May 30, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 

Curriculum Instruction & Programs of Study

Purpose of Curriculum Instruction

Following the college’s stated mission, it is the purpose of curriculum instruction to prepare graduates for employment as skilled and productive members of the workforce and continued academic success in their pursuit of further study.

Goals for Curriculum Education​

  • To provide an academic advising system that assists all students in setting and achieving appropriate educational goals.
  • To require all students to demonstrate an appropriate reading, writing, and mathematics level before taking college-level courses.
  • To require all graduates, as appropriate for each degree, diploma, or certificate program, to develop the following:
    • Communication Skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)
    • Mathematics Reasoning Skills
    • Technological Skills
    • Critical Thinking Skills
    • Global and Cultural Awareness
    • Sustainability
  • To require all degree graduates, as appropriate to each degree program, to further demonstrate competencies in the following areas:
    • Humanities/Fine Arts
    • Sciences
    • Social Sciences
  • To meet or exceed all North Carolina Community College System performance standards for curriculum programs.

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Options for Program Completion

ECC offers a wide variety of college credit curriculum programs. Students enrolled in curriculum courses at ECC can choose one of these options for program completion: the associate degree, the diploma, or the certificate. Classes in many areas are available day, night, on weekends, and through distance education. Admission to the college requires a high school diploma or equivalent to enter an associate degree or diploma program. Students may need to take placement assessments in math, reading, computers, biology, and English before beginning their studies and may need to take supplemental courses in those subjects if required prerequisites and their scores indicate. Supplemental courses do not count toward the number of course credits required for graduation.

Associate Degree Programs

The college awards four degrees: Associate in Arts, Associate in General Education, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science. The college designed the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees for those students who wish to transfer to a four-year college or university after completing their first two years at ECC. Associate in Applied Science degree programs prepare students for entry-level jobs in paraprofessional fields as technicians; however, students may transfer some credits to selected colleges and universities for further study. Students take general education courses in addition to technical and occupational classes. The Associate in General Education degree program is for the academic enrichment of students who wish to broaden their education, emphasizing personal interest, growth, and development. Graduates are prepared for advancements within their field of interest and become better qualified for a wide range of employment opportunities. Degree programs require an identified sixty-four to seventy-six (64-76) semester hours of credit in a curriculum program. Each graduate must demonstrate communication skills, mathematical reasoning skills, technological skills, cultural and global awareness, critical thinking, and sustainability skills.

Diploma Programs

Diploma programs are designed to provide training that will enable graduates to enter a technical occupation at the entry-level and progress rapidly to the skilled or craftsman level. Diploma programs require an identified thirty-six to forty-eight (36-48) semester hours of credit and include courses in communication skills and social sciences. In some curriculum areas, diploma programs are the equivalent of the first three (3) semesters of the associate degree program, and courses earned in completing the diploma count toward the associate degree.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs train students for immediate employment, and they can generally complete the coursework in one (1) or two (2) semesters on a full-time or part-time basis. Students who complete an identified twelve to eighteen (12-18) semester hours of credit in a curriculum program receive a certificate. The courses earned in completing the certificate program count toward the diploma or associate degree in some curriculum areas. 

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Programs of Study