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Carteret Community College student Gabe Forgione of Newport, standing, gets directions to his class from Student Government Association President Anthony Pile on Aug. 15, which was the first day of the 2022 fall semester at CCC. Looking on is SGA treasurer Katelyn Styron. (Cheryl Burke photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — Karlyn Salter of Otway was busy unpacking class supplies in her cosmetology classroom at Carteret Community College on Aug. 15, which was the first day of 2022 fall semester classes at CCC.

“This is my last year, and I’m pretty excited because it’s my last one,” she said.

Throughout the campus, students could be seen scurrying to find classrooms. Students entering buildings were greeted with food and other goodies provided by the Student Government Association and instructors.

SGA President Anthony Pile was set up at a table filled with food in the Wayne West Building, directing students to classes. He said he was glad to be back on campus and was looking forward to a great year.

“I’m excited about a new semester,” he said. “It got really boring over the summer.”

As well as providing breakfast to students Aug. 15, Pile said the SGA was sponsoring a Back to School Bash at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 22. It will include food trucks and games for students.

College officials did not report first day enrollment figures by presstime, but last week CCC Vice President Dr. Maggie Brown reported that early enrollment was 1,369, about 2% less than last fall. However, she said that number would continue to go up as students complete late registration and other classes come online in the next few weeks.

CCC President Dr. Tracy Mancini and other college administrators walked the campus Monday morning, handing out Smarties and welcoming students back. Dr. Mancini said she was happy to see students back for a new year.

“It’s always exciting to have students back on campus to start a fresh year,” she said. “We’re especially excited this year about expanding our nursing program. We’re taking applications now to start an additional class in January. We’re excited about serving our health care community and the community at large.”

Dr. Mancini said she’s also looking forward to new partnerships with other institutions this year, such as a new agreement with UNC Wilmington that allows CCC students who graduate with a human services associate’s degree to transfer to UNCW and earn a bachelor’s degree in social work.

“Previously, four-year institutions wouldn’t accept credentials in human services toward a Bachelor of Social Work degree," she said. "This is a real breakthrough because students will be able to complete their degree online and stay in the community.”

Dr. Mancini said with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxing COVID-19 safety protocols last week, masks will remain optional for students and staff this year.

“We are continuing to employ contact tracers through December so they can instruct anyone who reports having COVID on the most recent CDC guidelines and what they need to do,” she said. “As always, people are welcome to wear masks if it makes them more comfortable.”

The college continues to offer sanitation stations throughout campus buildings.

Dr. Mancini said Basic Law Enforcement Training students are coming back to renovated facilities in the BLET building.

“We have improved bathrooms, showers and lockers and a renovated physical training room,” she said.

Dr. Brown added that the college would continue to offer a food pantry for students, which is currently located upstairs of the McGee Building. However, the pantry will be moved to the Smith Building within the next few weeks.

With the excitement of a new academic year, CCC cosmetology instructor Crystal See said she is happy to have students back in her classroom for the fall semester.

“This is the last year for some of these students, so I am excited for some of them graduating and getting on with their dreams,” she said.

 

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

 

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