By Holly Desrosier
Craven Community College (Craven CC) is currently registering new and returning students for B-Term through March 5. Classes for the shortened eight-week semester begin March 6.
B-Term classes offer the same amount of credits and coursework as traditional 12-week semesters but in a condensed schedule. This is ideal for students trying to balance school on top of jobs and families, or for students who want to earn credits faster.
Stevie Gaskins, Craven CC student government association president, is pursuing an associate in science. Since starting here in fall 2017, she has enjoyed the faster pace of B-Term classes.
“I really love B-Term classes because I feel like they are straightforward and packed with information,” she said. “The class doesn’t begin until later in the semester, and it’s nice that you only have a heavy workload for half of the semester rather than the entire semester. I also think that instructors enjoy teaching these shorter classes because there is always new material and they are less likely to get burnt out.”
The school year came to an abrupt halt in September when Hurricane Florence hit, and many students were unable to return to classes. Fortunately, Craven CC has been able to provide financial assistance for those students to continue their education through the Hurricane Relief Fund. Those funds are still available for students continuing to struggle financially in the aftermath of Florence.
Craven CC was one of 21 colleges in the state to receive funding from a relief fund passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in October. Craven CC was allocated $408,333, of which students are eligible for $1,250 per semester through June 30, 2019. Funds are available to students who were enrolled at Craven CC or resided in a major disaster area as of September 10, 2018. Craven CC students impacted by the hurricane may utilize the funds for assistance with tuition, fees, transportation, textbooks and living expenses.
To date, the Craven CC Foundation has assisted more than 200 students and awarded over $220,000 in grants, allowing students to continue their education without the financial burden.
Gaskins was one of those students. She received funds last semester and applied again for the B-Term semester.
“It gave me the opportunity to work more and better focus on my education rather than the stresses of everyday life,” she said.
First-year student Brianna Johnson also benefitted greatly from the Hurricane Relief Fund. She and her family lost their home, vehicles and belongings from floodwaters. Her home is currently uninhabitable and may take 10 more months until it is livable. Like many students, Johnson was struggling to find a way to continue her studies.
“Because finances are very tight right now as we face the extreme costs of rebuilding, the aid I received from Craven to further my education and stay on track has been amazing,” she said. “Receiving assistance after the hurricane took a huge weight off of my family.”
The funds Johnson received covered the cost of tuition and fees for 16 credit hours of curriculum classes and one workforce development class, as well as several textbooks. B-Term classes were more feasible for her situation and allowed her more time to focus on her family and the rebuilding process.
Gaskins wants students to know that they should take advantage of this opportunity and not feel guilty about it. At first, she felt like she did not deserve to receive funding because others were in more dire situations. However, Craven CC staff reassured her that she should not feel bad for requesting the help she needs.
“I want to encourage students to do the same and if they need this kind of help after the hurricane, please apply,” she said. “It is an amazing scholarship and I am so grateful to Craven CC for how they have helped me and my family.”
Applications for the Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Fund are available for download at cravencc.edu/florence. For more information, call Zomar Peter, dean of enrollment management, at 252-638-4597.
To register or find out more about B-Term, contact the New Bern Campus at 252-638-7200, Havelock Campus at 252-444-6005 or visit cravencc.edu. Current students can go online and use WebAdvisor to view the current class listing and register quickly and easily.
This article also appeared in the Sun Journal.