Pamlico Community College does it again! Trophy cabinet busting at seams

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President Dr. Jim Ross presents Kendyl Gray with her Cosmetology diploma at a previous year’s Commencement ceremony. (Contributed photo )

GRANTSBORO – Pamlico Community College (PCC) during the past three years has become a leader among all community colleges in the nation in rankings for excellence. PCC recently received another distinctive honor – an addition to its growing list of awards. 

BestValueSchools.org, a Utah-based education website, ranked PCC as North Carolina’s best community college. PCC is now ranked No. 1 on a list titled “Top 15 Best Community Colleges in North Carolina for 2021.”

 PCC has this past academic year earned the extraordinary ranking by WalletHub as America’s No. 1 community college for student success. During this same period, PCC has also earned the 2021 prestigious ranking by SmartAsset as the No. 2 best overall community college in the United States! Both rankings were based on U.S. Department of Education data that designates excellence. 

Pamlico Community College has been recognized as one of the top community colleges in North Carolina and the nation for many reasons,” the website states. “With small class sizes and high graduation and transfer rates, students of Pamlico succeed first in their studies and their careers.”

The website continued: “With academic programs, continuing education programs, and public safety and emergency management programs, Pamlico Community College offers a wide array of degrees and certifications to meet the needs of its diverse students. Students can either use their education at Pamlico to begin their career upon graduation or use it as a springboard to transfer to a larger university to pursue a bachelor’s degree.”

Dr. Jim Ross, who has led the college the past five years as President, consistently gives credit to the “amazing faculty and staff.” Ross said “our dedicated faculty and staff deserve the credit for the recent dramatic improvements in graduation/transfer rates which improved by a remarkable 20% the past four years and in many other areas of performance. We have developed a shared goal of achieving excellence in service to students and our community so we can make lives better.”  

PCC employees enthusiastically agree. Director of Library Services Paul Goodson said, “Pamlico Community College is just a special place. I have never been anywhere else where students receive so much individual attention. The staff and faculty are dedicated to the success of the students and to our community as a whole. The rankings and recognition we have achieved are a reflection of that commitment.” 

Early Childhood Education instructor Neil Callahan stated, “All our students are important and receive our close hands-on attention. This sets us apart from many other colleges, that personal touch we can give a student.”  

“It is through our concept of creating a community of care for our students. This is our greatest pride as a community college. It drives our daily operations and impacts each of our students in their individual pathways,” said Counselor/director of the Career Center Cristy Warner. 

Student Kobe Wright said, “For me, convenience was what brought me to PCC, but a warm and friendly faculty and staff have kept me here. They want to know what I need, how I need it, and work with me to overcome obstacles. Instructors here are creative/inventive and use modern day life to put age-old material into a more understandable form. For instance, today in my Environmental Science class, my instructor was using Marvel Super Heroes as a way for me to better understand symbiosis. The instructors also are very open to taking extra time to work with me on any materials that I am not understanding and I am very thankful that the campus community is so helpful, warm, and engaging to me as a student. I’ve made lifelong friends here.”

Student Damien Mitchell stated, “I am provided one on one time with my instructor.  I attended a university and never received time with my instructor. Coming to PCC has helped me a lot.”

“PCC provided me with an opportunity to succeed.  I am provided with a better learning experience,” said Student Cody Rumsey.

Vice President for Student Services Jamie Gibbs said, “Positively changing lives of the people we serve is a mission that, under the leadership and guidance of Dr. Jim Ross, the staff of PCC works very hard to achieve.  I have observed it to be a mission that all employees proudly accept and one that, as a team, we work very hard to maintain!”

Welding instructor Joe Flynn said, “I believe that the smaller class sizes are beneficial to our students as it gives them a sense of a one on one atmosphere which has been proven for providing better student learning outcomes.”

Pamlico Community College is not just a school, it is a family that works together to accomplish a common goal (educate students, give work force training, and make lives better). Bringing state and national recognition to Pamlico County gives the community a sense of pride,” said Horticulture Instructor Ed King. 

PCC high morale of employees has soared in recent years. A survey of all employees shows that an astonishing 95% of all employees have high morale, and increase from 55% several years ago. 

“I believe that the dramatic increase in morale that Pamlico Community College has experienced in the past few years is a direct result of the culture of inclusion, collaboration, and open communication that has been nurtured under President Ross’ leadership,” said Vice President for Business Services Sherry Raby. “The PCC environment has been transformed into one that is energetic, progressive, and impactful.” Ross has challenged the staff “to think not just about the business factor but to also consider and incorporate the people factor in the services we provide,” she said.

Ross emphasized that North Carolina citizens can be proud of community colleges throughout the state. “North Carolina community colleges provide such excellent quality that they are the greatest bargain in higher education, and each of them could legitimately have won this award.”