Education and Research

Education Attainment Overview

 Carteret CountyNorth CarolinaUnited States
Graduate or Professional9.7%9.9%11.2%
Some College, no degree25.4%21.8%21.1%
High School Graduates27.7%26.7%27.8%
Per Capita Income$28,991$46,566$55,978

Source: (for Population 25 years and ove.)

Public Schools

Carteret County Public School System

Carteret County EducationThe Carteret County Public School System continues to score among the best in the state in achievement. Of the 115 public school systems in the state, Carteret County’s public high schools are ranked second on the 2017 SAT and the 2017 ACT. These tests compare students to a national standard and measure their educational gains from pre-kindergarten through graduation.

Carteret County Public School System’s 2016 high school seniors earned an average score of 1,182 on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) . The state’s average was 1,074 and the national average was 1,044.

Croatan High552 5485071627
East Carteret High492 5234621477
West Carteret High539547 506 1592
County Average 5375445071588
State Average 502508 4751485
National Average4874944721453

Source: NC Public Schools

Community College

Carteret Community College

Carteret County Education

Since 1963 Carteret Community College has helped students improve their lives through university transfer opportunities, career and technical skills training, continuing educations, basic skills, and life enrichment.

About 1,900 curriculum students and 4,500 continuing education students learn from the shores of the beautiful Bogue Sound in Morehead City North Carolina. They reflect a rich diversity of age, income, ethnicity and educational background. Nearly 100 students are dual-enrolled high school students, who are taking college courses tuition free while earning both college and high school credit.

The college is part of North Carolina’s Community College System that includes 58 community colleges across the state. Carteret Community College is a fully accredited community college with a comprehensive transfer agreement with the four-year institutions of the University of North Carolina System.

The college also offers one and two-year career and technical programs leading straight to employment. The Corporate and Community Education division has a wide-variety of comprehensive workforce development training for businesses and industry, as well as Basic Skills training including High School Equivalency and Life Enrichment courses. With more than 100 courses to choose from, students can pursue programs leading to a certificate, diploma or associate degree.

Areas of study include:

  • University Transfer (Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Fine Arts)
  • Health Sciences (Associate Degree Nursing, Emergency Medical Science, Medical Assisting, Radiography, Respiratory Therapy, Therapeutic & Diagnostic Services)
  • Spa Services (Cosmetology, Therapeutic Massage, Esthetics, Manicuring/Nail Technology)
  • Marine Trades (Aquaculture Technology, Boat Manufacture and Service, Marine Propulsion Systems
  • Photography (Photographic Technology)
  • Law (Basic Law Enforcement Training, Criminal Justice Technology, Paralegal Technology)
  • Information Technology (Information Systems, Software & Web Development, IT Business Support, Digital Media, A+ Prep, IT Foundation, Transfer)
  • Hospitality (Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry, Food Service Technology, Hospitality Management)
  • Office/Business (Business Administration, Medical Office Administration, Office Administration, Healthcare Business Informatics)
  • Education (Early Childhood Education)
  • Biotechnology

The University Transfer curriculum is one of the most popular programs and helps students obtain an associate in arts, associate in fine arts, or associate in science degree and transfer to a four-year institution. Additionally, the college offers a variety of Corporate and Community Education courses that provide general education opportunities for upgrading job skills, gaining certification, and satisfying personal interests.

These courses are held on a continual basis, and include:

  • Pre-licensing Courses
  • Computer Applications
  • Desktop Publishing
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Emergency Medical Technician Certification
  • Basic Skills Courses

Accredited by the Southern Association Colleges and Schools since 1974, the college has 158 full-time and approximately 300 part-time employees, who provide quality education, training and support. Many courses are offered online allowing students additional flexibility in scheduling.

As a central part of the community, the college works closely with the Carteret Economic Development department and numerous other community associations and agencies such as the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Development Authority to encourage economic growth in the area. The college’s programs, like Boat Manufacture and Service, Baking and Pastry, and Hospitality Management, are a reflection of the unique employment needs of Carteret’s coastal and tourism industry.

NC Marine Training & Education Center (NC MARTEC)

Carteret County EducationOperated by Carteret Community College, NCMARTEC is the only comprehensive marine technology training center in the Mid-Atlantic Region offering training programs for marine propulsion, boat manufacturing, fiberglass technology, marine management and other related subjects.


