Home News News Story. September 25, As NC Countdown to College begins next week, students across the state are busy contemplating their options. For many prospective college students, an NC Promise institution will be a top choice, and with good reason: affordable excellence. The three NC Promise institutions provide an open doorway to exciting academic and career opportunities in drone technology, business management, health sciences, education, criminal justice, outdoor adventure, forensic science … the possibilities are vast.
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No matter their intellectual bent, curious students will find a perfect curricular match somewhere across these three institutions. Historically, the UNC System has always stood out, offering among the most affordable tuition rates anywhere in the nation. Three NC Promise students, at different stages of their careers and from different institutions, shared their thoughts about the importance of college education.
Their stories make it clear: a college education changes lives, and the NC Promise Tuition Plan puts that transformative experience within reach for more North Carolinians.
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Kyra Rhyne is in her first semester at Western Carolina University. Rhyne to enter the university with junior status. She is majoring in integrated health sciences, with an eye on eventually pursuing medical school.
Part of it was affordability, for sure. NC Promise made a difference. From Gaston County to Cullowhee.
Cullowhee is about two and a half hours from home. My mom was from the Philippines, and she met my dad through a pen-pal exchange. She never went to a community college or anything like that.
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My dad never got an official degree. My mom never worked, and getting her to America took a lot out of my dad. Financially we were never really stable. Growing up, I never even expected to go to college. But higher education was something my parents pushed for, because they wanted a better life for me. Because my mom grew up in another country, she understood all the opportunities we have here in the U.
She wanted me to take advantage of that.
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I also have two younger siblings. They look up to me as a role model. After my mom passed, I feel like I helped keep the family together. I worked to make sure everyone stayed okay. My brothers are polar opposites in terms how they act, and my dad was a mess. I feel like there are people here for me and to support me in this whole journey. In your first semester at school, have you discovered a favorite class yet? I have Medicaid. It takes care of me. Did your experience with your mom influence your desire to go into healthcare?
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I want to be there for those people. At the moment, I really want to work with .
Being there for my brothers has motivated me. I went through a lot in my youth, and I want to give back. Plus, kids are SOOO much fun! What advice would you give to graduating high school seniors as they begin weighing their college choices? Think about all your options.
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There was a big push for me to go to one of the major research institutions. Those schools are obviously awesome. Western Carolina is smaller than those other universities, but I can take advantage of the same learning opportunities here. In fact, here, I have access to different opportunities. No matter where you study, you get out what you put in.
Education is about extracurricular activities that you pursue. He serves as the president of the Student Government Association. I went to high school in Oxford NC … J. Webb high school. I think so many of us look back to our arts teachers, and our social studies teachers, and our literature teachers, because those are the classes where students engage in passionate conversations. My hope is to pass on a passion for getting involved, helping others, going out to vote … I want to get them to value the importance of being engaged citizens.
Teaching is exactly what I want to do.
On my first day in the classroom, the teacher guided a conversation about sensitive topics in American politics. This is the dialogue that needs to be taking place in our classrooms. My goal is to teach students concepts more than content. I want them to be able to do more than remember names and dates. I want them to be able to look at historical content and discover what it actually means.
History is how those events are interpreted. I want students to think historically. To understand historiography. To understand how history was created so they can learn how to think about our past for themselves. Can you elaborate? How does one teach from a historiographical perspective rather than just asking students to recite a sequence of facts?
How interpretations of facts evolve. The history of Christopher Columbus offers an easy example. At one time, the content of a unit on Columbus could be boiled down into that little jingle students once learned to help them remember the facts.
Nowadays we look at that historical moment completely differently. Any discussion of Columbus opens up debate and dialogue around the issue of colonialization. I started learning about historiography when I was studying the Civil Rights movement. At one time, historians took a very top-down approach, focusing all their scholarly attention on the prominent national leaders.
When you teach historiography, the focus is on how the story is told. Why did that change take place? Initially I thought I was going to major in music education. Coming into college, I thought music was a passion. But during my freshman year, I realized it was more of a hobby. I realized that social studies was my passion. Another word for it would be arguing! It was all forward momentum from there!
And now, with UNC Pembroke being an NC Promise institution, I came into this 5th year without the concern of graduating with a looming shadow of debt that would follow me for years to come. Coming from a less fortunate family, I came to college horrified that I would accumulate mountains of debt. But the affordable tuition here has done a lot to alleviate those anxieties.
I was raised by a single mother. We moved around a lot, with my mother and stepfather looking for different jobs. Then my mom got divorced pretty early on, then got laid off. For a while we were on unemployment, moving all around the southeast. But I was lucky enough to get some scholarships and support. There are a lot of people here who are able to pay out of pocket because the tuition is so affordable compared to most places.
It sure feels like NC Promise is going to push more and more in the right direction. This will have an impact on the local community. NC Promise will allow more of the people from here to be able to go to college. Pembroke is home to the Lumbee Tribe, and that culture goes right into the town and right into the school.
Nowhere else on earth will you find a town that is so unified in these three areas. Boone was an active member of the Student Government Association, where he served as a senator and vice president of administration. I studied business administration with a concentration in economics and finance. I started out in computer science, but I switched to business in my sophomore year. Business was a good access point that I felt could lead to many other places and opportunities.