30 Johnston County Rising 9th Graders Selected For New STEM Pathway At Johnston Community College

New dual enrollment initiative starts this fall with Early College Academy

Smithfield – Johnston Community College is pleased to congratulate the 30 rising 9th graders recently selected for the new STEM Pathway partnership with Early College Academy.  These high achieving students, representing all of Johnston County’s middle schools, will follow a specially-designed pathway to secure either the Associate in Engineering (AE) or Associate in Science with an Engineering concentration degree.  Mr. Lance Gooden, Department Chair of Engineering, stated that he “is especially pleased with the cohort’s representation of women and underrepresented minorities as the AE program has worked diligently over the last 5 years to increase participation of these groups of students pursuing STEM majors.”

JCC’s Associate in Engineering program is an articulated transfer degree with UNC’s five engineering schools.  The program has grown significantly over the last six years and 73% of its graduates are accepted to top engineering schools including NC State, ECU, UNC Charlotte and Georgia Tech.  Fourteen percent of all Associate of Engineering graduates are Goodnight Scholars at NCSU.

JCC is the only North Carolina community college with an Engineering-Focused STEM Pathway within an innovative high school that is located on its campus.  This partnership gives students in the cohort unprecedented access to collegiate level faculty, resources, facilities, student activities and more. The STEM Pathway is designed to be a unique educational experience that merges college level course work with engaging co- and extra-curricular activities.  Students can “engineer” their 5-year dual enrollment experience by participating in a number of activities including Robotics, STEM Camps, internships, research, special presentations, workshops, community service, math competitions, and an engineering club. The cohort begins this August with a LAUNCH (Lead, Achieve, Understand, Network, Challenge, Help) inspired orientation.  JCC Faculty and current engineering students will be actively involved with the cohort by providing direct advising, leadership development, mentorship and academic support.

This Fall, the STEM Pathway cohort will also experience the design and construction of the college’s new 50,000 square foot engineering building. This technologically advanced building will house Engineering classes, science labs, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D Print lab, robotics and design lab and other innovative learning environments to activate analytical, critical and inventive thinking.  Gooden commented that “this experience will cultivate and sustain a diverse group of highly-motivated, high-achieving students in a significant first step toward a viable STEM pathway.”