February 10, 2021
WILLIAMSTON--Pitt Community College is teaming up with nearby Martin Community College to further development of a skilled regional workforce in several high-demand career fields.
Administrators from the colleges made it official Wednesday, signing several agreements regarding the transfer of MCC students into four PCC curricula: Associate in Engineering, Biotechnology, Computer Integrated Machining (CIM) and Mechanical Engineering Technology. The articulations establish seamless pathways for MCC students to complete general education and prerequisite courses at Martin before moving on to Pitt to finish their respective programs of study.
"The articulations between PCC and Martin Community College are the product of our commitment to developing eastern North Carolina's economy," PCC President Lawrence Rouse said. "In addition to creating new educational opportunities for the people we serve to improve themselves and their chances of future success, these agreements are testament to our dedication to helping prepare a well-trained workforce for local business and industry."
MCC President Wesley Beddard says the partnership with PCC will create new training options for students in Martin and Bertie counties "while avoiding duplication of (program) offerings and additional costs." He said the agreements will save students time and money by allowing them to "start their studies locally, even while they are in high school," in pathways that lead to degrees in career fields the region truly needs.
"Martin Community College is excited to offer these programs in partnership with Pitt Community College as a collaborative effort to develop the workforce in our region," Beddard said.
Dr. Tom Gould, PCC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Development Services, helped craft the 1+1 articulations. He said the programs at the center of the partnership are not currently offered by Martin and were selected because they lead to secure, high-paying jobs in technically-sophisticated career fields.
"The region has a critical need for individuals possessing the training and skills delivered by these programs," Gould said. "This partnership will create a regional workforce pipeline in high-demand fields and assist with attracting new industrial partners and expanding existing businesses."
Gould said PCC and MCC would focus now on promoting the programs and recruiting students for the 2021 Fall Semester.
"In particular, we want to make sure high school students nearing graduation are aware of these new opportunities," he said. "But just as importantly, we want to make it known these programs are open to all students seeking to acquire the education and training to succeed in these fields."
PCC's Associate in Engineering program has been offering students the first two years of a four-year engineering degree since 2009. Those who complete it can transfer to East Carolina University through an articulation between the schools. There are several other North Carolina universities that offer the final two years of bachelor's degree in engineering as well.
Started in 2002, Pitt's biotechnology curriculum trains students for work in practically any laboratory setting, including pharmaceutical, testing/forensic, and medical research. More than 600 biotech companies call the Tar Heel State home, including Greenville's Mayne Pharma. Two years ago, the company started a scholars program for select PCC biotechnology students that features a full, two-year scholarship, full-time internship, and opportunity for employment upon graduation.
For students who enjoy seeing projects from start to finish, the CIM program at Pitt teaches them how to utilize a combination of computers and sophisticated machinery to create parts used in manufacturing. Students also learn how to write program coding for Computer Numerical Control machines through the program, which features several specialized certifications.
PCC's Mechanical Engineering program prepares graduates for work as engineering technicians in the field of manufacturing technology. Students learn about drafting, process specification, tooling selection, automation programming, project facilitation, and robotics. The program features degree, diploma and certificate options, and Pitt has articulation agreements with UNC-Charlotte and ECU for students wanting to further their education beyond an associate degree.
For more information on the PCC-MCC partnership, contact Dr. Tabitha Miller, MCC Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (252) 789-0247.