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Community colleges begin classes

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Jenaya Holiday buys books with the help of Joshua Whitley on Tuesday at the campus bookstore at Nash Community College.

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By AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Summer vacation has come to an end for local community college students.

Classes began for Nash Community College students on Tuesday and will begin for Edgecombe Community College students on Thursday.

Students at NCC were looking forward to the start of classes Tuesday with anticipation mixed with a little dread for the work that lies ahead.

“I am excited about the new school year, but sometimes I feel like school is a chore,” said Kolby Lynch, 19. Lynch, a graduate of Tar River Academy, is in his second year at Nash Community College, where he is working on an associate degree before applying to study business administration at college in Virginia.

Lynch said NCC provides good support for students who need help.

“The teachers here will help to their utmost ability, but you have to want help first,” Lynch said.

Ashley Lewis, 28, said she also finds Nash Community College to be a supportive environment.

“I have autism and a bigger college would really freak me out,” Lewis said. “Nash Community College is more personal, and I feel that they genuinely care about me and my success. That is what has made the difference for me.”

Lewis is entering her third semester at the college, where she is studying human services technology. Lewis graduated from Nash-Rocky Mount Middle College High School the year before the Nash-Rocky Mount Early College High School was launched. When she decided to return to school in order to better provide for herself and her two children, she said Nash Community College was the natural choice.

“I love it here,” Lewis said.

Human services technology is one of the most popular fields of study at NCC this year, said Kelley Deal, dean of marketing at NCC.

“We expect enrollment to exceed 3,000 curriculum students for the fall 2017 semester,” Deal said. “Data show high interest particularly in human services technology​, nursing, advertising and graphic design, computer engineering technology, early childhood education, medical office administration, business administration and online degree programs.

Though Edgecombe Community Classes begin on Thursday, students can still register for fall classes today. Several new programs await ECC students this fall.

A new welding program will help students develop industry-standard skills for welding and metalworking industries, construction, manufacturing and fabrication.

Doug Parrish, department chair of Industrial and Technical Trades, said a Duke Energy Foundation grant of nearly $250,000 has enabled the college to purchase new equipment, improve lighting and upgrade the welding lab, including the addition of 12 welding booths with state-of-the-art ventilation.

“In an industry that is expected to increase 15 percent over the next 10 years, welders are and will continue to be in high demand,” Parrish said.

ECC also will offer an entrepreneurship program this fall. The program is designed to benefit students who want to start a small business or who want to grow as self-employed business owners. Course work will include entrepreneurial concepts, business funding, marketing and economics.

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