High Morale at Pamlico Community College Soars to Remarkable 95%

Pamlico CC 95 percent morale
Pamlico Community College President Dr. Jim Ross, center, and PCC Environmental Programs Instructor Zac Schnell, right, present Annemarie Brown with the Academic Excellence Award during the college’s 2021 Commencement ceremony, which took place outdoors. Contributed photo

This is key reason PCC is number 1 nationally in student success and 2 in overall rankings

Pamlico Community College employee high morale has skyrocketed the past five years, with a remarkable 95 percent of faculty and staff now expressing high morale. PCC high morale has increased nearly 9 percent this past year alone after increasing more than 50 percent in recent years. The 95 percent employee high morale rating is extremely unusual in higher education – or within almost any enterprise, for that matter. In contrast, national surveys show employee morale is declining with only 30 percent nationwide expressing high morale in their work.

PCC President Dr. Jim Ross, who has led the effort to increase morale at the college, strongly believes treating people well and the high employee morale it brings must be a top priority and is essential to serving students and the community with excellence. “When employees have high morale, this brings increased quality of work,” he said. “Our dedicated and caring employees are to be commended for embracing such a positive and uplifting team spirit in embracing our shared vision of pursuing ambitious and noble goals of service to others,” Ross said. “I believe the extremely high morale that has been achieved is a key reason why PCC has significantly improved and become a national leader in student success and in overall rankings of the college.”

WalletHub this year ranked PCC number 1 among all community colleges in America in student educational outcomes. This national analysis used U.S. Department of Education data by scoring each college in first-year retention rate; graduation rate; transfer-out rate; degree and certificates awarded per 100 full-time-equivalent students; student-faculty ratio; share of full-time faculty; and other factors. PCC was ranked number 1 in the nation in student success.

SmartAsset, using U.S. Department of Education data, ranked community colleges nationwide and this year honored Pamlico Community College with the prestigious ranking as the No. 2 best community college in America. The highest score earned was 100, with PCC earning a score of 99.97. PCC graduation/transfer rate, an extremely important indicator of student success, has increased by a seldom-seen amount of 20 percent over the past three years. The PCC graduation/transfer rate is now 76 percent, nearly double the national average.

For each of these achievements, Ross emphasizes they reflect the “amazing PCC faculty and staff” and are made possible because of the employees’ increased high morale. The 2020-21 PCC Faculty & Staff Satisfaction Survey conducted this year found for the morale question that the highest percentage ever say they are treated as “valued members” of the college team. Nearly 100 full- and part-time employees participated in this year’s survey.

“We strive to inspire our treasured employees to change lives, feel sincerely appreciated, and have fun every day,” Ross said. “It is wonderful that our amazing employees are enjoying their work even more each year, as evidenced by these surveys the past five years,” Ross said. “Seeing such a large increase in high morale this past year-despite the coronavirus-is astonishing.”

PCC Vice President for Financial Services Sherry Raby stated that “the dramatic increase in morale that PCC has experienced in the past few years is a direct result of the culture of inclusion, collaboration, and open communication” that has been nurtured under President Ross’ leadership. Through his example, she said, “employees’ productive, positive, and professional actions are acknowledged and openly recognized. The value that each employee brings as a member of the PCC team is frequently reaffirmed and celebrated. The PCC environment has been transformed into one that is energetic, progressive, and impactful,” she said.

By Dr. Ken Robol, Pamlico Community College