around 2 p.m. Saturday, he was officially weighed at the booth. The number? Ol’ Salty weighed 124 pounds. The area business that came the closest to guessing Ol’ Salty’s weight soon will be getting Ol’ Salty for a year! Meanwhile, the individual who came closest to guessing his weight will receive a scholarship for a free PCC Cultural Enrichment class. (We’ll have more information on this later.)

 

It was a great show of teamwork and community spirit by our dedicated employees. The event was uplifting in many ways, and it once again showed me how fortunate my family and I are to live in what I believe and will continue to say is one of the nicest communities in America.

 

It also showed me again what an outstanding group of people we have working at Pamlico Community College. That willingness to give of themselves for others – going above and beyond the call of duty – is an important reason why PCC students have the fifth-best graduation rate in our nation…and why our college is recognized as the third-best community college in America.   

 

Thank you to each of you at our college and all in our community. It is an honor to serve as your community college President. It is an honor for Pam and me to be your neighbors. 

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College’s President, to write a monthly column. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please email jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him.

  

 

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

June, 2017

Dr. Jim Ross, PCC’s President, Discusses Commencement and the Non-Profit Celebration

 

Question: I am hearing so many good things about Pamlico Community College. It seems like our local college is moving forward full speed ahead in a lot of ways. Have you been pleased at how your first year here has gone?  

 

Throughout my first year as PCC President, I have been blessed to be part of a college and community that shows it cares so much about becoming even better. Deep appreciation is given for the overall vision that has been established at the college to make lives better. That sets the tone for everything else. This is our chance to make our community better by making lives better!

 

In addition, the teamwork that has been exhibited by our dedicated employees as well as by our supportive community members, and our shared willingness to think big have created a strong foundation of success to move our college forward and thus make our community better.

The year ended appropriately in extremely positive ways. Last month we hosted our two largest on-campus events of the year: Commencement on May 12 and the first-ever Non-Profit Leadership Breakfast on May 23. All of us who participated were filled with joy, pride, and a sense of optimism. These events, hosted in the college’s beautiful Delamar Center, once again showed me how fortunate my family and I are to live in what I believe is one of the best communities in America.

 

First up was Commencement, my first as President at Pamlico Community College, but I was fortunate to have a strong team of staffers that knew how to help make the evening a memorable one for all of us. PCC had its largest graduating class in recent history. The Delamar Center was filled to the rafters with hundreds of happy family members, friends, and supporters.

 

More than 70 graduates took part in the ceremony. In all, 119 men and women qualified to graduate from PCC this year. Those students earned a combined 177 academic credentials, including 64 associate’s degrees, 16 diplomas, 92 certificates and five Continuing Education credentials. State Senator Norman Sanderson of Pamlico County gave the commencement address, sharing extremely valuable advice and observations with the graduates and their families. My wife Pam and I had the chance to have dinner with his wife Linda and him before the ceremony, and I was impressed when he revealed he had devoted so much thought and prayer to providing the best possible message of hope and responsibility to the graduates. Many participants after told me they were inspired and moved by his message.

The event was joyous. I could not be more proud of how hard our graduates worked to achieve their academic goals so they can improve their lives and our community. I also am very proud of how our faculty and staff prepared them so very well and how the graduates’ families supported their efforts in many ways throughout.

 

Less than two weeks later, we hosted the first-ever Non-Profit Leadership Breakfast. The mood inside the Delamar Center was friendly, uplifting, and exciting. When planning this historic event, we had originally thought that if 50 participants would come it would be an outstanding success for our first year having it. We were amazed when more than 170 Pamlico County non-profit leaders, some of our community’s most caring and involved citizens, attended.   

Nearly 70 organizations were represented at the historic event. They included churches, food banks, service organizations, health clinics, emergency responders, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and many others. They are the foundation of this community, helping citizens in need in every imaginable way, never asking for recognition. 

 

Rarely, if ever, do non-profit organizations hear how important they are to a community, so we wanted to invite all non-profit groups in Pamlico County, serve them a delicious complimentary breakfast, and sincerely thank them for everything they do to make lives better. What a day it was! As our guests enjoyed a great meal catered by Brantley’s Village Restaurant, they got to rekindle friendships with some and get to know others, and learn about the important work being done in Pamlico County.

 

After we ate, representatives of each non-profit group in attendance individually came to the podium, shared information about their organizations’ work, and introduced their Board members attending. Many of our guests later said that after living here all their lives they were completely unaware of so many organizations performing so many life-changing and even life-saving works in our community. They said this made them even prouder of our community.

 

In the spirit of helping these charitable groups that do so much to make our community better, the college now waives the Delamar Center’s rental fees for non-profit groups and causes. The initial suggestion to enable more of our community to use this facility came earlier this year from Linda Sanderson. Permanently waiving these fees for all Pamlico County non-profit organizations and causes was one of the best decisions I have ever been part of making. 

 

We learned at the May 23 breakfast celebration that it made a real difference in the life of one brave little boy. At the May 23 breakfast, Gloria Cowell, whose 4-year-old wonderful grandson, Colt Cowell, has been undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, spoke courageously about this. She told us her family and Bethany Christian Church raised $12,000 for Colt’s care at a March 18 fundraiser, and it was only possible because they could use the Delamar Center with no rental fees. That is the kind of positive, life-changing impact that is humbling to think about that we can all bring about when we work together as partners.

 

Next year at PCC is being planned to be again a whirlwind of activity, with goals of extraordinary teamwork bringing about extraordinary accomplishments to make Pamlico County lives better. This past year will always be among the high points of my career, remembering however that we should always strive to do more to make things better.

 

It is an honor to serve as your community college President. It is an honor for Pam and me to be your neighbors. 

 

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College’s President, to write a monthly column. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please email jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him.

  

 

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

May, 2017

Dr. Jim Ross, PCC’s President, Publicly Thanks PCC Faculty and Staff

 

Question: Why do you frequently thank PCC employees for the work they do?

