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May 27, 2024 5:37 am

Wayne Community College welcomes first cohort of C3 students

GOLDSBORO — Wayne Community College’s N.C. State Community College Collaboration (C3) program accepted its first cohort of students this fall. Formerly only a C3 Military Connect school, WCC is now a full C3 partner, opening the path to more students.

C3 is a dual-enrollment, dual-admission program that gives WCC students a guaranteed pathway to a four-year degree from N.C. State.

“This is a wonderful partnership. We’re very happy to have this cohort of students and very excited about what the future is going to bring. It’s a win-win for everybody,” said WCC President Patty Pfeiffer.

The cohort will have access to services, academic advising, financial aid advising, and planning at both schools. Students will complete an associate degree in arts, science, or teacher preparation at WCC before transitioning to N.C. State.

“C3 is a great chance for students to join a community of other students on the same journey as them, from community college to N.C. State,” said WCC’s Director of College Transfer Advising Center Peyton Dawson.

“Yes, one of the biggest perks is guaranteed admission to N.C. State, but there is so much more to this program,” Dawson continued. “The C3 team truly strives to create an environment that supports students while they are at Wayne, during their transition to State, and even once they get to State. They support students in this program in many ways, all while challenging them academically.”

Mario Lopez of Goldsboro is one of ten students in the C3 program. “Wayne Community College allowed me to continue my general education, and the C3 program gave me an opportunity to go to N.C. State as it’s always been my dream to go there,” he said. He plans to major in electrical engineering.

“I was actually accepted to N.C. State when I was in high school, but due to complications with tuition, it fell through,” Lopez continued. “When things were hopeless and lost, I looked at Wayne Community College as a way to start my education again.”

Hayden Edmundson of Goldsboro also gets to achieve his dream of attending N.C. State through the C3 program. He will major in sports management and minor in marketing. “I’m planning on working for a professional team one day or a professional organization,” he said.

Edmundson wants others to have the same experience to move toward their goals. “I’ve actually already talked to some people about joining next year. It’s a great opportunity.”

When Lucia Mandujano of Goldsboro received a message about the C3 program from Dawson, she was interested in learning more. “It seemed like such a great opportunity to not only expand my network but also be able to get into this really cool university in this really cool city. N.C. State has always been a favorite of mine.”

Mandujano will study biomedical sciences with a concentration in human biology at N.C. State. She hopes to become a physical therapist after obtaining her degree and appreciates that the C3 program gives her more time to make decisions about her future. “It’s okay to not have everything figured out,” she said. “But this is a great way to learn more about the opportunities that you have.”

Daniel Peedin of Rosewood was drawn to the C3 program’s support from advisors. “The biggest thing was the advising and being able to get someone to help you with the whole transfer process,” he noted.

Peedin will major in computer science at NC State in hopes of becoming a software developer. To other students interested in the C3 program, he would suggest that they “definitely give it a shot.”

Rebekah Spears of Goldsboro has been in the C3 Military Connect program for a year. She will major in nutrition sciences at N.C. State.

“I would like to be a registered dietician, and this program has really given me the opportunity to go ahead and start working toward my goals,” Spears said. “I’ve gotten to talk to a lot of people about it, so it’s really helped me get closer to what I want to do. It’s just a great opportunity.”

Gavin Schmidt is also in the C3 Military program. He currently lives in Pikeville and sees the benefits of attending his local community college. “Pretty much every adult that I talked to who went to college said that going to community college was the smartest decision they ever made financially,” he explained. “It’s an easy transition from high school.”

When Schmidt’s mother told him about the C3 program, he saw it as the perfect opportunity. He will major in business administration with a concentration in finance at N.C. State. Schmidt says the biggest draw for him to the C3 program is the community he has built with other C3 students and advisors, making him less nervous for the transition.

Originally from Florida, Kayla Lundergan started classes at WCC while still a student at Eastern Wayne High School. She is excited to study medical textiles at N.C. State and is looking forward to the many opportunities there.

“I’m hoping it will get me out more,” said Lundergan. “I know there are internships and everything, and I’m hoping to do something like that while I’m there. Hopefully I can find a career that way.” Lundergan is nothing but complimentary about C3. “There’s just so many benefits!”

Cooper Emory of Kinston enjoys how local WCC is to him before he makes the transition to N.C. State. He plans to be a civil structural engineer and hopes N.C. State can lead him down that path. “I chose C3 because it’s guaranteed admission and it’ll help me with advising and just keeping things more simple as I try to transfer to State.”

To others who are interested in C3, Emory says, “I would definitely say look into it. I think it’s just a great opportunity and can really help you get to N.C. State a lot easier.”

Isury Hernandez of Smithfield was initially interested in WCC’s dental hygiene program but instead pursued C3 to study business and marketing at N.C. State. Like her peers, Hernandez gets to achieve her dream of attending NC State. “It’s the school I always wanted to go to,” she said.

Although she’s still trying to figure out what her future holds, Hernandez believes the C3 program will help her prepare for whatever she does next. She would encourage other students to consider this path as well. “So far to me, it seems like a good program, so I would tell them to go for it.”

Savion Miller of Goldsboro is thankful for the C3 program’s financial benefits before he attends N.C. State to study sports management. “To go to a four-year institution right out of high school would be a lot of money out of my pocket, in addition to me having a lot of student loan debt,” he said. “So I felt like it was just the safest option to go ahead and get my associate degree here and then transfer.”

Miller first heard of the C3 program through an email from his advisor, who knew that he was trying to transfer to N.C. State. “Once you transfer, it’ll be very smooth, from what I’m told. You’ll be able to lock in and focus on what you really want to do with your life. It’s a really good path to start with.”

For more information on the C3 program, contact Peyton Dawson at podawson@waynecc.edu or (919) 739-6755. Applications are currently being accepted for the Spring 2024 semester.