For students in the Raleigh area looking for a community college with academic and career programs to help them get started on their post-secondary education or retrain for better job opportunities, Johnston Community College in Smithfield, NC offers a community college experience at a growing campus with unique programs.
Johnston Community College’s enrollment has grown rapidly in recent years because the current economic downturn has traditional college students seeking a more affordable alternative while workers who want to learn new skills are flocking to the nation’s community colleges.
In addition to the college’s main campus in Smithfield, it also has satellite campuses in Clayton and Cleveland and the wildlife preserve.
Founded in 1969 as Johnston County Technical Institute, the school enrolled 500 students in its inaugural class. Adult high school and other programs were quickly added and in 1971 the school got a permanent campus in Smithfield along with the new name of Johnston Technical Institute. A fire in 1976 destroyed part of a classroom facility, but much of the 1970s were a period of growth for the college with many buildings for classroom and other purposes being erected on the Smithfield campus.
By 1981, the school’s enrollment had grown to 2,500 students. In 1995, a wildlife preserve was donated to the college. The period from 2007 to the present has seen enrollment at the college double, as the recession has students flocking to community colleges for their unique benefits in affordability and quick job retraining.
Johnston Community College offers a variety of academic degree and career certificate programs for students. Career programs outnumber two-year degree programs. The college offers more than 65 associate’s degree and certification programs of study.
Some of the more popular majors at the college include:
- Liberal Arts: 28 percent of enrollment
- Health Professions: 21 percent of enrollment
- Business/Marketing: 13 percent of enrollment
- Public Safety and related majors: 8 percent of enrollment
- Visual and Performing Arts: 7 percent of enrollment
The North Carolina Truck Driver Training School is located at Johnston Community College, and has a long tradition of turning out well-qualified graduates capable of quickly assuming good-paying jobs in trucking.
Online Classes and Distance Learning
Johnston Community College is making education more accessible for students with work and family responsibilities by offering distance learning options for many courses. Students can take courses via the Internet or through teleconferencing technology, allowing them to complete many courses at their convenience.
Unique Campus Facilities
Perhaps the most notable feature of Johnston Community College is the Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center, a 2,800-acre wildlife preserve that offers a number of educational and recreational opportunities to nature-loving students.
Johnston Community College recently unveiled a new $8.3 million, 11,000 square foot library. The new library has more computers, more study space and distance learning classrooms, among other new features. The college plans to eventually turn the old library into a virtual hospital for its nursing students.
Like many community colleges, Johnston Community College also offers opportunities to high school students to get a leg up on their post-secondary education. JCC has dual enrollment and early college programs to help high school students get a head start on getting a college degree while they’re still in high school.
Rapid growth in recent years has increased the student to faculty ratio at Johnston Community College, which currently stands at about 29 to 1.
The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits schools in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas, and Americans schools in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Johnston offers a number of unique programs, such as the state’s oldest and most successful trucking school, a strong performing arts program and a 2,800-acre wildlife preserve/outdoor teaching facility.
Johnston Community College has an open admissions policy, meaning that any student with a high school diploma or GED will be accepted. However, some JCC programs have selective admissions. The college’s health programs has test score and grade requirements. A PSB is required for the college’s nursing and radiologic technology programs.
Students applying to the college are required to submit high school transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, documentation of civic or community involvement, character references, class rank, extracurriculars and an essay.
Students should have priority admission applications in by Aug. 1 and financial aid information in by May 31.
As of Sept. 2011, the university has no application fee.
Students applying to the Johnston Community College are eligible for federal grants and student loans. There are also a number of grants and scholarships offered by the state of North Carolina, the college and other organizations that students may be eligible for.
The Johnston Community College Foundation offers about 250 scholarships annually to students.
The college’s website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and other programs, such as loans, students can use to attend class at the Johnston Community College.
The college’s office of financial stands ready to help students find other grants and scholarships they may be eligible for. About 51 percent of Johnston Community College students receive financial aid of some type.
Student Financial Aid Details
Clubs and Organizations
Johnston Community College has about 6,000 students. The college has a number of campus organizations, mostly academic and professional organizations, as well as a campus ministries group. The college also offers a popular performing arts program that many students participate in.
For students who are parents, the college offers a child care center for children age 3-5. The center has a low student to staff ratio and helps to prepare the children for school through a fun and informative curriculum.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Johnston Community College is a member of the NJCAA and competes in Region X of the Carolinas College Conference, which consists of community colleges in North and South Carolina.
The college offers men’s basketball and golf; and women’s volleyball and golf. The men’s golf team recently won the Region X championship.
Johnston Community College teams are known as the Jaguars. School colors are royal blue and silver.
- " General Information :: Johnston Community College, Smithfield, NC." Welcome to Johnston Community College :: Johnston Community College, Smithfield, NC. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2011. <http://www.johnstoncc.edu/generalinformation.aspx>.
- Gonsher, Debra A., and Joshua Halberstam. The community college guide: the essential reference from application to graduation. Dallas, Tex.: BenBella Books, 2009. Print.
- The College Board College Handbook, 2010 . 47th ed. New York: College Board, 2009. Print.