Central Carolina Community College hosted a new event Thursday night in an effort to show area high school students opportunities that are available at all of CCCC’s campuses.
The inaugural Career & College Promise Open House was held at the Harnett County campus in Lillington. Following a brief presentation by staff members, students had the opportunity to talk to instructors about different programs available to students who are still in high school.
The Career & College Promise program allows students to complete classwork at the community college in conjunction with regular high school classes. They can complete classes online or they can attend classes.
Three sessions were held for students in 10th and 11th grades to learn more about how they can begin planning for their future prior to their high school graduation.
CCCC Director of Secondary Partnerships Mary Schmid-Carter said staff members are embedded in each high school in the county to help students learn about the program. The local school system works in conjunction with the community college on the program. Representatives of Harnett County Schools were also on hand.
Mrs. Schmid-Carter said Thursday’s event was another way to show off the college’s programs.
“This is a kickoff for our recruitment efforts,” Mrs. Schmid-Carter said. “We feel like we have a lot of interesting opportunities for students and we want to show off what we are doing. Our goal tonight is to give students something that is going to help them in the future.”
The Harnett County site was chosen because of its central location.
“It seemed like the logical place to start,” Mrs. Schmid-Carter said.
One goal of the program is to show off some of CCCC’s career and technical education, or CTE, classes. Instructors in some of those programs were on hand. That included automotive restoration, motorcycle repair, welding and culinary arts, among other things.
Stan Thompson is an instructor in the motorcycle repair program.
“We hope this event will help bring in more students,” Mr. Thompson said.
Chuck Mann is a professor in the school’s auto repair program.
“I hope we can plant a few seeds with these students tonight,” Mr. Mann said.
The program, offered free to Harnett County Schools students, also offers a college transfer program which students can follow if they plan to pursue a four-year degree at a later date.
Anthony Espinoza, a student at Triton High School, was intently listening to instructions in the first 30-minute section of the program.
He already has a career goal in mind.
“I want to go into culinary arts and I will mostly likely come here,” Anthony said.
Overhills High School student Areonna Dodge also has clear goals.
“I want to be a veterinary technician and I wanted to see what Central Carolina offers to help me with that,” Areonna said.
Approximately 40 students took part in the first session Thursday night.
“We are excited to see so many people come out,” Mrs. Schmid-Carter said.
Ms. Schmid-Carter said students who are interested in participating in the program should contact their high school guidance counselors.