Running Together: Wayne Community College and NC State Partner Through C3 Military Connect

Military Connect (MC) is proudly and officially the newest branch of the Community College Collaboration (C3) program. On October 7, 2021, NC State University and Wayne Community College signed a Memorandum of Understanding, making Wayne the 14th community college partner, but the first military-focused partnership, in NC State’s C3 program.

Since C3’s founding in 2018, the dual-enrollment, dual-admission program has been giving students at partner North Carolina Community Colleges a clear pathway to a four-year degree from NC State. Now, C3 MC will provide similar but specialized services to military-affiliated students, like those at Wayne, with access to NC State resources such as Military and Veterans Services, course planner and degree audit tools, and financial aid advising.

Here to help

C3’s Military Connect program is designed with this in mind: North Carolina has a significant military population, and these students face additional challenges due to frequent military moves and transitions. With close ties to nearby Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Wayne Community College understands these complexities and works to support military-affiliated students in reaching their long term goals. C3 MC provides a pathway to a four-year degree for military-affiliated students with non-traditional experiences who demonstrate potential for academic success. The program supports student success by building an extended academic, professional, and personal support network; in doing so, C3 Military Connect gives students the tools to reach their educational goals.

Dr. Don Hunt, NC State’s Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and a veteran himself, recalls taking a 16-year journey to getting his baccalaureate degree. His experience shaped his understanding of how important these pathways can be for military-affiliated students. “Having partners, such as Wayne Community College and NC State, will ensure that every veteran, active duty [service member], and their dependents have a clear pathway to a four-year degree, a two-year degree, and whatever aspirations here and beyond: we are here to help,” says Dr. Hunt.

Dr. Patty Pfeiffer, Interim President at Wayne Community College, shares Dr. Hunt’s enthusiasm for this expansion. “Wayne Community College is honored to be the first North Carolina community college to partner with NC State University for the Community College Collaboration (C3) Military Connect program. This is a great opportunity for students who have served our country and their family members who are interested in attending NC State,” says Dr. Pfeiffer, a veteran and Wayne alumna with many familial military ties. “We are eager to admit our first students into the C3 program and help them move through their associate’s degree and into a baccalaureate program at NC State.” She adds with a smile, “[We’re] proving that Bison herds and Wolfpack can coexist and thrive.”

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