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Awake58: Summer Melt

This is a copy of the Awake58 newsletter originally sent on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Click here to subscribe. 

Summer Melt

Happy Tuesday.  Were you forwarded this email? Click here to subscribe. If you have any feedback, or if this email hit your spam folder, reply directly to this email.

Every year a significant number of students who say they intend to enroll in community college do not show up on campus… We introduce you to Dean Church from Caldwell County… The NC General Assembly continues to heat up… And we won four NC Press Association awards thanks to your warm support.

EdNC was the fortunate recipient of four North Carolina Press Association awards, and one of them was directly related to you. As my colleague Nancy wrote, “Team EducationNC was awarded the Duke University Green-Rossiter Award for Distinguished Newspaper Work in Higher Education for The Blitz: Visiting all 58 North Carolina Community Colleges. Keith Lawrence, executive director of news and communications at Duke University, presented the award, noting that the judges said ‘this project was smart, ambitious, sweeping, and eye-opening; no doubt readers learned a lot about the 58 community colleges in their midst. The project had many ways to engage readers from feature stories to videos to Q&As with college presidents, questions asked of readers, a newsletter, and social media.’”

Thank you for your support last fall. We couldn’t have documented your 58 colleges without all of you welcoming us with open arms. In many ways, I believe the project was “smart, ambitious, sweeping, and eye-opening” because so many of the programs and people we met are also smart, ambitious, and eye-opening.

This week, we are focused on the issue of summer melt. You may be asking what is summer melt exactly? For the purposes of the education pipeline, it is a term which defines those students who state an intention to attend some form of post secondary education, yet do not show up on campus the next fall. Many of the colleges I have visited have highlighted this as a critical problem. Now, I am interested in the solutions. What are your colleges undertaking? How about your K-12 district? What do we need to know about your work in this space? Please reply directly to this email and let me know.



EdNC Reads

Video: Stories from the Education Pipeline: Dean Church talks going back to college over 30 years after high school

Meet Dean Church. After serving in the Army and working over 20 years at a manufacturing company in Lenoir, Church had a serious knee injury and lost his job. Caldwell Community College helped him find a path forward.

The biggest loss point in North Carolina’s education pipeline: On-time transition to college

NC students are completing high school at a higher rate than ever before, but this has not translated into large increases in immediate college enrollments.  Check out more from Becky Tippett’s NC Education Pipeline report when you have a moment.

Not all bills are created equal 

Alex Granados explains the legislative process to remind us that just because a bill receives coverage doesn’t mean it will pass. He does, however, note he feels positive about the possibilities around some proposed legislation that would impact your college. Read the piece for more.

EdNC wins NC Press Association awards

We won several awards at the NC Press Association award ceremony last week – including one thanks to all of your support last year during our community college blitz. Thank you for reading. We wouldn’t be here without your support.


Other Reads

As College Consulting Expands, Are High School Counselors Advocates or Adversaries?

The college admissions scandal has been all over the news. This piece from the New York Times explores the scandal through the lens of high school counselors and their shifting role.

Redrawing NCAA Brackets for Income Mobility: If the 2019 Tournament Were About Moving Students Up the Economic Ladder, We’d All Be Celebrating Villanova

I will never forget (or forgive) Villanova for their game winning shot against UNC a few years ago, but this piece illustrates their success at moving students up in economic mobility. Spend time with the piece. It is a fun angle about serious work.

Colleges start looking for ways to house and feed their students who are homeless

Dorothy Gorder was homeless and an addict. Tacoma Community College changed her life for many reasons, but providing housing was one of the most essential. Is your college tackling homelessness? Let us know.



EducationNC ( believes a more informed, connected, and engaged North Carolina is a better North Carolina. Thank you so much for joining us in the conversation around our students, our state, and our future. If you have any questions about our mission and vision, feel free to email me.


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Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.