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Awake58: The early college showdown continues

This is a copy of the Awake58 newsletter originally sent on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Click here to subscribe. 

The early college showdown continues

The early college budget provision in the Senate budget is already generating changes in one county… We visited McDowell Tech to explore K-12 collaboration… The budget process overall continues… And one study highlights how even the lingo in higher ed can serve as a barrier….

Hello, all! Happy Tuesday.

Last week, we spotlighted our coverage around a provision in the Senate budget that would sunset supplemental funding for early colleges after three years for new early colleges, and eventually supplemental funding for all existing early colleges. This week, one county has already made a significant change as a result.

My colleague Alex Granados reports from Carteret County: “The Carteret County Board of Education met this week and voted to close the Marine Science and Technology Early College High School (MaST). It was a close vote (4-3) that ultimately means the school’s 100 students will be on their way to other schools. The board decided to use the county’s money for the early college instead on county teaching positions.”

“In a statement from Carteret County Board of Education Chair Travis Day on the closure, part of which was read at the board meeting where the closing of MaST was decided, Day said that without state funding, the early college wasn’t feasible.”

“All other considerations aside, from a financial perspective, we would not be able to continue MaST without state funding,” he wrote. “And unfortunately, the decision on state funding will likely not be confirmed until well after the school year starts.”

We will stick with this story throughout the week as the budget process continues. On Thursday, we will share the results from our survey regarding your thoughts on early college funding. Please subscribe to the Reach Roundup to see those results!

It is almost the one-year anniversary of EdNC’s Awake58 Blitz visiting all 58 community colleges, and we are looking forward to coming back to go deeper on the issues that matter to you and spotlight promising practices on your campuses. Do you know of a promising practice that is helping students get to and through college? Share it with us here, and we may come spotlight it in the coming months.

Thank you for letting us into your inbox this week! It is always appreciated. If you were forwarded this email from a friend, please subscribe by clicking here.



EdNC Reads

A visit to McDowell Tech: The attainment conversation must connect to jobs, collaboration is essential, and the promise of rural colleges

I had a chance to visit McDowell Tech recently. Dr. John Gossett, president of McDowell Tech, and Mark Garrett, the Superintendent of McDowell County Schools, walked me through their collaboration including two early colleges, the implementation of Career and College Promise, and the use of Career and Technical Education to combat the dropout rate. It was an interesting conversation, and I shared the takeaways in this piece.

The state budget negotiations fall apart

We’ve covered the budget debates and negotiations over the last several weeks. It has been complex as the Senate budget and House budget must be reconciled in conference committee — and Governor Cooper could potentially exercise a veto over the final budget and sustain the veto with enough support in the legislature. Alex reports on the process in his latest Rumblings & Grumblings.

Threat of early college cut claims its first victim

Even as the budget debate continues, the early college funding provision in the Senate budget has already generated an impact as the Carteret County Board of Education voted to close the Marine Science and Technology Early College High School due to uncertainties around the budget.

VIDEO: ‘It’s something I’ll never forget’ – Students work with advisors to plan futures

This piece starts out with the quote, “A good advisor can mean the difference between going to college or not.” Watch this video from EdNC reporters Robert Kinlaw and Rupen Fofaria, who visited high schools across the state working with College Advising Corps to learn about where students are going after graduation. Spoiler: many are choosing community colleges! Watch the video to see why.

Other Reads

How To Survive College When You’re Paying Your Own Way

A low income student who attended the University of Michigan was struck by an affordability guide to her college that was wildly out of touch. She created her own guide on how to survive the university without being rich — and she started a movement.

Beyond Free College and Free Markets: Voters Want Greater Accountability in Higher Ed

A new survey is out that investigates what Republicans and Democrats alike think about the problems and solutions facing higher education. Third Way argues that voters on both sides of the aisle believe that higher education is essential for the economic future of the students, but also that higher education should help students complete their education and get connected to good jobs.

The paradox of working while in college

Numerous recent students have shown that students should work less than 15 hours a week for the sake of their grades and completion. Now, a new study shows that remains true, but also that students who do work end up with higher earnings as an adult. This piece explores that paradox.

The Surreal End of an American College

This article is long but worth reading. Enrollment declines and low budgets are hammering small schools across the United States. The Atlantic went behind the scenes of a shutdown to explore what happens to students who lose their institution midway through their academic journey.

One surprising barrier to college success: Dense higher education lingo

Anyone who visits a college can feel a bit of whiplash from all of the acronyms and lingo. Now imagine that you are a first generation college student. Hechinger spotlights the challenges they face.

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Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.