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Established in 1965, Craven Community College in North Carolina was originally an extension of Lenoir Community College—Craven IEC (Industrial Education Center). It later added degree-awarding programs in several technical fields and became a technical institute. In the early 1970s, college-transfer degrees were added and the school became a community college.
Dr. Catherine Chew became the fourth president of the college in October 2008. Dr. Maria Fraser-Molina is the executive vice president. Dr. Scott Ralls, the third president of the college, was selected on Dec. 6, 2007 to become the next president of the North Carolina Community College System. Dr. Thurman E. Brock served as founding president of the college until 1989, and Dr. Lewis S. "Steve" Redd was president from 1990 until 2002.
The college motto is "enriching lives creating futures" and the mascot is the panther. The college is known for its nursing (ADN degree), allied health, computer science, and aeronautical technology (AAS degree) programs. In addition, a liberal-arts program leading to the AA degree is available. Many graduates have successfully transferred to senior institutions to seek bachelor's and advanced degrees.
New Bern is where most of the classes and college offices are located; it is also the seat of government for Craven County. The buildings in New Bern house the college studies and student activities. Many students who attend this campus live in New Bern or surrounding areas, including Havelock. The college's students transfer to East Carolina University, North Carolina State University and other UNC system campuses, as well as other four-year institutions. The Bosch and Siemens Advanced Manufacturing Center and a new Business/Information Technology Building were completed in 2008 on this campus.
The Havelock Campus is primarily known for being the home of the Institute of Aeronautical Technology (IAT). It is close to MCAS Cherry Point and to its Naval Aviation Depot (NADEP), so there is a chance for certified students from the IAT school to work on the air station upon graduation. Several classes are held here, online, Cherry Point campus, or at Havelock High School.
The Havelock campus consists of three buildings: the Craven-Carteret-Pamlico Regional Library, the Lewis Redd classroom and laboratory building, and the IAT. The Redd Building contains the administration offices for the Havelock campus, six computer labs, classrooms, and the Academic Skills Center.
Located in the Training and Education building on the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, the campus is available to anyone living on the base. Several classes from the Havelock Campus are held here; these can be attended by anyone (with a pass from the Base Pass Office).
Craven Early College (CEC) and Early College EAST (ECE) were created out of a strong partnership between Craven County Schools and Craven Community College. The schools are small autonomous high schools on the college campuses (New Bern and Havelock, respectively). The schools' small sizes support innovative ideas, creative teachers, and attention to detail. Students who attend will graduate with a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit toward a bachelor’s or an associate degree. The structure of the early colleges foster academic acceleration, personalization, and connections to workplace knowledge and skills. The schools are centered on improving graduation rates and preparing students for lifelong learning and entry into high-skill careers.