 

Perhaps the best answer is because I think this is an outstanding group who deserve the greatest possible appreciation. This Friday more than 100 men and women who have been students at Pamlico Community College will become graduates. These 119 people have earned, through their hard work and perseverance, the right to graduate. They earned a combined 177 academic credentials, including 64 associate degrees, 16 diplomas, 92 certificates, and five continuing education credentials. Many of the graduates will, along with their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, children, and other loved ones, be at the Delamar Center this Friday to take part in commencement, one of higher education’s most cherished formal ceremonies, and to celebrate an important milestone in their lives. 

 

Many PCC faculty and staff will also attend, cheer them on, and congratulate them. Since I was fortunate enough to begin serving this college and community as PCC President about 10 months ago, I was immediately struck by the extraordinary degree of dedication and hard work of our faculty and staff that translates to helping students succeed.

 

One of the best examples was seeing this year many new students enter our college feeling insecure, frightened, and terrified of failing, only to be guided, supported, and encouraged to achieve success by PCC staff and faculty. I love to visit with our students on nearly a daily basis by walking around and talking to those I see, visiting their classes, and encouraging them to see me if they are having problems in school in any way.  

 

The reoccurring message students give me when we visit is that they quickly feel a part of a family here due to the warm and caring personal touch they receive. Employees going above and beyond the call of duty is overwhelmingly the norm at PCC. Our employees are why we have the fifth highest graduation rate in the entire nation. They are why our students who go on to the University of North Carolina system earn the highest rate of success there among all community college students. They are also why our students who go on to the university system earn a grade point average at the university that is actually higher than those students who started day one at the university!

 

When you think about it, that is a commendable credit to our faculty and staff. PCC is an open-door admission college, meaning we proudly accept top scholars from high school but also accept those who had terrible high school grades and need a second chance.    

 

I am an idealist. I strongly believe it is indeed possible to change the world for the better, and in fact, that this is our purpose while living in this world. When we help other people live better lives, we do change the world for the better. I have found that setting a shared vision with employees and others of doing something noble together – something big – to sincerely change lives, and then recognizing and thanking them for their efforts, great things can happen. It is extremely gratifying that this past year extremely important accomplishments have been achieved here at PCC that can make this college even better in serving our community and make many lives better. These accomplishments came about because of high-achieving teamwork of our outstanding employees, as well as blessings we have received of developing wonderful partnerships with incredibly supportive and caring community leaders. 

 

That’s why I start virtually every meeting at the college with two words: “Thank You!” I take time as often as possible to thank Pamlico Community College’s hard-working employees to their face and publicly for the important work they do. I often tell them that beyond the well-maintained grounds of the college’s campus lies a world that needs to be helped. I urge our employees to become not only better employees so they can do their jobs better, I urge them to become better human beings so they can touch countless more lives in all they do. By doing so, PCC employees are working to help our world, make it better, and make people’s lives better.

 

One year ago this week, I was interviewed for the PCC presidency. I was impressed with the college Board members, the beauty of the community, the friendliness of its people, and the dedication of the college’s employees. I felt that if I were fortunate enough to be hired, my wife and I would be happy here. Most importantly, I knew that I would be surrounded by another high-achieving team.

 

When I became president, I felt it was important to get to know the employees and for them to get to know me. That’s why I set the ambitious goal of meeting one on one with every full-time faculty member and staffer during my first year at PCC. It took many months, and we accomplished it! In doing so I learned a lot about the college, our community, and received many good ideas about how to improve our services to Pamlico County. It helped tremendously in developing teamwork and a shared vision of working together to do great things to make lives better.

 

In short, I have found the employees here are second to none. They are passionate about what they do. They want to help students and they want the region to improve. That’s exactly the kind of people who make up high-achieving teams, and that’s the kind of citizens who can take a bold, shared vision of positive change and work together to make it happen. 

 

To PCC Board members, employees, students, alumni, and community members, it is an honor to serve you as President of Pamlico Community College. Thank you all!

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College’s president, to write a monthly column. Dr. Ross has an extremely impressive record of extensive leadership accomplishments in community colleges, business, and non-profits based on encouraging high-achieving teamwork to make communities better. Dr. Ross is going throughout Pamlico County to hear ideas and form partnerships so that PCC can help make our county even better. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please email jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him.

 

   

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

April, 2017

Dr. Jim Ross, PCC's President...

Discusses Growing PCC to Serve Our Community Even Better

 

Question: Does Pamlico Community College have any plans to provide any new programs to help local residents get good jobs?

 

One of the most important initiatives we have committed to is to offer more degree and certificate programs to prepare Pamlico County citizens for good jobs that exist within driving distance. By growing the college in this way, we change Pamlico County citizens’ lives in extremely important ways for them and their family members. The revenue we generate from this we have decided will be used to grow other new programs, thus creating a virtuous cycle that can go on and on, helping our community more and more with each new program. I am pleased to tell you that we have established three new actions we are now following to maximize our new programs and growth.          

 

I recently recommended to the PCC Board, which voted unanimous approval, five new degree and certificate program offerings for our community. This includes a new dental technology associate degree program. These new degree and certificate proposals are the result of a task force we established last fall at PCC to analyze numerous new program ideas. There have been more than 20 new program ideas that this energetic and thoughtful task force has analyzed so far. I expect more than 50 to be considered within the next year, and expect this will lead to several more being shown as worthy of adding. Establishing this task force is a very helpful new step as it provides a structure to objectively consider all proposals.

