Onslow County provides educational opportunities for residents of all ages, from preschool through higher education. For the community’s youngest residents, a number of reputable, private establishments are available to provide day care in a learning environment for children. Coastal Carolina Community College offers a Child Care Resource and Referral Program to assist working parents in locating suitable child care facilities with an emphasis on education.

Onslow County is home to 17 elementary schools (grades pre-K-5), eight middle schools (grades 6-8), six high schools (grades 9-12), and an alternative learning center (grades 6-12), which serve more than 21,000 students each year. All schools are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as well as the North Carolina State Board of Education. Each school has developed its own school improvement plan as well as helped to design a system-wide plan using the principles and tools of Total Quality.

Through the use of technology, an instructional management system is utilized to improve both teacher and student learning. Well-balanced instructional activities are offered in all curriculum areas to meet the needs of individual students. Arts, computer technology and physical education are offered as an integral part of the curriculum in all schools. Advanced placement courses are also offered in all high schools.

Students may also elect to participate in Workforce Development Education programs for assistance in career exploration and technical skill development. Intramural and competitive sporting activities serve to round out student growth and development.

A variety of opportunities exist for active volunteer involvement. Parents and other citizens may serve on advisory councils, building leadership teams, as PTO officers and as classroom volunteers. In addition, students are encouraged to become involved in their community and achieve high academic standards by participating in school-based clubs and civic sponsored youth activities. Sponsors for Academic Talent, Inc. (SAT) assists students in earning $500 scholarships and other honors by performing 75 hours of community service, scoring 1100 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test and maintaining an 88 percent average in high school.

In addition, Onslow County is host to several programs that unite businesses with education throughout the community. The Onslow County School-to-Work partnership,JobReady, offers programs for all grade levels, including career awareness activities, job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships. It prepares students to succeed in a wide range of professions, particularly the high-skilled careers of the 21st century. Onslow JobReady is a partnership between the Jacksonville· Onslow Chamber of Commerce, Onslow County Schools and Coastal Carolina Community College.

Businesses Assisting Schools in Educating Students (B.A.S.E.S.) is a project designed to join business and industry and the schools together as cohesive network in the education of children. Since its inception, businesses and organizations have contributed over 6,000 hours of volunteer service and nearly $500,000 in financial assistance.

Onslow County’s public school system continues to be rated as one of the best in North. Carolina. Onslow County Schools is proud to acknowledge that Jacksonville Commons Middle School was recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Improved Schools in North Carolina for 1999. In addition, the Onslow JobReady School-to-Work partnership, JobReady, received the 1999-2000 North Carolina Governor’s Program of Excellence in Education Award for its K-12 career education efforts and student internship program.

A variety of post-secondary educational opportunities are available in Onslow County. Graduate and post-graduate programs are available to both military and civilians aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune through several universities, including Southern Illinois, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Boston, Webster, Mississippi State and Campbell Universities. Campbell is a university of liberal arts, sciences and professions and provides undergraduate, graduate and professional instruction. It was founded in 1887 and Camp Lejeune is the core satellite campus.

Jacksonville also lays claim to one of the best community colleges in the nation. Coastal Carolina Community College is a fully-accredited state institution that serves the community with more than 50 curricular programs in college transfer, general education, and vocational and technical training programs.

Students can choose from a variety of programs to suit their needs. More than half of the college’s students are enrolled in the college transfer curriculum. College transfer students earn up to 64 credit hours leading to an associate’s degree in liberal arts, fine arts and science degree programs. Business and marketing, education and engineering are just a few of the numerous areas of study available to students.

About 40 percent of Coastal students pursue vocational/technical degrees. Technical programs include network administration, criminal justice, electronics and emergency medical services. Vocational programs qualify students to work as diesel and automotive technicians, welders, dental assistants, and electricians.

Last year, more than 18,000 enrolled in Coastal’s continuing education courses. These practical, academic and vocational programs are designed to increase an individual’s employment opportunities and performance, as well as to update skills and/or supplement current background training. Tutorial assistance, designed for students at all levels, is provided by the General Studies Center.In addition, the University of North Carolina/Wilmington (UNCW), in conjunction with Coastal, offers students the opportunity to complete degrees in the following areas: elementary education, education of young children, business administration, RN-access program, and a teacher licensure program in secondary education.

A variety of financial aid programs are available to students, including privately-funded scholarships from Coastal Carolina Community College Foundation, Inc., federally funded programs available through the Human Services Department, and Federal Pell grants and work-study programs from the Financial Aid Office.