Former Wilkes Community College student Jeremiah Dancy recently completed his third educational goal- graduating with a Masters of Arts in Naval History, with distinction, from the University of Exeter in England. His next step is completing a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), similar to the U.S. Ph. D. at Oxford University. Jeremiah is truly an example of how community colleges give individuals the foundation on which to build their continuing success story.

Jeremiah entered WCC after a four and a half year commitment with the U.S. Marine Corps. While in the military he was able to take some classes to get started on his educational goals. With the discipline of a former serviceman, he began a rigorous course of study, taking an extremely heavy course load so that he could complete his associate’s degree in one year. He credits the intimate environment of WCC with helping him get through that challenging year. Getting to know the faculty helped him to stay motivated through 24 credit-hour semesters. Specifically, he praises instructors Tom Ingledue, Cinnamon Martin, and Nolan Belk for challenging and motivating him throughout his time at WCC and still follow his successes and challenge him to keep taking that next step.

Currently planning a career in academia when he completes the DPhil requirements at Oxford, Jeremiah commends the community college system for helping to create his own success story as well as others’. “The community college provides the opportunity of higher education to people who may not otherwise go to a traditional four-year college or university,” he says. “Higher education in general searches for the truth without outside influences and that community colleges are able to bring that to small communities is amazing. It makes a difference in people’s lives, prepares them for a life outside their community, and is a launch pad for you to go on to other things.” Jeremiah’s experience at WCC launched him on an educational journey that spans institutions and international borders.