 

In addition to forming the task force, our second new step was to create criteria to use to judge the value of new program ideas. With this change, in order for PCC to begin a new degree or certificate program for our community, there are five criteria that must be met before I will ask our Board to approve these programs. These criteria are (1). The proposed new programs must prepare students for careers that have a significant number of jobs within driving distance of Pamlico County; (2). We must know how much it will cost to begin and continue the program; (3). We must have the funds to pay for it and be able to identify where these funds will come from; (4). We must have the space for the new program and identify where that space will be; and (5). We must see if neighboring community colleges already offer our proposed program. If they do, we need to see if there is agreement between us, our neighboring community college, and state officials that there is such high demand for these jobs that PCC should provide the program.              

 

The third new action we have taken is when determining if there are significant job openings for our students in a field to consider the number of jobs available within driving distance of Pamlico County, rather than considering primarily jobs needed only by our employers in Pamlico County. There are numerous new programs we will be considering next year that have a large number of projected openings for good-paying in-demand positions within driving distance that we will consider adding that we would not have considered if using only Pamlico County employers' openings. This is permitted under our state guidelines. Community colleges are generally restricted from going into the service area of another community college to actively seek students from other counties to attend here, but are not restricted from training their own county’s students to be employees in neighboring counties.     

 

The Dental Technology program, recently approved by our local Board, will now be considered for approval by the state officials. If it is approved as we expect and in the time frame we hope, it may be offered at PCC as early as this coming fall semester. This program provides good careers for those who like to work with their hands. We also need to emphasize to students and parents alike that it is just as honorable to have a career working with your hands as it is working with your mind. Both types of careers are important and to be respected, and we will work diligently to add more of both for our community.

 

Thank you for allowing me the great honor of being President of the third best community college in America. It is an honor to be your President!

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College's president, to write a monthly column. Dr. Ross has an extremely impressive record of extensive leadership accomplishments in community colleges, business, and non-profits based on encouraging high-achieving teamwork to make communities better. Dr. Ross is going throughout Pamlico County to hear ideas and form partnerships so that PCC can help make our county even better. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him. 

 

   

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

March, 2017

Dr. Jim Ross, PCC's President, Praises...

Pamlico County: Its Natural Beauty and its People

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College's president, to write a monthly column. Dr. Ross has an extremely impressive record of extensive leadership accomplishments in community colleges, business, and non-profits based on encouraging high-achieving teamwork to make communities better. Dr. Ross is going throughout Pamlico County to hear ideas and form partnerships so that PCC can help make our county even better. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him. 

 

How do you like Pamlico County? 

 

My wife Pam and I grew up in a rural community and that is the type of community we most enjoy. After living here eight months, we cannot imagine a better rural community to live in than Pamlico County. We love living here! The natural beauty is incredible and the people are so friendly and welcoming it feels like we have always lived here.   

 

Last Saturday it struck me again how uplifting this area is. Please allow me to recount that day for you. Pam, our daughter Christine, our nine-month-old granddaughter Charlotte, and I started off the day with a refreshing early morning walk in our neighborhood in Minnesott Beach. Pam and I are absolutely thrilled that Christine and Charlotte are living with us for a year while our son-in-law is deployed overseas. We pray for his safety and are extremely thankful for the tremendous blessing of our daughter and granddaughter being with us while he is away. This has brought us great joy. It has also reminded us, however, how little sleep anyone gets when there is a new baby in the household!

 

While on our walk, it struck us how clean and crisp the air is here. We were also uplifted by seeing the wildlife while walking. We saw birds with some of the deepest blue colors I have ever seen and others with some of the richest red colors ever seen. Then to our amazement Christine spotted something in a tree none of us had ever seen in my life. It was a bald eagle! I had only seen them on television or in photos, never in real life, but here was one in its nest and looking absolutely majestic as it looked down at us. Then we saw in the tree next to it another bald eagle! We spent about 10 minutes just looking in awe at this pair of bald eagles, appropriate symbols of our great nation.  

 

On the way back to the house, we heard birds chirping throughout and walked through a light fog. When we arrived back at our house to conclude the walk, we saw a black fox squirrel just yards from our house. This black fox squirrel and its mate have become favorites of ours to watch the past few months in the woods outside our window. The first time we saw them we didn’t know what in the world these were. We filmed them, googled various animals, and finally figured it out. We used to have a beloved miniature schnauzer who would chase gray squirrels all day long as they ran across our fence. He would get great exercise each day doing this. Looking at these black fox squirrels, though, makes me wonder if a miniature schnauzer would have the courage to chase these squirrels, which are about twice as big as the gray squirrels!   

 

That same day Pam and I went to the seventh annual oyster revival and chili cook-off at Pamlico Community College. This turned out to be a record event for PCC, with the most tickets ever sold to this annual tradition special event to raise money for our needy students. I have been convinced since moving here that the citizens in this community are some of the most caring, friendly, and overall delightful people I have ever met anywhere. The wonderful people here are, in my opinion, this community’s greatest asset. I have found that to be the case at our college with the employees and students, and have found it throughout Pamlico County.

 

This belief was reinforced at the oyster and chili event. On this picture-perfect day, almost 150 people gathered to support their community college while enjoying unlimited oysters and chili. Everyone seemed to have a fantastic time. It was a joy for me visiting with college employees and student ambassadors; our college board members and their families; our foundation board members; community leaders; and business leaders. It was fun seeing so many friends from the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce Board in attendance. Community leaders who have devoted their long and distinguished careers to making Pamlico County better, such as Paul Delamar and Jim Regan, were there. Reflecting the media-generated public awareness the event received prior to its occurrence, three local media representatives attended, including Deb Dickinson from the Pamlico News.

 

In my comments at this event, I talked of the need that exists for private donations to our college. Even though our tuition is only one-tenth that of the average bachelor-degree granting college, there are still many students who simply cannot afford to attend. Recently, more than a dozen local citizens who wanted to go to our college and had even registered for classes were dropped because they could not pay. Every penny of profit from this event will go to help deserving and needy students. There is still much more to do.

