Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) in Flat Rock, North Carolina is a two-year, comprehensive institution of higher learning. Chartered in 1969, the school operates as one of nearly 60 within the North Carolina Community College System. With over 90 programs of study, students can earn certificates, diplomas and associate degrees. Area students from Henderson and Transylvania counties as well as Western North Carolina attend for a variety of reasons including preparation to enroll in a 4-year college or university, career preparation, and continuing education. The college has one of the largest continuing education programs in the state of North Carolina.
Students may choose from a range of technical programs in career areas like nursing, law enforcement, engineering technology, automotive technology and more. Some of the more than 100 degree, diploma and certificate programs include transfer programs like an associate in arts, fine arts, drama and music, science, humanities, social sciences, mathematics or science; applied technology programs like building trades, electronics technology, and industrial systems; business and service careers like computer programming, business administration, interpreter training, early childhood, criminal justice and hospitality; and allied health fields like nursing and surgical technology.
The emphasis is always placed on hands on experience with state of the art technology and academically competitive coursework. Some new programs include film and video technologies, simulation and game development, fire protection technology, accounting and virtual office assistance.
Through the Continuing Education program, students of all ages engage in beneficial coursework and training in fields like emergency medicine, nurse aide, law enforcement, environmental science, computers, notary public, and fire and rescue. Community members and students may also enroll in such programs for personal interest or as a professional skills refresher. Some examples of these courses include creative writing, gardening, cooking or art. Other facets of the Continuing Education program include community education, economic and workforce development, and basic skills development in areas like GED courses, Adult Basic Education, Compensatory Education, English for Speakers of Second Languages, and more.
For those unable to make it to classes on campus due to previous commitment or other complications may choose to enroll in one of many Distance Learning programs of study. With a flexible schedule and the ability to work from anywhere with an internet connection, it’s more possible than ever to go back to school without infringing on your current professional career, job, or family time. Distance Learning students earn academic credit towards degrees, diplomas, certificates or transfer programs.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Many students at BRCC choose to take part in special programs like the Cooperative Education program. Here, students combine classroom learning with practical community work experience. Students receive hands-on training, while enrolled in a co-op for academic credit awarding program of study. Faculty recommendations are required for participation. Additionally, students have access to the Henderson County JobLink Career Center for assistance looking for a job both during and after their studies, job readiness, interview prep, resume writing, and more.
Area high school students take advantage of a range of programs like dual/concurrent enrollment programs where students may simultaneously earn credit toward their high school diploma and college education, Huskins Programs where students earn credit while participating in certain technology programs, Early College where students participate in both high school and college level coursework, and Regional Articulation in Vocational Education Credit programs where students are able to transfer Advanced Placement or AP credit towards a certificate, diploma or degree.
Applicants enjoy an “open door” admissions policy. With minimal requirements, the vast majority of applicants both qualify and are accepted to study. To begin the admissions process, all students must elect an intended program of study and complete the admissions application. Copies of all official transcripts from previous secondary or post-secondary level coursework must be handed in or sent the registrar’s office, and many students will be required to complete the pre-enrollment placement test. After, students will be able to meet with a faculty advisor in order to register and pay tuition and fees for the coming academic term. A new student orientation will be held for all new enrollees.
Bear in mind that Allied Health programs may have additional admissions requirements, such as the associate degree in nursing and surgical technology. Applicants to these programs should contact the admissions office directly for more information prior to beginning the admissions process.
Special requirements may also apply to transfer students and international students. Transfer and international student counseling is available for students upon request.
In order to receive in-state tuition applicants must demonstrate North Carolina State residency.
Students may qualify for a range of types of financial aid at the Federal, state, and private level including grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, loans and more. All students should begin by filling out the FAFSA. Some students may also qualify for funding via the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Some students may also qualify for merit based scholarships provided by the Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. All awards are given out by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Committee.
Student Financial Aid Details
Student organizations include the Blue Ink writing club, the Budokan martial arts club, the Center Stage Players drama club, the Spanish club, and the Phi Beta Lambda professional development and leadership club.
Many students take advantage of the STAR Success Through Academic Readiness Center for free workshops in basic academic skills, tutoring, one-on-one instruction in a variety of subjects, small group classes, video instruction and GED and ABE instruction. Students may also head to the STAR Center for use of the student computer lab, study area and testing, registration and orientation services.
Other campus services include the bookstore, cafeteria, campus security, student insurance, housing and transportation assistance (although the campus provides neither), lost and found, and child care assistance resources. Students enjoy a tobacco-free campus.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletic department, known as the Bears, compete in intercollegiate athletics as a member of the Carolinas Conference in Region X of the NJCAA. The Bears fields teams in sports like men’s baseball, and women’s volleyball.
Academic and degree awarding programs are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as an array of appropriate accrediting agencies for technical programs.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.