The area’s educational system is the pride of eastern North Carolina. The public school system receives extensive local support, reflected in modern classroom facilities and a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Excellent private parochial and non-parochial schools are also available. Pitt Community College (PCC), eighth largest in North Carolina’s 58 campus community college system, offers a wide variety of business/industrial curriculum programs including machining, welding, industrial maintenance, information systems, bioprocessing (including cleanroom maintenance), etc. Special training programs are specifically designed to meet the start-up and up-grade skill needs of industry, regardless of the type of operation or employment size of the facility. PCC offers special programs to meet industrial and business training needs with State supported commitments to industrial training at little or no cost to companies. East Carolina University (ECU) is a research doctoral intensive institution and the third largest of the 53 private and public four-year colleges and universities in North Carolina. It offers 104 undergraduate and 97 graduate degree programs in Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Fine Arts & Communication, Technology and Computer Science, Human Ecology, Health and Human Performance, Allied Health Sciences, and Nursing and Professional schools of Medicine and Dentistry. Total enrollment is approximately 28,000.
The creation of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU stimulated the emergence of UHS Medical Center as a regional health care center. The medical center serves a 29-county referral area with a multitude of services that include organ transplant, a Level I Trauma Center, air ambulance service, neonatal intensive care and centers for rehabilitation, diabetes, cancer, and cardiac care.
UHS Medical Center and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University work together to provide residents and fellows with the optimal educational and clinical experience. UHS Medical Center serves as the teaching hospital for the School of Medicine and is the flagship hospital of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina. The facility is an 861-bed tertiary hospital and the designated Level I Trauma Center serving 1.4 million residents of eastern North Carolina.
The East Carolina Heart Institute is the first in North Carolina devoted exclusively to education, research, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The institute is associated with UHS Medical Center and East Carolina University. The primary facilities that make up the Heart Institute are located on the campuses of UHS Medical Center and ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. Private practice physicians in Greenville and throughout the region are an integral part of the Heart Institute.
Most recently, East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine welcomed its inaugural class in August, 2011.
Cultural, Recreational and Leisure Activities
One of the most unique characteristics of the area is the wide assortment of activities for people of all ages. Parks, rivers, golf courses, historic old towns, coastal sounds, and the famous beaches of the Outer Banks offer many recreational outlets in addition to organized activities sponsored by local recreation departments. The mild climate allows residents the opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreational activities throughout the year. The presence of the College of Fine Arts at ECU with its schools of Art, Theatre, and Music provides the cultural diversity of a major metropolitan area. Amateur musical, theatrical, and dance groups offer more than 200 free performances annually to fill nights and weekends.
The cultural climate of Pitt County is unsurpassed in Eastern North Carolina, providing the proper environment to nurture the artist as well as to satisfy the desires of the art lover. Everything from old fashioned cloggers to ballet, from jazz ensembles to symphony orchestras, and side walk art shows to fine art exhibits are available throughout the year. The abundance of cultural events is largely attributable to the activities and presence of the Schools of Art and Music at East Carolina University.
Greenville is North Carolina’s winner of the title “Sportstown USA” by Sports Illustrated.
Parks and Recreation Departments throughout the county offer residents of all ages, interests, and skill levels hundreds of classes and special programs in which to participate. This, along with a large BMX presence, including some of the best riders in the world including Dave Mirra, and exciting college athletics prove that this title is well-deserved.
Pitt County has also received the designation as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance.
Pitt County is a dynamic community with much to offer its youth. Pitt County has a strong heritage defined by a collaborative spirit that influences programs and services countywide. This sense of collaboration was affirmed when Pitt County became a two-time winner of the “100 Best” distinction.