The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

August 29, 2012

New courses offered at ECC

Staff Report and Submitted

TARBORO — Technological advancement and 21st century trends are at the heart of new courses offered at Edgecombe Community College (ECC) this fall. Students began their fall semester on Thursday.

“We’re enhancing programs that are already here,” says Dr. Kristi Snuggs, ECC’s vice president of instruction. “Technology has changed so much of what we do, and the college’s new offerings reflect efforts to embrace current trends and know-how.”

The college has expanded its geospatial technological certificate program to a two-year degree program this fall. ECC partnered with Wake Technical Community College to offer the program, which deals with the “capture, management, and analysis of data that includes a location component.” Geospatial technology is used for a number of practical applications, including floodplain mapping, school bus routing, law enforcement trends and archaeological analysis.

“The program will be part of the Computer Information Technology department, but we’ve aligned it with several other areas,” said Snuggs. “Geospatial technology is used in so many different fields that we’d like to see a variety of students earn the degree and use it in their line of


A new certificate program in sustainable agriculture offers training in new techniques to one of the oldest, deep-rooted professions in the county.

“Agriculture has always been an important part of Edgecombe County, but times have changed the way agriculture operates,” said Snuggs.

Students in the short-term training program will earn 15-16 credit hours. Classes include soil and fertilization studies, plant science, organic plant production, alternative crop production, and a business class.

Sustainable housing practices are the focus of another new training offering at ECC. The Green Home certificate program is part of the college’s two-year historic preservation degree curriculum. Course work includes energy use analysis, weatherization and green construction. Students enrolled in the program will receive practical on-site experience as well as an industry certificate in weatherization.

Another timely program offered this fall at ECC is a tourism ambassador certificate. Students in the program will receive instruction over a six-week timeframe in six areas – Edgecombe County history, African-American history in the county, historic properties, hospitality, event planning, and introduction to genealogy.  Tourism brought more than $51 million to Edgecombe County last year. ECC is working with the county on efforts to promote tourist attractions, such as the veterans’ museum, the Blount-Bridgers House and Quigless Clinic.

In response to new trends in computer information systems, ECC has proposed adding two new computer classes to the statewide combined course library for community college. The first course, Mobile Computing Devices, would train students on the use of mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, including managing applications and troubleshooting on those devices. The second class, Mac OS Concepts, would provide training on networking, security and system maintenance of Apple products.

“More and more people are using Macs, and this is an introduction to that system,” said Snuggs.