Vikings, Pirates Chart Course for Success

[Clinton, N.C.] – Students attending Sampson Community College can now be Vikings and Pirates at the same time. SCC has signed a co-admission agreement with East Carolina University, which will improve transfer student access and success through a collaborative degree completion program.

“For students who are unable to interrupt their lives to attend classes, SCC and ECU can now provide a number of pathways to degree completion without leaving home,” says Dr. Bill Starling, President of SCC. “This agreement with East Carolina University signals what can be a seamless relationship for community college students transferring to partnering universities.”

Students can now apply to SCC and ECU simultaneously and commit to maintaining full-time status. Upon completing an associate degree, they will seamlessly transition into degree-completion programs at East Carolina. “SCC is not only committed to the success of our students during their time here but after graduation as well,” says Wanda Capps, Vice President of Academics for SCC. “We are extremely excited to provide another tool for students to meet their academic goals at the baccalaureate level. This collaborative agreement provides additional resources and assistance for students to begin here and go anywhere, in this case, East Carolina University!”

Currently, Sampson Community College offers the opportunity to complete an Associate of Arts through distance education. East Carolina University is a leading provider of distance education courses leading to completion of a number of bachelor’s programs. Joyce Herring, one of the newest members of SCC’s Board of Trustees is excited about the move. “Many high school kids have the credentials to attend a college like ECU but sometimes plans don’t work to their advantage,” she says. “This will give them an opportunity not only to establish a seat at a four-year college while they study here but make the process seamless as well.”

More often, students are looking to continue their education at four-year institutions after completing their first two years at SCC. The co-admission program affords extra support and direction from ECU while they are still at SCC. This makes the transition more successful.

PHOTO: Pirates and Vikings unite! From left to right; SCC student Karely Habrego, Mary Jones, Sandra Carroll, Rex Moody, ECU graduate and friend of the college, Dr. Starling, Board members Pat Jones and Joyce Herring, friend of the college Reid Butler, Leslie Bautista, SCC Foundation Assistant, student Brittany Andrew and Brandon Wiggins of the SCC Foundation.

Through an announcement this week about the partnership, Dr. Cecil Staton, ECU chancellor expressed his excitement for SCC’s participation. “This is precisely the sort of collaboration we need to better serve the people of North Carolina and the east in particular,” he said. “We cannot be successful and continue to produce capable and engaged citizens who will go out across the communities of this state and make a difference if we don’t have a vital partnership with our community college system. We value what you do, we value your students, and we value our partnership.”

Reid Butler of Butler and Faircloth Real Estate was born and raised in Clinton. He has been both, an SCC Viking and an ECU Pirate and he agrees with Dr. Staton. “I was fortunate enough to have taken classes and summer school here at SCC before graduating at ECU and I can tell you firsthand that both colleges are ideal for learning.” Butler says saving money and staying near home his first two years helped him. “You feel part of a family when you go to SCC but your family grows a lot when you are part of the Pirate family at the same time,” he says.

In addition to saving money by completing the first two years of a four-year degree at a SCC, benefits include access to ECU libraries and programming through the ECU Office of Student Activities and other organizations, ECU One Card eligibility, joint financial aid counseling and micro-scholarship opportunities, joint academic advising, and a waiver of the ECU transfer application fee.

“If this program had been around when I was growing up, I would have done it,” says SCC Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Sandra Carroll, whose own grandson attended community college before transferring to a university. “What a fabulous opportunity and a seamless transition for young folks.”

Dr. Starling agrees. “We are very excited about being a part of the Pirate family. We encourage students and their families who might be interested in exploring this opportunity to call and make an appointment with staff in Student Services who can answer questions and help jointly plan a student’s program of study.” For information about this program, contact Sharon Leggett at or at 910-900-4101.


About Sampson Community College:  Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.