 

One way to tell when an event is memorable is when people linger and don’t want to leave. This was the case here as a good hour after it was to end there were still about 40 people there talking. As I arrived home and got out of my car, I stopped and savored the delicious quietness. I looked above to the sky and saw stars as crisp as could be found in any sky in Montana.

 

I gave thanks to God for our many blessings.

   

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

February, 2017

Dr. Jim Ross, PCC's President, Announces...

Dramatic Increase in Community’s Use of Delamar Center

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College's president, to write a monthly column to answer frequent questions he receives. Dr. Ross has an extremely impressive record of extensive leadership accomplishments in community colleges, business, and non-profits based on encouraging high-achieving teamwork to make communities better. Dr. Ross is going throughout all parts of Pamlico County to meet as many people as possible to hear ideas and form partnerships so that PCC can help make our county even better. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him. 

 

Just before Christmas you announced your decision for PCC to permanently waive rental fees for all non-profits from Pamlico County to use the Delamar Center. Have you received a good response to this announcement? 

 

"We have received an extraordinary response from throughout our community! While previous years’ usage of this beautiful facility was extremely light, this has now changed dramatically. We are experiencing by far the highest rates of the community using this center since it was built. Based on previous years’ usage patterns, I last fall projected that the majority of weekends the center would have no community use. Thankfully, usage will exceed my expectations by more than 500% the first half of this year. In fact, currently there are only six weekends that the Delamar Center has not been reserved between now and the end of July!”

 

What kind of organizations will be using it and for what type of programs?

 

Please allow me to provide just a representative sample for you with organizational representatives and their contact information. On February 25 the Duck’s Unlimited Banquet will be held. Greg Rhue at 814-4896 is the contact. The Pamlico Christian Academy Daddy/Daughter Dance will be held April 1. Christie Hudson at 632-0983 is the contact. The Pamlico County High School Prom will be held April 8. Brandi Philips or the principal Chris Meadows at 745-3151 are the contacts. The Arapahoe Charter School Awards program will be held April 29. Tasha Clark at 249-2599 extension 111 is the contact. The Pamlico Partnership for Children’s Mad Hatters Ball will be held July 22. Michelle Shields at 745-7850 is the contact.”

 

How does this make our community and PCC better?

 

“To our community, it allows many non-profits for the first time to use one of the premiere facilities in our region for fundraisers, celebrations, and events. By strengthening these organizations, our community is made even stronger. Taxpayers have paid for this facility and it is only right that non-profit groups from our county can use it for no rental fee. For PCC, it means we are living up even more to our middle name of “community.” We exist to serve the community, and this is a good way to show we take it seriously. By bringing local citizens onto our campus, we hope many will decide to take classes here. Our college provides sincere appreciation to Linda Sanderson, wife of Senator Norman Sanderson, who asked me last fall to look into ways we could enable the community to use the Delamar Center more. The sincere interest she and Senator Sanderson have expressed in ways to make our community even better through partnerships with PCC will pay off in many extremely important ways, including the dramatically increased community use of the Delamar Center.”       

 

Does PCC have additional plans to serve the community’s non-profits in new ways?

 

"PCC will have this spring a first-of-its-kind breakfast celebration to honor all Pamlico County non-profit organizations for all they do to make our community a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Their work makes our community safer, more prosperous, and better educated. We will invite the executive director and board members of over 100 local non-profits to be honored at this event. The Chamber of Commerce has expressed interest in co-sponsoring this celebration with PCC. We are currently compiling a list of all such organizations in our county. We have spoken with a local supermarket to donate the food for the event. The last part of the event will be to answer any questions on using our Delamar Center.”

 

What is PCC’s Foundation planning this spring?

 

“On Saturday, February 25 from 3 PM to 5 PM, The PCC Foundation will host the 7th Annual Great Oyster Revival and Chili Cookoff on our main campus in Grantsboro. Entertainment while you eat this delicious food will be provided by the Pamlico Flutes. Tickets are on sale at the Oriental Deli and Subs, Nautical Wheelers, Bayboro Pharmacy, the Chamber of Commerce, and PCC’s Bookstore. Please call Michele Noevere at 249-1851 extension 3084 for more details. Proceeds from this and other fundraising events go to help deserving and needy PCC students through scholarships, academic support, and in a variety of other important ways.”

 

How do you like being PCC’s President after your first six months?

 

“It is an honor for my wife Pam and me to be your neighbors in one of the best rural communities with some of the best people in our entire nation. We love living in Minnesott Beach. It is an honor to serve as President of your community college. I have loved every day of being your President.

   

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

January, 2017

Dr. Jim Ross, PCC's President, Announces...

Michelle Willis as the Permanent Vice President for Instructional Services

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College's president, to write a monthly column to answer frequent questions he receives. Dr. Ross has an extremely impressive record of extensive leadership accomplishments in community colleges, business, and non-profits based on encouraging high-achieving teamwork to make communities better. Dr. Ross is going throughout all parts of Pamlico County to meet as many people as possible to hear ideas and form partnerships so that PCC can help make our county even better. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you and hear your suggestions or questions. Please e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 ext. 3007 to contact him. 

 

Have you decided who will be PCC's permanent Vice President for Instructional Services? 

 

"We are proud to officially announce that Michelle Willis of Merritt has been selected to be PCC's permanent Vice President for Instructional Services after serving with distinction for five months as the interim VP. I began working with Michelle as her supervisor the second day I was here and quickly became very impressed by her positive leadership skills that emphasized bringing out the best in employees in a spirit of teamwork to achieve excellence in serving our students. Her love of our college and Pamlico County is inspirational and contagious. She has served PCC for more than 12 years, with eight years as Chair of Off-Campus Programs and 11 years as an instructor. With an MBA, she has displayed a business person's approach in beginning seven new programs and is currently working on three new ones. She has done an extremely-effective job as the interim vice president in every way, and has been extraordinary in encouraging teamwork, professionalism, and student-focused results from those who report to her. A longtime resident of Pamlico County, Michelle is a tremendous credit to this community and our college."     

