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Awake58: We need your ideas

This is a copy of the Awake58 newsletter originally sent on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Click here to subscribe. 

We need your ideas

We want to know how we are doing and how we can improve… the House budget has dropped and budget season is upon us… And we let you know what your fellow North Carolinians thought about our most pressing policy issues…

Hello, all!

Welcome to the 32nd edition of Awake58. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate you allowing us into your inbox and engaging with us each week.

I’ve heard from many of you regarding story ideas, your thoughts on the issues facing community colleges, and how we can best do our work. But now I want to hear from all of you! Will you please take our survey and let us know how we can improve Awake58 and’s coverage of community colleges?

Thank you in advance for taking the survey.

I also wanted to give a shout out to Debra Harlow, Denise Pate, and others  for referring folks!

We will be taking next week off to consider your feedback from our survey and catch our breath. See you in two weeks!



EdNC Reads

House drops its education budget plan

The House budget is here: “For the community college system, the budget includes $8 million in the first year and $11.5 million in the second year for short-term workforce training. The Community college system will also get $2.8 million recurring in both years for career coaches. Both of these items were part of the community college system legislative agenda.” Updates on faculty compensation are coming today!

What the people said about community college issues

Our People’s Session concluded a few weeks ago. We are now rolling out the comprehensive feedback from North Carolinians. Explore what your fellow North Carolinians had to say about faculty pay, community college funding, and more today. Feel free to also dig in on what North Carolina had to say about a range of issues by clicking here.

Wake Tech welcomes President Scott Ralls

Dr. Scott Ralls has officially taken the helm as fourth president of Wake Technical Community College. He succeeds Dr. Stephen Scott, who served as president for 15 years before retiring last August.

A High Point mother’s nightmare with Juul

A must read: Looking back on her experience, Kinard said the hardest part about her son’s nicotine addiction was the fear, despair, and helplessness she felt. “No one could help us,” she said. “No one wanted to help us, and no one would acknowledge that we needed help… If we had the information that we have today, that’s out there now, I think we could’ve done a lot more to avoid this from happening from the start. But there wasn’t that information because all that we were aware of was that ‘vaping is healthier than smoking.’”


Other Reads

How colleges can help their students out-compete robots

Automation and robots are coming whether we like it or not. A great number of industries will be impacted. Experts agree that reskilling and upskilling will become important, but what else will matter? This piece explores some opportunities colleges might embrace to help their students compete in the future.

How America’s college-closure crisis leaves families devastated

For-profit colleges are shutting down frequently across the country. This article explores what is left behind for families and students who were relying on the institutions that close.

The college try

This is an older article, but one that raises questions that are still being asked for many students across the country: “Liz Waite and Kersheral Jessup couldn’t afford a higher education, let alone rent. But they worked and scrounged and slept on couches to put themselves through school. Will their degrees be worth it?”

With white students becoming a minority, public universities push harder to diversify

As our country becomes more diverse, one college president argues many institutions are missing the point: “Universities need to quit worrying about U.S. News and prestige and start worrying about their mission. I’ve got way too many of my colleagues that are chasing things that mean nothing. They end up reducing opportunities that they are supposed to be providing for their state.”



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.