Sampson Independent

A common theme at Sampson Community College is hands-on learning. More than a lecture, a book or a video, hands-on training can immerse students into real-world scenarios so when they enter the workforce they have actually already done the job.

This week, students from the Building and Construction discipline hopped on a Bobcat and expanded what was already a great project at the college. SCC began a program a few years ago where students in the program are able to actually build a real house and pass a real inspection before the house is sold to real clients to help sustain the program.

After more than half a dozen satisfied clients, the students are taking it a step further. “Students are preparing the foundation for the house to sit on,” says Barney Grady, Department Chair for Building and Construction. “House number seven was purchased and will be delivered to this property soon. To be able to allow students to work on a real live project is already a plus. Now we have new equipment and they are out here prepping the foundation and the footing for the house to sit on too!”

“We are scraping the ground to prepare to paint lines for the foundation and dig footings,” says Alex Ander, one of the students in the summer program. “Throughout this program, we have constructed a house, remodeled part of chemistry lab and made repairs to things that needed it. Hands-on experience is invaluable. You learn as you go so you know what to do when it comes time to do it later on.”

Grady says the more students can get involved with every layer of the process, the better. “Any aspects of our program that remotely had any limitation are being eliminated,” he says. “We are determined to see that these students are ready, willing and able to work for any employer once they leave here.”

For more information about hands-on learning in construction trades at SCC, contact Barney Grady at

Barney Grady instructs students on how to strip the vegetative layer before digging footings for a house. Grady instructs students on how to strip the vegetative layer before digging footings for a house.

Laying the foundation for learning