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Pamlico Community College.

PAMLICO COMMUNITY COLLEGE (PCC) BEGAN AS AN INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION CENTER IN 1962, BUT IN 1971 IT GAINED INITIAL ACCREDITATION by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and became Pamlico Technical College. Today, PCC is a fully accredited two-year community college with programs in disciplines that range from computer technology to allied health. Through a contract program with East Carolina University, PCC students in appropriate programs are able to transfer on to a four-year education.

PCC is the smallest community college in North Carolina, but it recently signed what is being called an historic agreement with one of the largest universities in the state. When North Carolina State University signed its first ever articulation agreement in environmental science technology with PCC, PCC Environmental Science Program Director Carol Phillips noted, "This agreement significantly increases both education and employment opportunities for our students. Not just communities in our area, which is an environmentally sensitive area, but the whole world needs more environmental professionals."

Environmental science technology students at PCC study courses that include environmental biology, chemistry, organic and biochemistry, microbiology, environmental health and safety, and environmental law. The coursework includes general education classes as well as computer applications. Students learn about business presentations and spreadsheets along with the knowledge they acquire about waste management, water quality and air quality.

The curriculum is designed to prepare students for employment in environmental testing, consulting and other related industries. Students learn to do environmental assessments, environmental sample collection and perform regulatory compliance audits. The summer session includes cooperative work experience as well as the study of industrial safety.


Upon their graduation, students have available job opportunities that include laboratory technician, field sampling technician, pollution control technician and industrial environmental compliance officer. With additional training, other careers become available, among them environmental law enforcement, wildlife and marine fisheries officer, waste management specialist and sanitarian.

The environmental management concentration is designed to prepare students for employment in a rural agricultural region with sensitive environmental resources, such as Pamlico County. Situated on a peninsula marking the center of North Carolina's Lower Coastal Plain, Pamlico County is mostly bordered by water on three sides. The habitats throughout the area include open sound water, marshlands, and mixed pine and hardwood forests. Therefore, an emphasis is placed on agricultural waste management, watersheds, related pathogens and contaminants, and resource conservation.

According to Phillips, graduates of the PCC environmental science technology program have found careers in water treatment facilities and health departments. One graduate is an environmental protection agent at Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, North Carolina. "We're proud of our program and especially proud of the difference our graduates are making for our environment," she adds.

For more information about the environmental science technology program at Pamlico Community College, visit
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Title Annotation:SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT; environmental science courses
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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