 

Does PCC offer just academic courses or just vocational programs?  

 

"PCC began as an industrial education center in 1962. Since then PCC has grown to become a fully-accredited two-year community college with programs in various disciplines in academic programs and continuing education programs. While academic programs are obviously extremely important, vocational training programs are also equally important. It is our desire to see our college expand its programs, including especially vocational programs, to better meet our community's needs. It is important that we emphasize to all citizens in our community that everyone should get post high school education of some type and that it is just as honorable for people to receive vocational training and work with their hands as it is to work with their minds. We need people who love to do both to succeed as a society. We have a task force at PCC recently-appointed to vigorously explore new programs for our college to consider adding to serve regional employers’ needs and help more Pamlico County citizens gain good jobs.”    

 

 

How much does it cost to attend PCC? Is it less expensive to attend a community college than a university?    

 

“I believe the great secret in higher education is that you can get an outstanding education at a community college and literally save tens of thousands of dollars by doing so. With individuals across our nation an alarming $1.3 trillion in debt from student loans, everyone should seriously consider attending a community college. U.S. Department of Education statistics show that the average annual cost nationwide for tuition at four-year universities is $24,700. The annual cost for tuition at Pamlico Community College is only $2,432. PCC's annual tuition is only 10% of the average university tuition nationwide! 

 

By attending the first two years at PCC and the last two years at an average-cost university, you will save $44,536 in tuition costs--not even counting what you will save in room and board costs-- instead of studying all four years at the university.”   

 

Is the quality of education as good at a community college as it is at a university?  

 

“The great secret in higher education is that you can get an outstanding education at most community colleges just like you can at most universities. PCC this year received nationwide recognition as the third best community college in America. Among all North Carolina community colleges, PCC students earn the highest grade point average after they reach the university. In fact, PCC students earn a higher grade point average there than students do who started at the university from day one!

 

According to the most recent available data from the University of North Carolina System covering all 16 universities in North Carolina, PCC graduates who transfer to these universities achieve an average GPA at the universities of 3.43. Students who attend the university from day one achieve a 2.83 GPA. That is an extraordinary accomplishment by our students and an extraordinary testament to all PCC employees.”    

 

 I would like to go to college, but I never finished high school. Can PCC help me?

 

“PCC offers the High School Equivalency (formerly GED) program. Students pursuing this may be recently out of high school or may have been out for many years. Daily instruction in math, language, computer skills, critical thinking, social studies, and science is included. We offer the flexibility of day and night classes. Completion of the HSE diploma meets criteria often required for employment, promotion, or acceptance into either a community college or a university. Students can work at their own pace and take the test for each subject area as they progress.”   

 

I graduated from high school but my reading and writing skills are not the best. Can PCC help me?

 

“Adult Basic Education at PCC helps students develop the skills needed to pursue further education, to improve their chances of getting a job, or to contribute more fully in their communities. The classes are taught by professional instructors who are committed to engaging their students and enhancing their students' progress.”

 

I can barely make ends meet. How could I ever hope to pay for college?

 

“Don’t let financial worries deter you from achieving your dreams. After talking with our staff to help you determine what your goals are, we will steer you in the right direction towards curriculum classes or continuing education classes to learn a vocation or trade. Our staff will assist you in finding and applying for financial aid, scholarships, or a tuition payment plan. We have helped hundreds of students who thought they couldn’t afford college to find financial assistance to improve their lives and their earning potential.”

 

I want to enroll in classes for your Spring semester. Can I still do so?

 

“Yes, please act very quickly and you can still do so. Classes begin January 17. Online classes begin January 30. Please call 249-1851 extension 3001 and you will receive guidance and help.” 

 

“It is an honor for my wife Pam and I to be your neighbors in one of the nicest rural communities in our entire nation. It is an honor to serve as President of your community college.”

   

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

November, 2016

Ending Delamar Center Rental Fees for Pamlico County Nonprofits  

 

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, Pamlico Community College's president, to write a monthly column to answer the most frequent questions he receives. In addition to this, Dr. Ross is going throughout all parts of the county to meet as many people as possible. He welcomes the opportunity to meet you to hear your suggestions or questions. He invites you to e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 extension 3007 to set up a time to meet him.

 

You announced recently that Pamlico County non-profit organizations will no longer have to pay rental fees to use the Delamar Center at PCC. What kind of reaction have you received to this announcement?  

 

“We believed prior to announcing it that the reaction would be strong and positive based on talking with many people before our decision was made. However, the response has been even stronger and more positive than we imagined. For many reasons it has touched a nerve in the most positive way in our community. In virtually every event or meeting I have taken part in recently, people have expressed how happy they are about it.”      

 

Why do you believe the response has been this strong?

 

“First of all, because it is such a strikingly-beautiful building and a gem for the whole county. I think many people have an exciting idea of a fundraiser or a celebration they could have in such a beautiful facility. A good example of its potential was this past Saturday night. My wife Pam and I attended the Christmas in the County program in the Delamar Center and had a wonderful time for a great cause—the Hope Clinic. We felt like we were in a winter wonderland! Thanks to the Broad Creek Christian Church, more than 200 local citizens were greeted by carolers and had an abundance of fun enjoying an uplifting program. The Pamlico Christian Academy students added to the inspiration of the evening with their excellent singing. Importantly, the program was dedicated to accepting donations for the Hope Clinic in Bayboro, an outstanding local nonprofit that provided more than $4.9 million in free healthcare services last year alone to those who need a helping hand in Pamlico County and surrounding areas.”            

 

It seemed like the Delamar Center was hardly used before. Why is that? Will your new waiver of usage fees for Pamlico County non-profits increase its usage?

