Currituck County August 2021

Population
27,677

County Seat
Currituck

Median Income
$69,964

Population Density Designation
Rural

In Currituck County, our team once again met with leadership from College of The Albemarle (COA). COA serves seven counties in eastern North Carolina and has one of the largest health care programs in the state. Students can earn diplomas and certificates in Nursing, Allied Health and First Responder programs.

After visiting the college’s Pasquotank County campus earlier in the day, we traveled to Barco with COA President Dr. Jack Bagwell to tour the new Owens Public Safety Center at the Currituck Community Park. The 57,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building holds additional simulation labs for Nursing, Emergency Medical Science programs, and space for basic Law Enforcement training. COA has partnered with local high schools to encourage students to take part in dual enrollment courses with a focus on Nursing and Allied Health. We were thrilled to learn that dual enrollment for these students is paid for by the state.

Over a meal of fish tacos and salads, we spoke with local officials about issues students face that keep them from completing their education. While Pell Grants are available and cover the cost of tuition, students often fall behind due to additional expenses including rent, food, childcare, and the health care required for those enrolled.

We also discussed COA’s efforts to make their campuses places where all students can see themselves. Today’s community college students represent all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, and levels of education, which is why COA is committed to creating an environment that meets students where they are and helping them create their own special path for success.

With thanks to contributor Bridgette Cyr

The Community in Action

Meet Dr. Jack Bagwell

Dr. Jack Bagwell began his term as President of College of The Albemarle in 2019. Prior to that, he served as VP for Academic Affairs at Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, South Carolina. Dr. Bagwell earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from Winthrop University and completed his Ph.D. in educational studies with a specialization in educational leadership and higher education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In his 28 years as a community college educator, he’s been guided by service to the communities where the colleges are located.

U39702, 10/21