Bruce Panneton, dean of the Division of Arts and Science at Edgecombe Community College, instructs a biology class.

Edgecombe Community College is offering a fall mini-term that begins Oct. 20 and ends Dec. 17.

This eight-week mini-term makes it possible for students to complete a course with the same quality of instruction as a standard 16-week course but on a shorter schedule.

Most of the classes are online, but several are hybrid classes that include both in-person and online instruction. Students may choose from 20 courses, including general education courses that transfer to four-year universities.

“Our eight-week classes begin at about the same time nearby university eight-week classes are ending, so this is an ideal time for students to take a college transfer course with us,” said Sheryll Wood, dean of the Division of Arts and Sciences at ECC.

ECC is a low-cost, high quality option for the first two years of a four-year degree. Mini-term courses that will transfer to four-year schools include College Transfer Success, Art Appreciation, Introduction to Computers, Writing and Inquiry, Music Appreciation and Introduction to Sociology.

Four classes that apply toward ECC’s unique Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones) certificate will be held during the mini-term: Intro to UAS Operations, Survey of GIS/GPS, Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Small UAS Certification.

ECC is the only community college in the state that offers the certificate program, which can be completed in two semesters.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in drone applications, and with that comes the need for highly skilled drone aviators. That’s where Edgecombe Community College enters the picture,” said Trey Cherry, Information Technology Studies department chair.

Business-focused courses also are offered during the mini-term, including International Business, Fleet Management and Transportation Management.

Students interested in early childhood education can enroll in Child Development II. Additional classes offered during the mini-term include Medical Terminology II and Advanced Software Applications.

To learn more about ECC’s mini-term, go to and click on eight-week classes.