 

“The portion of the Delamar Center consisting of classrooms, which amounts to about half of the building, is used heavily for health science classes and offices of faculty who teach these students. This facility is serving an extremely important purpose with modern state-of-the-art facilities for our students. On the other hand, the auditorium, the part available for use by the community for events, was used very rarely. The reason cited most frequently is that local organizations having fundraisers, celebrations, or other events simply couldn’t afford to pay the fees. It is not unusual locally or nationwide to have organizations routinely facing serious financial challenges—including even the possibility of closing down--unless they find a way to raise more money from donors. Keeping this in mind, it is not surprising to see them refrain from using our facility that cost $200 for an evening. Since we have communicated the change to no longer charge them a usage fee, numerous local nonprofits have expressed enthusiastic interest in using the center this year. We project a dramatic increase in local organizations using the Delamar Center this coming year.”

 

Will the college lose a lot of money by not charging rental fees for local non-profit organizations?   

 

"No. Because usage has been so extremely low, the college has averaged less than $2,500 annually coming from these rental fees. We believe it is much better to eliminate these usage fees and lose this amount so we can allow the Delamar Center to be utilized by more Pamlico County organizations.”

 

Will the college hire additional personnel to accommodate the increases in usage?

 

“No. We will utilize existing personnel. College departments have met and devised ways to work together so that no additional staff will be required as we better serve our community.”

 

Will fees for non-profit organizations other than usage fees also be waived?

 

‘We will retain the refundable deposit required of all organizations using the center. That deposit will be promptly returned unless there is damage to the center or excessive cleanup required. In that way, in the unlikely event that damage is done or excessive cleanup is required, the deposit on hand protects the college.”

 

Why did you utilize your authority as President to make this change?

 

“First, Pamlico Community College’s middle name is community and we need to remember that, not just in word, but most importantly in deed, taking every reasonable action to make our wonderful community even better. Second, taxpayers paid to build the Delamar Center, and it seems appropriate to allow our non-profits to use it for no rental fee. Third, one of our goals is to encourage more local citizens to come to our campus. While they are here, it is our hope that many will learn what an outstanding and inexpensive education is provided here at their community college-- the third best community college in America-- and decide to take classes here. If only one person becomes a full-time student from this exposure, and we believe many will, our community and college benefits greatly. Fourth, PCC sincerely respects what all nonprofit organizations do to make Pamlico County stronger. Every dollar they save allows them to better serve senior citizens, veterans, vulnerable children, disabled citizens, and nearly all of us in one way or another. Fifth, we hope this dramatically strengthens PCC’s partnership with our community. In addition to all of these compelling reasons, we simply believe that it is the right thing to do.”     

 

Who should non-profit organizations contact to begin the process of securing the Delamar Center?

 

“They should contact me at the e-mail address and telephone number you have listed above.”

 

“May each of you and your family members have a blessed Christmas Season and a healthy and prosperous 2017. Thank you for allowing Pam and me to be your neighbors in the nicest rural community we can imagine ever living in. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly as President of Pamlico Community College—your community college. It is an honor to be your college President.”    

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

October, 2016

The Pamlico News provides an opportunity for Dr. Jim Ross, who became Pamlico Community College's president in July, to write a monthly column to answer the most frequent questions he receives. In this way, the residents of Pamlico County can be better-informed as to his beliefs, leadership style, and goals for Pamlico County and PCC. In addition to this, Dr. Ross is going throughout all parts of the county to meet as many people as possible and welcomes the opportunity to meet you. To set up a time to meet with him or to ask a question, please e-mail jross@pamlicocc.edu or call 252-249-1851 extension 3007.

 

My daughter is beginning to look at colleges to go to in order to get a bachelor's degree. With so many stories about people who go to college who wind up deeply in debt, is there advice you can give us as to how to do this the most affordable way possible? 

 

"This question is one of the most frequent and important questions I receive. First of all, thank you for helping your daughter with this decision. I have found that students are well-served by having family and other trusted advisors helping them select a college than trying to do it on their own.  

 

"College graduates nationwide now are an astonishing $1.3 trillion in debt. With this in mind, it is more important than ever to look at earning a degree in the most efficient way possible while still getting a high-quality education. With proper planning ahead of time, it is possible to use common-sense methods to achieve this goal. 

 

"While I have been in higher education leadership most of my career, I have also been a business owner and consider it important to think about the return on investment in making educational decisions. For students and their loved ones, you should seriously consider return on your investment of tuition dollars.   

 

"I have consistently found the greatest return on investment that you who are pursuing a bachelor's degree can achieve is to take your first two years at a community college and then go on to complete your degree at the university. By doing so, you can save thousands of dollars while still getting a high-quality education.           

 

"U.S. Department of Education statistics show that the average annual cost nationwide for tuition at four-year universities is $24,700. In contrast, the annual cost for tuition at Pamlico Community College is $2,432. PCC's annual tuition is only 10% of the average university tuition nationwide. 

 

"Calculating what you would spend by attending the first two years at PCC and the last two years at an average-cost university, you will save $44,536 in tuition costs by taking this approach instead of studying all four years to the university. 

 

"In addition to looking at cost in making your decision, you also of course need to make sure you will get a good education. By coming to PCC, you will attend a college receiving state and national recognition for excellence. According to the most recent available data from the University of North Carolina System covering all 16 universities in North Carolina, PCC graduates who transfer to these universities achieve an average grade point average at the universities of 3.43. This compares favorably to the students who attend the university from day one, who achieve a 2.83 grade point average.

 

“For the third year in a row, PCC is the number 1 community college in North Carolina in grade point average once our students go on to the university. It is because of the outstanding and dedicated faculty and staff at PCC that makes all of this possible. PCC students also achieve the fifth highest graduation rate among all community colleges nationwide. I am proud to serve as President of a college that has been recognized as the third best community college in America, which is a great credit to our entire county.    

