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Awake58: Goals

This is a copy of the Awake58 newsletter originally sent on Monday, October 8, 2018. Click here to subscribe. 


The myFutureNC Commission has shared their draft goal and plan for a statewide attainment goal — along with some findings from a poll which will be fully shared soon…. We also attended Real College and spotlighted one college embracing ACEs this week… and we are going to be at the NC Community College conference, so come say hello.

Last week we were in Asheville for the myFutureNC Commission meeting. As a reminder, the myFutureNC commission “was setup to develop a comprehensive statewide education plan, from early childhood through postsecondary education, which recommends clear attainment goals, identifies key benchmarks, and proposes promising reforms to guide the future of education in North Carolina.”

After an extended period of work, the commission has reached a draft goal of 2,000,000 25-44 year-old North Carolinians with a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree in 2030. For more on the goal and the draft plan, stay tuned to and in the weeks ahead.

A few key levers were identified to jumpstart North Carolina’s path to this goal, including bolstering FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completion rates and — you guessed it — North Carolina’s community colleges.

We have a table at the NC Community College conference this week. Come say hello and introduce yourself if you are attending. Finally, we can’t tell the stories of our state’s 58 community colleges without your voice. If you have a story to share, please consider writing a perspective for For inspiration, check out this story of success from a student at Rockingham Community College, or this perspective from Surry Community College President David Shockley. Click here for more details on submitting perspectives.

Additionally, we would love for you to be our guest for a reception this evening at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh featuring Sam Jones BBQ, additional food, drinks, and live music. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. tonight. We are grateful to our partners at the John M Belk Endowment for sponsoring the event. Space is limited so please RSVP, but we will have a few tickets left at the door. Click here to RSVP.

EdNC Reads

Real College: Addressing poverty to increase student success

Analisa Sorrells attended Real College last weekend to hear from Dr. Sandra Goldrick-Rab who shared research she had conducted with more than 4,300 students from 10 community colleges across the country. One in five students said they had gone hungry sometime in the last month due to a lack of money, and 13 percent had experienced homelessness sometime in the last year. Have you seen this reality on your campus? Let us know.


‘I wanted to be somewhere where we made a difference’: An interview with College of the Albermarle President Wynegar

President Wynegar shares his view on the role of community colleges, how he decides to start (or end) a program, and more. It is worth a click.

Community college post Florence

“We know they are going through a lot. What I want to see, what I want to do, is we will continue to work with them and walk with them so the situation becomes a stop out and not a drop out … It would hurt my heart if we have drop outs.” – Kenneth Boham, James Sprunt Community College’s interim president.

A conversation with President Jason Hurst of Cleveland Community College

President Hurst declared, “I think we’ve (community colleges) got to be innovative. I don’t think we have a choice. I think community colleges for too long have been the second or third fiddle. You’ve got K-12, you’ve got the university system, and then you’ve got us. And I’m kinda tired of being third fiddle. I mean we are no doubt the single greatest influencer in economic development — we are.”

Central Carolina creates a ‘student first’ approach

Central Carolina Community College is tackling adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in a way that we haven’t seen so far. If your college is taking on ACEs, please let us know.

One key quote from the piece: “CCCC’s initiative is about hope. The research also shows that the damage done may be mitigated or reversed. There are relatively simple ways to counter the toxic stress and help students build resilience so that they can achieve academic success as a foundation for healthy, happy lives.”

Worth a click

Detailed New National Maps Show How Neighborhoods Shape Children for Life

More and more research illustrates the zip code children are born into matters. Some communities do a good job generating mobility, but many do not. This new mapping tool will show you how well your community generates mobility.

Time Poverty

A new study adds to the evidence that students with children have a more difficult time completing their degrees than students who do not have children.

As free college programs move forward, experts agree that design matters

We heard a lot about Tennessee Promise and the role of free college in Tennessee’s education successes of late. This piece reminds us all that the design of the program matters.

One more thing

Last week, over 500 people gathered in Philadelphia for the third Real College convening on addressing food and housing insecurity among undergraduates. Topics included creating affordable housing options, preventing food insecurity, addressing the needs of nontraditional students, and integrating mental health practices with basic needs supports. An artist created these visuals of key points in real-time as guest speakers delivered addresses.

“Our job is not to fix students, it is to fix ourselves. Our students are not to blame for the problems they are battling, we are. We’ve adopted a no excuses philosophy; if a student is failing, it means we didn’t have the right person, policy, or process in place to ensure their success. When you can own your students’ success, the amount of disruption that comes will create a movement that will make ‘Real College’ unnecessary 10 years from now.” – Dr. Lowery-Hart, President of Amarillo College. 

Why are we here?

Awake58 is a weekly newsletter from which covers primarily community colleges, the evolving labor market, and other issues which will define the future of North Carolina. If you were forwarded this email, click here to join us on this journey.

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Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.