SANFORD - There are lots of good reasons to start your four-year degree at Central Carolina Community College. Quality of instruction. Convenience. Low cost. Safe environment. Outstanding support services.
CCCC students can graduate with an Associate in Arts, an Associate in Science, or an Associate in Engineering degree before transferring to a four-year school. One school where CCCC students have learned to call home is Appalachian State University in Boone.
"Appalachian State shines in its ability to focus in maintaining a comfortable mentoring environment. App State was a clear choice for me once I realized that many professors truly desired to get to know their students and have relationships," said Preston MacDonald, a CCCC graduate and current student at Appalachian State majoring in Computational Mathematics and Computer Science. "My past of being a firefighter has taught me the value of these relationships we establish with others. I feel learning shouldn't be limited to the classroom, but, we should also share our experiences with others so they may make a better decision for their future. The same experience I had with professors at CCCC is the same experience I had at Appalachian State."
Mitchell Carr, Mathematics Instructor and Evening Programs Coordinator at CCCC, is an Appalachian State graduate. "ASU cares very much about welcoming and making sure transfer students do well," said Carr. "That, coupled with the efforts here at CCCC, creates a wonderful synergy between ASU and CCCC."
Kyle Flood is another CCCC graduate who transferred to Appalachian State. He enjoyed his time at CCCC. "What I liked most about being a student at Central Carolina Community College was having the ability to develop positive and respected relationships with the professors," said Flood. "Knowing I could drop in at any time during the day to ask a question, or just to chat, made my experience there more enjoyable and beneficial to my overall success there."
Flood, who is studying Health and Physical Education K-12 at ASU, noted, "I decided to transfer to Appalachian State because I love the mountains and have always dreamed about staying in Boone," he said. "I had also heard about the great opportunities that Appalachian State had to offer and wanted to see what they were all about."
Another CCCC graduate who has gone on to Appalachian State is Christopher Sheils. "I absolutely loved the instructors," said Sheils, who praised CCCC's Mitchell Carr, Fred Fritz, and Lisa Knight and noted they were "excellent teachers who helped to shape my future education."
Sheils got his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 2015 and is now finishing his Master's in Applied Mathematics at N.C. A&T State University. "I'd also like to recommend to anyone considering a math-heavy major after CCCC to transfer to App! The math department at App State is phenomenal."
Katrina Palmer, Ph.D., who is Professor & Transfer Director, Department of Mathematical Sciences at Appalachian State, said of the CCCC students: "The students that I know who transferred to Appalachian have all been fabulous students! They all have a solid math background, and a strong work ethic," she said "These students are all very good at seeking help and advice whenever they need/want it. I truly believe that is what makes them successful -- taking ownership of their education. We want all students to be successful, but we can't predict everything students need so it's important they feel comfortable asking for help."
What advice would these former CCCC students give to a graduating high school student who may be considering attending CCCC before transferring to a four-year college?
"I would say go for it. It is definitely the best financial decision when it comes to paying for school," said Flood. "You also get the same quality education, if not better, for cheaper the cost when attending CCCC."
"I'd highly recommend CCCC, particularly the math and science departments (because that's what I have the most experience with) due to its excellent instructors," said Sheils. "It's also the smart financial choice, especially if you're undecided in what you want to major in or tend to change your mind a lot -- two years at CCCC should help you figure out what you want to do later in your education."
MacDonald said that he would almost always recommend attending CCCC or any community college before committing to a four-year college. "I struggled to find a field that I wanted to enter, especially after high school. It took me a total of three years to discover what I wanted to pursue after I graduated high school," he said. "Community college allows for a cheaper yet extremely valuable experience for students. Students can be introduced to trade jobs or prep for a four-year degree by completing an intuitive transfer process at a community college. I don't believe you receive any advantage going straight into a four-year unless you have a scholarship. You can pay less for an often more interactive experience at a community college then transfer into a four-year of your choice."
Dr. Brian Merritt, CCCC Vice President of Learning & Workforce Development/Chief Academic Officer, said Appalachian State University has become one of the top transfer options for CCCC students. "We have an excellent working relationship with Appalachian's Office of Transfer Services, an ASU representative is active on our University Transfer Advisory Council, and we are sending a number of faculty and staff to Boone this spring for a transfer articulation symposium," said Merritt. "As an Appalachian State graduate myself, I've always thought the university reminds me a lot of CCCC -- it is responsive and engrained to its local community and has a supportive learning environment."
To learn more about the Central Carolina Community College University Transfer program, visit www.cccc.edu/collegeservices/transfer-resources.
For information about Central Carolina Community College and its programs, visit its website, www.cccc.edu or call the college at 919-775-5401.
Preston MacDonald is a Central Carolina Community College graduate and current student at Appalachian State University majoring in Computational Mathematics and Computer Science.