 

“Other suggestions that can help hold down the costs of higher education: Apply for all the scholarships you possibly can at PCC and at the university. At some institutions there is more money in scholarships available than is given out because not enough students apply. Also, don't automatically assume you have to earn a bachelor's degree. In many professions an associate degree or a certificate credential can enable you to have a good career with a good salary. 

 

“This may especially be the case if you are interested in becoming a welder, plumber, electrician, auto mechanic, or other profession as part of the vocational trades. We need to proudly recognize that it is just as honorable for people to have a good career in which they work with their hands as it is for those who work using just their mind. We need both for our society to prosper. 

 

“It is an honor to be your neighbor in one of the nicest rural communities, in my opinion, in which to live anywhere in our nation. It is an honor to serve as President of the third best community college in America.       

 

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

By: Dr. Jim Ross, PCC President

September, 2016

When the Pamlico News published A Conversation with Jim Ross, PCC’s New President, for our July 20 edition, the response was extremely positive. Because of this, we thought it would be of interest to our readers to have this type of conversation with Dr. Ross on a regular basis. As a result, each month he will answer some of the most frequent questions he receives from our community so we can get to know him, his leadership style, and his goals for Pamlico County better. Ross was selected after an extensive nationwide search to become PCC’s fifth president. His list of achievements is lengthy and includes 15 years of widely-heralded executive leadership in two community colleges as well as executive experience as a business owner and for a nationally-recognized non-profit organization.    

 

After being here for almost two months, have you adjusted well to living in Pamlico County? What is your impression of our county?

 

“I believe Pamlico County is one of the nicest places in America to live. My wife Pam and I love living here. This area has so much natural beauty with the water views and recreational opportunities that are abundant in Oriental, where we live, and in much of the county. The cost of living is low. Most importantly, the people of Pamlico are among the most friendly and welcoming we have ever met. If you love rural living, as we do, it is hard to imagine that there is a better place to live anywhere.”

 

Has anything surprised you about Pamlico County?

 

“It is a pleasant surprise that family is so very important here and that many families have largely stayed intact here. There is nothing more important in life than our families, and it is impressive that nearly everyone I meet is related to many people throughout this county. In addition, even those who are not blood relatives in Pamlico County still often seem like family members because they have grown up together. Pam and I originally come from a community very similar to this where the families are strong, and we appreciate this very much.”  

 

How have your first weeks as PCC president gone?

 

“I love being the PCC President! The past six weeks have been extremely successful because of our outstanding faculty, staff, Board members, and community partners. These have been among the best six weeks of my professional career, filled with excitement and lots of activity meeting many new people within the college and in the community. We are already establishing a shared vision to make PCC the best rural community college in America in order to make many lives and our overall community better in important ways. The PCC family consists of highly qualified, caring, and dedicated professionals. Because of them, I am very optimistic about our future success in moving the college ahead in significant ways.”

 

What are some of the most satisfying parts of your first weeks as PCC president?

 

“The fact that faculty and staff have responded with such enthusiasm to embracing a culture of innovation and positive change to benefit our community is very satisfying. I am an idealist who believes our purpose is to make lives better here on Earth. Being the PCC President allows me to utilize this idealist nature to inspire our employees and community partners to work together to achieve noble goals that make our world better.  

“Being able to meet so many interesting and good people is very enjoyable. I have met one-on-one for at least an hour with more than one-third of our employees and will soon have met with each full-time employee. Communication is very important for any organization’s success, and these meetings have been extremely beneficial communication vehicles. We have gotten to know each other and as a servant leader, I have learned of ways we can help our employees do better in their positions. Their insights into ways our college can become better have been valuable.”          

 

It was quite an honor to see PCC honored recently as the third best community college in America by WalletHub. What were the most important benefits to PCC of this recognition?  

 

                  “This didn’t surprise me because PCC employees are among the best I have ever seen on a national scale. They routinely go above and beyond the call of duty in teaching and serving our students. The personalized attention students receive in all aspects of their educational experience here is extraordinary and one key reason for PCC’s excellence in all aspects of the criteria used to determine the nation’s best. For example, PCC students have the fifth best graduation rate in the nation.  

“This honor increases awareness within our community of what an outstanding college PCC is. The extensive publicity from this award lets the citizens of Pamlico County know they can get an outstanding education right here and they do not have to leave our county to do so.  I believe the great secret in higher education is that community colleges can provide an outstanding education that is just as good as the quality of most universities for the first two years of instruction. To be named one of the best among more than 1,200 community colleges in America can serve to encourage others within Pamlico County to attend the first two years of college right here, get a great education right here, and save thousands of dollars they would have spent going outside the area.”     

 

What are your goals for the college going forward?

 

“We want to grow the college through enrollment increases so that many more people can have their lives improved through their community college. To do so, we need to continue to raise awareness of PCC through the media; raise awareness through interactions with the community through partnerships with the K-12 schools, churches, businesses, government, and civic organizations; raise awareness through one-on-one and small group meetings with parents and students; and expand courses and programs to better prepare graduates for jobs in demand. We need to increase vocational offerings so that local residents can be trained to fill positions which employers are increasingly in need of. We also should act as a liaison with regional employers and our community so that local citizens can know of upcoming needs for positions and receive PCC training to be qualified for those positions.”  

 

How are you becoming involved in the community?

 

“Community is our college’s middle name. I am enjoying meeting with elected, school, business, and civic leaders to ask their advice on ways PCC can better serve the community. I am enjoying the local festivals such as the Rescue Squad’s 50th Anniversary, the Vandemere Waterfront Park Dedication, and other community events. I have become a Board member of the Chamber of Commerce and becoming a member of the Rotary Club. I am enjoying the tasty restaurants in our county and community treasures like the Heritage Center. I look forward to meeting as many community residents as possible. I can be reached at jross@pamlicocc.edu or at 249-1851 ext. 3007 if I can ever help any member of our community in any way or if anyone would just like to meet to offer advice on ways our college can serve our community even better. Thank you for allowing my wife Pam and me to be your neighbors!”

