Craven Community College (Craven CC) re-instated a much missed adult learning program (AEP) in the fall of 2016.

The reception and results exceeded expectations of Craven CC leadership and its coordinator Susan Moffat-Thomas. “Very successful,” said Moffat-Thomas when she described the first year of the new AEP format.

The income received exceeded expectations. Twice as many classes were offered than originally planned.

In a recent appearance on CTV-10’s All About Craven television show, Dr. Ray Staats, Craven CC president, said “The program is about neighbor to neighbor education.” Staats said the program has been successful and sees the program doubling again.

In addition to adding new classes, Moffat-Thomas said the college is working on streamlining the class registration process to make it much easier to enroll in an AEP course.

The AEP classes are affordably priced and taught by local experts in their field.

Some classes such as cake decorating, digital photography, interior design, painting and pottery may have been among the expected course subjects.

Other classes were unique and different learning opportunities such as A Random Walk Down Wall Street taught by Stuart Smith, a retired portfolio manager.

The next year of classes start with the fall which already has 38 classes scheduled to date.

Popular classes such as Watercolor Painting by Ed Macomber and others will return to the schedule.

New topics will be added such as Beginner Oil Painting, DIY Woodworking, Microsoft Powerpoint and Excel, and Yoga.

“The support we’ve had from instructors has been outstanding,” said Moffat-Thomas. She said she is also very grateful for partners such as the Cape Lookout Power Squadron and the N.C. Cooperative Extension for supporting the adult learning program.

Renowned local artist Jill Eberle taught Portrait Drawing and Figure Drawing in the first year.

She plans to teach Concept and Composition in the fall. Eberle taught college students at East Carolina University for 15 years and has enjoyed a different teaching experience with AEP students.

“The students were happy to be there and were totally involved,” Eberle said.

New Bern resident Phil Swain took the Selling on eBay class taught by John Lawrence.

Swain is an avid model train collector who recently retired and said he wanted to downsize and sell some of his trains.

“John was a great instructor,” he said. He had not sold or bought anything on eBay before the class.

Swain sold his first piece on eBay within a few days of listing it. It was a MTH O-Gauge Oil Tank Car.

In addition to participating as a student, Swain and his fellow members of the Coastal Carolina Railroaders Club taught Introduction to Model Railroading.

From the students, the club sparked interest in collecting and has new members as a result of the class.

Swain said he was very happy the program was reinstated and that it has come back strong under Moffat-Thomas’ leadership.

He said he is interested in a Spanish conversation class if AEP offers it in the future.

Moffat-Thomas said there is an abundance of highly talented and qualified people in the community.

She said she is eager to hear from the community for class ideas and from people who have an interest in teaching a class.

Please contact Moffat-Thomas at 252-638-1367. For more information and to register for upcoming classes, visit the college’s website at or call 252-638-7248.

Deborah Kania is the director of communications at Craven Community College.