Marine Science education in Carteret County is anchored by the North Carolina State University Center for Marine Science and Technology (CMAST), the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences (UNC/IMS) and the Duke University Marine Lab.

Duke University Marine Laboratory

Duke University Marine LaboratoryCarteret County Education is an internationally renowned research and education facility located on Pivers Island near Beaufort. As part of the Nicholas School of Environment, the university offers undergraduate, professional masters, and doctoral programs. The resident faculty represents the fields of biology, ecology, biochemistry, oceanography, coastal environmental management, and marine affairs and policy. The Duke Marine Lab is home to a fleet of boats for research and education. The Duke residential facility features dorms, dining hall, and recreation facilities.

NC State University Center for Marine Science & Technology

Located along the shoreline of picturesque Bogue Sound in Morehead City, North Carolina, Carteret County EducationNorth Carolina State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST)  is a coastal and marine science research, outreach and educational facility.

CMAST’s principal mission is to discover innovative solutions to questions and problems in marine systems and provide effective communication of these


discoveries. Established in 1997, the 52,000 ft CMAST facility hosts faculty, staff and students from three colleges and six departments, as well as staff from NC State University’s Science House for Educational Outreach, and the NC Marine Biotechnology Center of Innovation for Economic Development.

University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Science

The Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) is an off-campus research, education, and service unit of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill that, together with the on-campus Department of Marine Sciences, forms the internationally recognized UNC Marine Sciences Program.Carteret County Education

The Institute is strategically located on 6.33 acres of waterfront property on the central North Carolina coast. The unique environment, the Croatan-Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System, is the second largest estuarine system in the U.S. and an ideal site to study the ecology, conservation and restoration of coastal marine resources and to develop and apply new technologies in research.

IMS facilities include approximately 60,000 sq ft of research space, a running sea water system that feeds both indoor and outdoor experimental facilities, outside experimental ponds, a small on-site dormitory (suitable for short stays), a small fleet motor-powered boats ranging in length from 17-25 feet and a 48ft vessel, the R.V. Capricorn.



The three University Marine Labs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center anchor the marine science cluster in Carteret County for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research.

NOAA National Ocean Service Center for Coastal Fisheries & Habitat Research

Carteret County Education


The NOAA Beaufort Laboratory, opened in 1899, is the second oldest federal marine laboratory and home to scientists from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and National Ocean Service. Operated by NCCOS, this 60,000 square-foot lab on Pivers Island is recognized for a variety of research, including: seagrasses, coral reefs, harmful algal blooms, seafloor mapping, aquaculture, and salt marsh ecology. The lab also houses the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, which serve as living labs for scientists and students to learn about coastal systems. The lab has a full SCUBA diving roster, small boats, aquaculture systems, high-tech labs for cell analysis, necropsy facilities, electronics workshops, classrooms, and a large auditorium.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Wather Forcast Office

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Forecast OfficeNational Weather Service - Carteret Economic Development is located in Newport, this weather forecast office offers state-of-the-art weather tracking and forecasting. Part of the National Weather Service, this facility includes a Doppler weather radar system with advanced weather detection capabilities.

NC Sea Grant Extension Program

NC Sea Grant Extension ProgramSea Grant - Carteret Economic Development provides research, education and outreach opportunities relating to current issues affecting the North Carolina coast and its communities. Since 1970, North Carolina Sea Grant has prided itself on being a valuable resource for scientists, educators, local officials, government agencies, coastal businesses and the public to find unbiased, scientifically sound information about the state’s coastal ecosystems. North Carolina Sea Grant facilitates funding for millions of dollars of research, outreach and education programs each year. Their initiatives and projects touch a broad range of topics, including fisheries, seafood science and technology, water quality, aquaculture, community development, law and policy, and coastal hazards.

NC State University Seafood Laboratory

NCSU Seafood Labratory - Carteret Economic DevelopmentNC State University Seafood Laboratory was established in the early 1960s and is a unit of the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University. Lab personnel conduct applied research and provide training programs, laboratory testing, process validations and HACCP system consultation. The Seafood Lab is located in the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology at Morehead City, NC.

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