The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

May 7, 2014

Higher education options offer partners, career preparation

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 — Stanly County has an advantage over many other rural counties. With the presence of excellent higher education choices such as Stanly Community College and Pfeiffer University, local corporations and nonprofit organizations have available eager and vested strategic partners — and residents have access to high-quality job and career preparation options.

As our region emerges from the great recession and employment starts its upswing, Stanly Community College offers exemplary associate degree programs and job training opportunities for a number of popular and growing fields. Through its well-known liberal arts curriculum, Pfeiffer University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs designed specifically to help students build the skills that employers identify as vital for entering and succeeding in today’s competitive job market.

At Pfeiffer, a newly adopted strategic plan is steering the course of our work over the next several years. At the heart of the undergraduate enterprise is a deep commitment to delivering an exceptional experience that produces thoughtful, prepared, in-demand graduates who are encouraged and motivated to go “beyond boundaries” in their aspirations and for giving back to the world as effective servant leaders.

This means we are developing programs that weave a web of support for every step of a college student’s journey:

n Mentored Coaching — Each student participates in Pfeiffer Journey, a living and learning program through which certified mentors help students personalize their quest for creating a life that maximizes their talents, interests and contributions to society.

n Experiential Learning — Every student participates in a hands-on internship or similar experience. Through partnerships with corporate and nonprofit employers, this important feature of the Pfeiffer experience allows students to gain the skills and poise for navigating successful professional lives. Currently, Stanly County and other nearby school districts provide high-quality internships for our student teachers; and our nursing students enter the job market after spending months in practicum at medical centers in Stanly, Rowan and other counties. Business students gain practical experience at corporations in Albemarle, Charlotte and beyond, and our science majors achieve new heights through REU (research experience for undergraduate) programs as they prepare for graduate study.

n Embracing Wesleyan Values — Through scholarly, service and mission activities and a distinct presence at both the congregational and district levels, Pfeiffer is becoming a preeminent United Methodist university in the U.S. Students, faculty and alumni work with the United Methodist denominations and numerous nonprofit organizations for the benefit of all people.  

To compete in today’s higher education environment, everything Pfeiffer offers and engages in must be relevant to the needs of today’s students and employers, provide value for our constituents and have lasting local, regional or global impact. We realize proudly that Pfeiffer belongs to everyone in Stanly County and has an impact on the region’s success as a place to live and work. That is why our ongoing “We Are Pfeiffer” campaign is so important to us as we celebrate the students and alumni who live and work here, making a contribution to the great place it is.

Michael C. Miller, president of Pfeiffer University, will share information monthly in the The Stanly News & Press about Pfeiffer’s programs and the ways the university is fulfilling its mission. To learn about Pfeiffer’s academic and athletic programs, enterprise strategy and community partnerships, contact him at (704) 463-3030; or visit


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