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State's community colleges continue hurricane recovery

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Scott Shook, Chair of the State Board of Community Colleges, listens as Lawrence Rouse, President of Pitt Community College speaks during a Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Hilton, Tuesday afternoon.

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By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Ensuring community college students affected by Hurricane Florence stay on track and graduate on time is the priority of the North Carolina Community College System, said the chairman of its governing body.

“The challenges are the students and faculty in the areas that were affected and who have had to move around,” said Scott Shook, chairman of the State Board of Community Colleges. Shook discussed hurricane recovery on Tuesday following Pitt Community College President Lawrence Rouse’s speech before the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce.

Shook and other board members are talking with state legislators about the needs of the system and of students whose classes and attendance has been disrupted by the hurricane.

Open colleges are trying to work out individualized plans with students who have been unable to return to class because of dislocation or road closures, Shook said.

As of Tuesday, 10 community colleges had not resumed full operations. Five of those — Cape Fear, Carteret, Craven, James Sprunt (in Duplin County) and Pamlico — are not expecting to resume classes until at least Oct. 1, said Brian Long, a spokesman for the state community college system.

Community colleges in Brunswick, Coastal Carolina — located in Onslow County— Robeson and Southeastern — located in Columbus County— are scheduled to open either today or later this week.

At Lenoir Community College the main Kinston campus and centers in Greene County and LaGrange are open but the Jones County Center was closed on Tuesday.

“Community colleges affected by Hurricane Florence have several options for making up lost instructional time,” Long said.

Time can be added to classes, instructional days can be added to the academic calendar, scheduled breaks can be eliminated or online options may be used.

“Colleges will do whatever they can to ensure that their students’ education does not suffer because of the hurricane,” Long said.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.

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