Mary Tom Bass: ECC plans big things for new year


Mary Tom Bass is director of public Information for Edgecombe Community College.


By Mary Tom Bass
Edgecombe Community College

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A new year begins today, one that promises to be an exciting time for Edgecombe Community College.

Announced in December, the U.S. Department of Education’s Predominantly Black Institution grant of more than $2 million will help increase the college’s retention and graduation rates of low-income and African American students.

Among other initiatives, the five-year grant is funding two Student Success Centers, one on the Rocky Mount campus and one in Tarboro.

“Our goal is to ensure that students have the necessary resources and support to stay in college, graduate, or transfer to other institutions of higher learning,” said Kenneth Jones, coordinator of the Rocky Mount Student Success Center.

Students who met certain criteria prescribed by the grant are part of a cohort that began in fall 2016 and will be tracked until credential completion. Subsequent cohorts will begin each fall of the next four years.

Though the Student Success Centers are key to serving students identified under the grant, the centers will serve all of the college’s students. Services provided include application and registration assistance, student planning, goal setting, access to tutoring and individualized support services.

Also, a new degree option in Surgical Technology begins this semester. The college has a highly-regarded, one-year diploma in Surgical Technology in place. The new two-year degree program is available to students who already hold a diploma in the field.

The degree requires just 15 additional hours beyond the diploma program. One course contains a clinical component, but all of the other classes are offered online.

Season Twelve of the Edgecombe Performance Series continues this spring with three outstanding shows.

On Feb. 16, the Barter Players will perform “Great Expectations,” based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Formed in 1933, the Barter Theatre is the nation’s longest-running professional theatre.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 with Bill Leslie and Lorica, a celtic/folk/new age-blended ensemble. The New York Theatre Ballet returns to Tarboro for a fifth straight season on April 28.

Looking forward to the summer, ECC is planning its Camp College 2017 for ages 8 to 18. Camps being planned include Beauty School Camp, Drones Camp, Guitar Camp, Health Care Careers Camp, Junior Chef’s Camp, Splash into Art Camp and STEM Camp.

Stay tuned for more great advancements in 2017. Edgecombe Community College wishes you a joyous new year.