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Awake58: Talking Enrollment

This is a copy of the Awake58 newsletter originally sent on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Click here to subscribe. 

Talking Enrollment

Hi.  Send this link around to let people know they can join Awake58.

Last week, Carolina Demography and the John M Belk Endowment released the Leaky Pipeline Report that evaluates the key transition points for our students… The report shows  where interventions are needed to improve educational outcomes… We are launching a special deep dive on funding and enrollment this week…

Fresh on the heels of the myFutureNC Commission releasing an educational attainment goal for North Carolina, Carolina Demography and the John M Belk Endowment released the Leaky Pipeline Report, which showcases key transition points for students across our state. The name of the report speaks to the reality of many of our students stopping out at critical points along the educational continuum. The report highlights these loss points while interjecting substantive data into the debate around the interventions which might make a difference for our students.

Over the next month, we will be releasing explainer videos that break down the report. Check out the first one on postsecondary attainment with Rebecca Tippett of Carolina Demography, and look for a new video every Thursday for the next four weeks.

We are also showcasing student stories in the weeks to follow. My colleague Liz shared the story of John Martinez first. John began to disengage in middle school before dropping out in high school. His story raised key questions for me around what kind of environments we might create in schools to maintain engagement among students and to show them we all care about their attainment.

This week also marks the launch of our series around community college enrollment and funding. Based off of the response to last week’s Awake58, this is a hot button issue for many of you.

Today, we released an explainer on enrollment, which both frames the issue for North Carolinians who might wonder about the relevance of the issue and explains how enrollment is measured. This statement sums it up well, “Not only does enrollment signal the demand for education in our state, but it also has significant ramifications for how community colleges are staffed, funded, and measured for success.”

Rupen Fofaria went on the road to explore how many of your colleagues are grappling with enrollment. Stay tuned for the rest of the coverage on enrollment and funding. You can find each article on a special section of our site. Email me your thoughts on the series at any time or drop a text to NATION at 73224.

This week is your last chance to participate in the People’s Session. I hope you will weigh in on your priorities for this legislative session this week during the People’s Session. Your voice matters. Click here to do so.



EdNC Reads

Speaker Moore introduces school construction bond legislation

Against the backdrop of a competing school and college construction proposal in the Senate, Speaker Moore introduced school bond legislation that includes $200,000,000 for community colleges.

Join the People’s Session (Please)

The People’s Session is an online survey run by EducationNC’s Reach NC Voices initiative that aims to surface the education priorities and opinions of North Carolinians. In short, we want to know what you care about, so we can let decisionmakers know. We’d love to have students participate as well, so feel free to share it with your students.

North Carolina’s Leaky Pipeline

You’ve heard a lot about attainment lately. Why does it matter? The long and short answer is quite simple: Careers. If we want our residents to have the opportunity to join fast growing sectors which provide life sustaining employment, they will most likely need to have a high quality degree or credential.

EdExplainer: Community college enrollment

We break down the ways community college enrollment works in North Carolina and why it matters. Y’all probably know this all too well, but we’d love for you to read our piece and provide feedback.

Community college enrollment challenges are a problem for communities and the state

“It’s not just one thing or a simple fix type of thing,” President Peter Hans said of addressing enrollment statewide. “There’s a lot there. But we have to start, I think, with asking the right questions.

(Video) Stories from the Education Pipeline: John Martinez shares why he dropped out of high school

This piece should stop us all in our tracks: “They were good kids, but I guess we all went through like some type of stuff going on around us that nobody bothered to ask at school or no one paid attention to,” (Martinez) said. By his third year with freshman-level credits, Martinez decided to drop out.

(Video) How educated is North Carolina?

What is postsecondary attainment, and why is it important? What is the current landscape of postsecondary attainment in NC? What is our state’s goal for postsecondary attainment? Rebecca Tippett from Carolina Demography tells us why in this important video.

A day at Piedmont Community College

You have to appreciate this student quote: “I’m going to be the first person in my family to graduate and there’s no cost and my parents are so excited!”


What we’re reading

North Carolina’s Education Pipeline

What does this mean for our state? “Between 2018 and 2029, nearly 1.3 million students will graduate from the state’s public K-12 school system. Under current rates, just 247,400 will complete high school in four years, immediately enroll at NCCC or UNC, and graduate on time.”

Our View: Poorly funded public education may stall our economy

This op-ed from the Fayetteville Observer reacts to the Leaky Pipeline report and another recent school finance study: “We may have finally reached the breaking point, where we can look ahead and see that our failure to create a strong public education system across the state has hobbled our ability to create the workforce that 21st century employers need.”


Join the People’s Session!

What education policies do you think the legislature should address? The People’s Session allows you to weigh in on issues that are likely to arise this session, including everything from faculty pay to community college funding to bonds.

We believe the future doesn’t just happen to us. We believe your voice can shape the direction of our state.  Please weigh in.



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.