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Lessons from the early college summit, investments in Haywood County, and more

A note from us

Hi, Nation here with this week’s edition of Awake58. If you missed last week’s newsletter featuring the President and first lady’s visit to Nash Community College, you may find it by clicking here.

RTI recently hosted an early college convening… the State Board of Community Colleges will meet this week… Dogwood Health Trust and Gov. Roy Cooper announced significant investments for Haywood County as part of its recovery from the paper mill closure… CCCC President Lisa Chapman is off to the United Kingdom as part of a delegation to explore workforce issues around clean energy…

Welcome to another edition of Awake58. As we approach the dog days of summer, the General Assembly remains in budget negotiations. The current expectation among many is that we may have a budget before July Fourth. We will see — but, regardless, we will have the full story for you whenever the budget arrives.

The State Board of Community Colleges will meet virtually today at 3 p.m. You may find the agenda and other details here. As always, the board meeting will be livestreamed on YouTube. This is a more abbreviated State Board meeting than normal. We expect the primary topic will be performance goals for new system President Jeff Cox and his team. My colleague Hannah will have the story.

Hannah also delivered “blessings and gratitude” for our team retreat last week. I would encourage you to give it a read. We are grateful for your ongoing work to improve educational outcomes for our students and our state — and we are immensely grateful for your ongoing readership of EdNC.

As you all know, we’ve spent a lot of time this spring documenting the impacts of the closure of the paper mill in Canton. Last week, the Dogwood Health Trust announced a $1 million grant to meet the immediate needs of the community. On Thursday, Gov. Cooper also announced a significant grant to support the workers.

In case you missed this piece last week, I went back and read my colleague Alessandra’s documentation of Leia Rollins’ reflections on Career and College Promise (CCP) at Piedmont Community College. Her work documenting CCP throughout the school year was interesting to see. Rollins told us, “I want policymakers to see what CCP has done for all of my students — from a student taking one class to a student who got their degree.”

I also went back and read the story on the new scholarship in honor of Davidson-Davie Community College President Darrin Hartness. The news of the scholarship in Hartness’ honor is a reminder that we are all in this together.

I’ll see you out on the road,

Nation Hahn

Chief of Growth —

EdNC reads

Making connections and building empathy – lessons from this year’s Early College Summit

Emily Thomas documented the Early College Summit held by RTI in this article.

RTI’s two-day event included moments of reflection from former and current early college students. They highlighted how, in practice, the early college model helps students bridge gaps, build relationships, and bolster their civic engagement.

During a panel showcasing current North Carolina early college students, moderator Marlow Artis asked why they had made the decision to attend an early college. The students’ response: because of the opportunities available to them.

Those opportunities include leadership development, smaller class sizes, and, of course, the ability to graduate high school with two years of college credit under their belt.

Beyond class sizes and college credit, the students also described the impact their early college has had on their personal life. When early college students are enrolled in college courses, they’re often taking classes alongside the college’s general student population. As mentioned by Elizabeth Ekstrand, a student at Middle College High School at Durham Technical Community College, the diverse student population of local community colleges means you’re often sitting in class next to retirees, active military members, and more.

Click here for more.

Around NC

My colleague Mebane Rash’s in-depth analysis of the important legislation and debate around public education in North Carolina is worth a read.

The Hunt Institute announced former United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as their new board chair recently.

Our colleagues at the Institute for Emerging Issues N.C. State University “convened a task force in fall 2022 to identify tangible ways leaders can address the needs of potential workers so they can enter and succeed in the workforce.” The recommendations are now available in the Talent First Economics Recommendations Report .

If you haven’t listened to our podcast “Papertown” yet, you should get to streaming! Click here to listen to this powerful work from our colleagues Caroline and Cheyenne.

Central Carolina Community College President Lisa Chapman is off to the United Kingdom this week, according to CCCC. Dr. Chapman is part of a delegation exploring clean energy and workforce development needs related to the industry. We hear that at least one other Awake58 subscriber is going on the trip. Safe travels!

According to a release from Guilford Technical Community College: “Guilford Technical Community College and the North Carolina Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (NC FAME) The First in Flight Chapter, signed its inaugural class of 20 student recruits… The FAME program is designed for those interested in pursuing a career in STEM-related fields in manufacturing and provides a two-year, debt-free associate degree with the goal of equipping students with the skills required for a rapidly evolving manufacturing landscape. NC FAME, The First in Flight Chapter, will work with GTCC to educate students in a college setting, while also providing on-the-job-training with one of the NC FAME sponsor companies.”

Robeson Community College announced a college admissions day with a lot more than just registration. According to a release from the college: “The “and more” includes free haircuts from RCC Barber Students, free services including shampoo/style/cuts from RCC Cosmetology students, and free blood pressure checks from RCC EMS students.”

South Piedmont Community College recently announced their Excellence in Teaching and Staff of the Year awards. Click here to find out the award winners.

Southwestern Community College celebrated the graduation of their latest Project SEARCH cohort recently. For more information on this innovative program, click here.

Other higher education reads

Making It Impossible to Miss Out on Community College for People Who Need It

Broward Community College President Gregory Haile delivered the Dallas Herring Lecture in 2021. Haile recently spoke with about the “power of proximity” and I’d encourage you to give his interview a read:

One of the ways we like to talk about this work is asking what it looks like to become more proximate to communities.

Community colleges, which are open access institutions, are designed to serve everyone. But for years we have been asking the most challenged members of our community — those who have no transportation, those who have very limited technology, if any, single parents working multiple jobs who have to get children to child care — to come to us. What would it be like if we no longer ask those people with no time, no technology and no transportation to come to us, but we went to them? What does it look like to make it impossible for people not to see the opportunity?

Read more here.

Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.