BSIT Transfer Day highlights program to community colleges

Representatives from 27 North Carolina community colleges learned about the opportunities East Carolina University’s Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology (BSIT) Transfer Program provides to students during a day-long conference on campus Friday.

BSIT Transfer Day is designed to showcase the program to community college faculty and advisors as a collaborative effort to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow in North Carolina.

Dr. Tijjani (TJ) Mohammed, chair of the Department of Technology Systems at East Carolina University, welcomes guests.

“Being here reinforces that we are all invested in this great state of ours. We’re invested in growing the workforce of North Carolina,” said Dr. Tijjani (TJ) Mohammed, chair of the Department of Technology Systems at ECU.

Mohammed mentioned that he had recently met with a company representative that anticipated having to fill 400 jobs in the next 10 years.

“The company is concerned about meeting their workforce needs, so we all have a great, vested interest in growing the workforce, whether it’s a two-year degree or the BSIT Transfer Program like ours to provide opportunities for people in this great state,” Mohammed said. “The taxpayers have invested in us, so whenever I talk about things particular to education and employment, I think of it as one team. We all have one common goal of growing the opportunities for North Carolinians.”

Dr. Ron Mitchelson, provost and acting chancellor at East Carolina University, speaks during BSIT Transfer Day.

Dr. Ron Mitchelson, provost and acting chancellor at ECU, told the group about the university’s commitment to adult learners and veterans, many of whom have already obtained credits and are looking to complete their degrees.

“We see ourselves as providing tremendous access for students across this state,” Mitchelson said. “We are very interested in serving you and your students. … I have tremendous pride in what we’re trying to accomplish here. The mission is central — student success and regional transformation.”

Jason Denius, a BSIT academic advisor, told the group that many students have a myth that obtaining their Associates in Applied Science degree marks the end of their educational journeys.

Jason Denius, advisor for the College of Engineering and Technology, speaks during BSIT Transfer Day.

“We’re here to bust that myth and to let you know that East Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology Department of Technology Systems has never felt that way,” Denius said. “We want to make sure that Associates in Applied Science students have every educational opportunity that any other student would have. We have been successfully providing that path for these students for close to 20 years. If they decide to earn a technical industry degree or an Associates in Applied Science, they don’t have to stop.”

Nathan Lamont, an instructor at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford, had two reasons to attend the conference. He is looking to gather information for his students and gather information for himself as he looks to complete his degree to become a full-time faculty member.

“The program I’m trying to get into is an online program so I wouldn’t have to commute two hours here and two hours home,” Lamont said. “I look forward to being a student here.”

Jena Bogovich, an academic advisor at Wake Technical Community College’s Research Triangle Park campus in Raleigh, attended graduate school for two years at ECU, obtaining her degree in 2016.

Jena Bogovich, right, an advisor at Wake Technical Community College, speaks to a colleague at BSIT Transfer Day.

“I think it’s really great for working adults and students who have families and have life going on,” she said of the program. “A lot of these concentrations within BSIT you can still work full time and do school online, and I think that is really what these students need. Often, their employer is paying for it too, so you can’t beat that.”

While attending ECU, Bogovich interned with the College of Engineering and Technology’s advising staff. She said Friday’s event provided her an update on the status of the program.

“I’m always pushing for the BSIT program because it creates so many opportunities,” she said. “They’ve got a great staff and faculty here, and I just know the students are coming to a good place and are going to be in good hands.”

Dr. Harry Ploehn, dean of the college, stressed that the BSIT program goes beyond just an education.

“When we go out and visit companies and we see our BSIT graduates in leadership positions, together we’re changing lives,” Ploehn said. “We’re having a major impact on the lives of these students. It changes the trajectory of their lives and their families’ lives when they get this degree and they are able to get a great salary and have a pathway to successful careers.”

For more information about the BSIT Transfer Program, visit