 

 

 

 

A Conversation with Dr. Jim Ross

August, 2016

 

By Crystal Garrett
Correspondent for the Pamlico News

In less than a week, Dr. Jim Ross will become Pamlico Community College’s fifth president.

Ross will be leaving his post as the vice president for Institutional Advancement and Development and Educational Foundation Executive Director for Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, Va.

Ross was selected for his position following an extensive nationwide search. He’s served 15 years in executive leadership positions in higher education in addition to eight years in non-profit executive-level positions.

During his tenure at Piedmont Virginia Community College, he increased overall funding by 40 percent, increased annual campaign revenues by 60 percent and increased the amount of grant awards by more than 100 percent.

His list of achievements is lengthy and includes being the author of a nationally praised book on leadership. Rather than focus solely on his accolades, The Pamlico News set out to provide readers with an idea of Ross’ leadership style and his goals for Pamlico County. A question and answer session with the new leader follows.

Please tell me a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to make the leap from your role as vice president in Virginia to a small community college in North Carolina, and specifically, what about Pamlico County attracted you?

“Because of the down-to-earth, wonderful people in Pamlico County, I felt at home in Pamlico County when I came for my interview. The community reminded me in many favorable ways of where my wife Pam and I were raised. Pam and I are originally from a very rural community. Pam, in fact, was raised on a small dairy farm. The friendly, warm, and caring nature of the people of Pamlico County and the extremely dedicated and highly-qualified employees and Board members of Pamlico Community College were the main considerations in saying yes when offered the presidency at PCC.

“When called for the interview, I came to Pamlico County a day early so I could get to know the people. I walked away convinced Pam and I will love the community. We have rented a condo in Oriental and are excited to be in such an uplifting and caring community. During the interview process, all the PCC employees gathered to welcome me and hear my comments, and I was extremely impressed with all I met. Their enthusiasm was incredible! During a dinner with Board members and later in the Board interview, I found them to be an outstanding group of leaders from all walks of life who care deeply about the college and community. I look forward eagerly to working with each of the PCC family and together making the college even better.

“I am an idealist who believes our purpose is to make lives better here on Earth. I have been fortunate in my career to work with outstanding colleagues and community leaders to bring about meaningful successes that have made lives and communities better. With 15 years executive community college experience and additional executive business and non-profit experience, my motive in applying for the presidency is to help even more people live better lives. Because I have helped inspire teams of dedicated people throughout my career to achieve results, it has been gratifying to see students and overall communities made better. I believe it is possible to make an even greater difference as President than I have been able to as a Vice President. For that reason, I decided to apply for the PCC presidency. It has been very difficult, however, to leave so many friends here at Piedmont Virginia Community College. The President here had a farewell reception for me this week and it was wonderful. However, it was also very sad to say goodbye.”

How would you describe your leadership style in the college and in the community?

“My style is to bring out the best in others in a positive manner. My greatest strength is to work extremely well with all types of people, listen to their ideas of how to get better, and inspire people to work in high-achieving teams to pursue a noble goal which involves making lives better. Here at PCC that will of course result in students and the overall community being improved in important ways.

“I am a servant leader who believes my role is to work with others to develop a shared vision of pursuing a noble goal and then help provide the tools they need to work together in teams to accomplish worthy goals that impact people for the better. I believe in inspiring people to stretch their capacity of what they believe is possible to achieve and then providing service to them to bring out their best to make the college even better, thus enabling even more students and the overall community to be helped in important ways. I have been described as someone who is an extremely positive force with all I work with, and I am proud of that description.”

What do you see as Pamlico Community College’s toughest challenges and how will you tackle those as president?

“In general, small colleges receive less funding because of their size and PCC is no exception to that. One of the challenges, of course, would thus be one of the college becoming bigger through enrollment and increasing external sources of funding. It has been gratifying for me to gain extensive experience in my career in increasing institutional awareness, increasing enrollments, and increasing revenues through grants, fundraising, and working closely with governmental officials for increased funding. By doing that, funds are available to increase new offerings and overall student success.”

What changes would you like to see made at the college (if any) to improve its effectiveness and service to the community?

“I look forward to meeting one-on-one with each full-time PCC employee, each College Board member, each Foundation Board member, each local elected official, each high school administrator, each member of the media, each business leader, and as many students and parents as possible to ask for their ideas on how we can become better. We will welcome all ideas with the goal of forming a collective vision of making our college better and working hard together as a team to make our service to students and the community even better in meaningful ways.”

What type of partnerships do you see as imperative in order to achieve post-graduation success for your students?

“We need to pursue partnerships with every element of the community to work with us to help our students achieve success. By establishing partnerships with high schools, colleges, businesses, churches, civic groups, and elected officials, we can achieve a powerful team that works together in many ways, some of which may be unseen as of now but that will pay important dividends for students.”

Finally, what do you believe the role between the students and the president should consist of?

“The college exists for students. I have always found my greatest inspiration to be that of visiting with students to learn of their dreams, hopes, fears, and their concerns and suggestions about their interactions with the institution, and then acting to help to make their academic careers more successful. I want to be known as the student’s president, their greatest advocate. I look forward to meeting with as many students as possible and gaining their perspective—as those we exist to serve—as to how we can make the college experience for them even better.

“I hope especially to meet with each and every student who is not succeeding and in danger of having to withdraw. By doing so, we in many cases can make a difference so that they do not drop out and go on to succeed. Every time we help a student succeed, we make our community stronger. We make a difference with our lives by making their lives better. I look forward to making an even greater difference with my life by working together in a spirit of mutual respect and teamwork with PCC employees and our community to do great things together. Thank you Pamlico County for allowing Pam and me the great honor of becoming a neighbor of yours. Thank you, all in the PCC family, for allowing me the great honor of being your President.”

 

Pamlico Community College does not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment on the basis of sex, age, disability, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation or religion.