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North Carolina's apprenticeship system is a national model

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From a stalled program to a national leader in workforce training, the North Carolina Community College System revamped apprenticeship programs … What is your college doing the first week of fall classes? We want to know!

Good morning all, 

This is Emily, policy analyst for EdNC. Nation’s off this month so I’m writing this week’s edition of Awake58. As always, thank you for taking the time to read today!

Four years ago, the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) gained control of the state’s apprenticeship programs. The system revamped a stalled program and turned it into a national leader in workforce training, doubling the amount of apprenticeships since 2016.

Margaret Moffett takes a closer look at the past four years of apprenticeships, explains reasons for the growth, discusses the challenges to recruit and retain apprentices, and shares experiences from employers and students.  

You can read the full article here.

We are still waiting for the House to release their budget, which won’t happen this week while several Republican legislators attend the American Legislative Exchange Council conference in Salt Lake City.

NC Insider had this update on the legislative process last week:

The Senate is waiting on the House to send over its budget bill, which House Speaker Tim Moore said will “hopefully” be ready in the second week of August. Once the Senate gets the House budget, it’ll go to conference for two to three weeks, Berger estimated. That could mean a final budget bill by the end of August. “I would hope that we can adjourn by the end of August, to a date certain to come back and deal with redistricting,” Berger said.

Is your community college doing something special or unique the first week of fall classes? Let us know! You can reply to this email or reach out to me directly by emailing [email protected]. 

Thanks for reading, 


EdNC’s policy analyst 

EdNC reads

Apprenticeships grow up in North Carolina

When the North Carolina Community College System gained control of the state’s apprenticeship program four years ago, the number of apprenticeships totaled 5,161. As of 2020, that number has more than doubled, bringing the total of active apprenticeships to 12,244.

By leveraging on-the-ground connections, the system and the 58 community colleges have taken a stalled program and turned it into a national leader in workforce development.  

In this article, Margaret Moffett shares experiences from employers and students and highlights the impact of apprenticeship programs. 

She also discusses the challenges. In 2019, the N.C. Justice Center found 32 barriers that prevent students of color from enrolling in youth apprenticeship programs. Chief among those barriers was “inconsistent recruiting of students of color in high school and the need for more representation and advocacy from people of color.”

Read the full article here

Around NC

It’s official – the North Carolina Community College System and the UNC System have signed an articulation agreement for teacher preparation programs. Both the UNC Board of Governors and the State Board of Community Colleges approved the uniform articulation agreement at their respective July board meetings. You can read more about the articulation agreement here.

The 2021 Performance Measures Report is now available on the system’s website. At their July meeting, the State Board of Community Colleges approved the report and subsequent recommendations. According to Board documents, “The Performance Measures for Student Success Report is the North Carolina Community College System’s major accountability document.” For a recap of the State Board meeting and the performance measures voted on, check out this article.

Thirty former Surry-Yadkin Works interns sign commitments with local employers. Surry-Yadkin Works is a community-based apprenticeship program that brings together four public school systems, Surry Community College, and local businesses.

Cleveland Community College gained ownership of the Cleveland Correctional Center, one of several prisons that closed in 2009. Since its closing, the college has used the prison to host education programs for prisoners from Lincoln Correctional Center. Now that the college owns the prison, president Jason Hurst told Shelby reporters he hopes to find ways to increase access to the programs held there. 

The respiratory care program at Wilkes Community College received the President’s Award for Excellence.

Wake Tech announced a grant for cloud computing. The college was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant which totals $562,150.

An inauguration ceremony for J.B. Buxton will be held on Tuesday, July 27. Durham Technical Community College will host the ceremony to install Buxton as the college’s fifth president.  

Central Piedmont Community College received $25,000 from the Metallica Scholars Initiative to support career and technical education programs.

“The supply of nursing faculty is quite constricted.” UNC Greensboro chancellor Franklin Gilliam discussed the challenges of hiring and retaining nursing faculty. The interim dean of the nursing school told Higher Ed Works that in order to get anesthesia faculty, the school made an agreement with them: “They work for us 100% … But they are also given one day a week to go practice.”

Other higher education reads

Examining the Value of Nondegree Credentials

Strada Education Network is hosting a webinar on July 28 about the value of nondegree credentials. With growing interest from learners to obtain certificates, certifications, and licenses, Strada will share data about earnings, job satisfaction, and perceptions about the worth and benefits of nondegree credentials.

The webinar is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday, July 28. You may register for the webinar here.

How Student Supports Can Reverse Enrollment Declines

This Strada article discusses how providing the necessary student supports can reverse enrollment declines.

As explained in the article, colleges will need “a combination of the right outreach and the right types of supports.” Those supports range from addressing food insecurities to linking education offerings to career outcomes.

“As postsecondary institutions across the country recover from the pandemic, insights from education leaders as well as students on their educational journeys can guide others to success.”

Dealing With Students’ Learning Loss: The Key Podcast

The Key, Inside Higher Ed’s news and analysis podcast, talks learning loss and how colleges are preparing and responding.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is a policy analyst for EducationNC.