Get the Facts

Get the Facts

The mission of the North Carolina Community College System is to open the door to high-quality, accessible educational opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success, develop a global, multicultural and competent workforce, and improve the lives and well being of N.C. citizens.

Creating Success: Students

  • Community colleges in North Carolina are within a 30-minute drive of its citizens.
  • An estimated 735,000 students enrolled at one of the 58 community colleges during the 2014-15 academic year. This accounts for 1 in 9 N.C. citizens 18 and older.
  • The North Carolina Community College System is the third largest in the nation, based on the number of colleges.
  • Historically, N.C. has had the lowest tuition in the Southeast Region — one of the lowest in the nation.
  • The average age of a community college student in North Carolina is 28 years old.
  • 40% of wage earners attended a NC Community College in the past 10 years.
  • For every $1 spent by NC Taxpayers, $4.10 is gained.

Creating Success: Programs

  • NC Community Colleges have many virtual enrollment opportunities through distance education with 248 curriculum and 45 continuing education courses that may be offered online at the local colleges.
  • Employ more than 35,000 faculty and staff.
  • In 2014-15, we graduated more than 38,000 students with associate degrees, diplomas or certificates.

Minority Male Mentoring

  • The first Minority Male Mentoring program, was established in 2003 with the goal to increase retention and graduation rates among minority males through specialized outreach, such as service learning and professional development.
  • Minority Male Mentoring Programs are supported through appropriations provided by the North Carolina General Assembly, and the federal North Carolina College Access Challenge Grant.

Customized Training

  • For over 50 years, North Carolina has offered no-cost, company-specific training to eligible companies in our state. N.C. was one of the first in the nation to offer the important economic development tool.
  • Training may be provided to companies that create eligible jobs, make significant technology investments or take on critical productivity enhancement efforts.
  • During fiscal year 2014-15, the Customized Training program provided customized job training to 37,000 individuals at 861 eligible companies. An average investment of $374 per employee.


  • Created in 2004 and operated by the North Carolina Community College System, BioNetwork offers incumbent worker training, transitional worker training, and pre-employment classes on specific topics and skill sets. BioNetwork also supports the future biotechnology and life science workforce through teacher training and outreach.
  • In 2014-15, 1668 incumbent NC workers utilized 834 hours of training through Customized Training programs.
  • In 2014-15, BioNetwork engaged 942 K-5 students in science activities.

Continuing Education and Workforce Development

  • Workforce Continuing Education training programs are designed to provide instructional opportunities for individuals seeking to gain new and/or upgrade current job-related skills. Training programs can be delivered as a single course or bundled as a series of courses; and provides instruction around skill competencies that lead to a recognized credential (licensure, certification, renewal, registry listing) and/or meets local workforce labor needs.
  • 12 program areas and occupational pathways are offered.
  • North Carolina awards approximately 15,000 GED and Adult High School diplomas annually.
  • The Compensatory Education program is offered for students with intellectual disabilities who are working to acquire skills for transitioning to lifelong independence. Annually, more than 6,000 individuals take advantage of this program across all 58 community colleges.
  • NC Community Colleges’ JobsNOW 12-in-6 program, initiated in 2009, resulted in workers earning 1,882 state-regulated credentials; 1,477 industry-regulated credentials; and 7,995 Career Readiness Certificates.
  • Offered at NC Community Colleges, the North Carolina Career Readiness Certificate (NC CRC) is a nationally recognized workplace skills credential.
    Since its initial implementation in 2006, more than 140,000 individuals have earned the NC CRC credential, placing North Carolina fifth in the nation for number of certificates earned.

Small Business Center Network

  • NC Community Colleges’ Small Business Center Network (SBCN) is the most extensive state-funded small business assistance program in the nation. Most seminars offered are free, or at a nominal price, and all 58 community colleges have a Small Business Center.
  • In 2014-15, SBCN assisted with the start-up of 741 small businesses, creating over 3,600 jobs.