Pitt County college enrollment on the rise

Pitt County college enrollment on the rise (Reporter: Amanda Brannon)

GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Pitt county colleges are seeing record enrollment numbers this year.

East Carolina University is seeing its second largest freshman class ever. Pitt Community College is also making history with record breaking enrollment numbers.

"PCC is a great school. It's hands on," Pitt Community College freshman David Tarrant said.

That's just one of the many reasons students are choosing to attend Pitt Community College.

With 9,100 students, it's the largest enrollment the college has ever seen.

"We are teaching at every available space. We also look for some creative options to bring more online courses, more hybrid courses just trying to make sure that anyone who wants to attend Pitt is able to sign up for the classes that they need," PCC enrollment director, Joanne Ceres said.

However, Ceres said the college could use more space.

"We are the most crowded community college of all 58 North Carolina community colleges," Ceres said.

In November, residents in Pitt County will vote on a $19.9 million dollar bond referendum. The referendum seeks to help the college grow.

"The bond referendum will allow us to build that science classroom," she said.

PCC will also be able to relocate its basic law enforcement training center.

"A new science department would be great and they do need a new police department," PCC sophomore Cortney Bennett said.

John Fletcher, associate provost for enrollment services at ECU, said the university is also seeing a surge in freshman enrollment.

"4,495 new students joined us here on campus this fall," Fletcher said.

Both colleges have a good working relationship, allowing students to start at PCC and finish their education at ECU.

"Anything that helps them may end up helping us indirectly," Fletcher said.

"I'm getting a lot from [PCC] with my first few weeks … [I] always wanted to go back to school but now that I'm here I'm glad I made the right decision," Tarrant said.

The bond referendum will come in the form of a property tax. Officials said for a house worth $100,000, a resident will pay $18.50 per year.

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