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We’ve said before how much we love our very own Brunswick Community College—and now people around the globe are finding out why.
The college’s Center for Aquaculture & Biotechnology is drawing attention from students right here at home and across the world. This semester a continuing education course about fish farming has students enrolled from North Carolina as well as Great Britain, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Nigeria.
How’s that for making a splash on an international scale?
The aquaculture program got its start in 1994 after the college landed a $2 million grant. The grant enabled the college to break ground on a facility that today includes 14 acres of ponds on a 22-acre site.
School officials say the Aquaculture I class, which has recently been added to the college’s continuing education curriculum, has a record number of students—more than double its average enrollment. Continuing education students have the chance to be a part of the program by taking a four-hour-a-week course for 16 weeks online.
College officials have responded to the growth on campus and online by adding courses for the fall semester.
The program not only brings accolades for the quality of education offered at affordable prices here in Brunswick County, but it also focuses on creating an economic base for the future.
Doug Holland, director for BCC’s Center for Aquaculture & Biotechnology, says several students have said they intend to pursue some related venture in the future. This could mean potential job growth and economic stimulus for our community.
The county’s history is deeply rooted in agriculture and commercial fishing and other related ventures. As in other communities across the nation, growth and competitive challenges virtually eliminated many of Brunswick County’s small farming ventures.
As land prices have become more valuable than the farm products that could be produced on them, land has also become less available for those interested in agriculture and aquaculture. The BCC program shows entrepreneurs how they can produce high quality, competitive products in smaller spaces.
This program is one of many that continue to provide diverse, affordable, attainable, high-quality educational opportunities for students. We wish all involved with the project continued success and can’t wait to hear about the payoff in job creation in the future.