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N.C.'s dual enrollment program benefits more than students

A note from us

Hello, Emily and Nation here. If you missed last week’s Awake58 edition, you can read it by clicking here.

The impact of N.C.’s dual enrollment program and early colleges… The Institute for Emerging Issues hosts their 2023 forum… The State Board of Community Colleges meets this week… A new bipartisan HBCU Caucus holds its first meeting… Governor’s commission on public university governance to host listening sessions… A list of upcoming webinars…

We have a packed newsletter for you this week. 

But before we begin, EdNC would like to extend our condolences to Pitt Community College and to the family of Dr. Thomas E. Gould, who died unexpectedly last week. Gould served as the executive vice president of academic affairs and student services at Pitt. 

Dr. Lawrence Rouse, president of the college, said in a press release,

“Dr. Thomas Gould was a firm believer that education positively transforms individuals, families and communities. It’s what motivated him throughout his extensive and distinguished career in higher education. PCC will greatly miss his leadership, loyalty and quick wit, but all of us who had the pleasure of working with him are better educators by having had the privilege to do so.”

You can view the press release about Gould here. 

We continue rolling out lessons learned from our Impact58 Tour. Alessandra writes about Cooperative Innovative High Schools and Emily and Mebane highlight the impact of N.C.’s dual enrollment program (Career and College Promise) on students, families, and the state.

“Students become familiar with college in a way they may not have otherwise been, and it can change their post-grad career paths and influence them to go to college when they otherwise would not have.”

Mark Ellison – dean of Southwestern Community College

Data shows economically disadvantaged and underrepresented students benefited most from CCP participation, though challenges remain in program accessibility. We discuss how colleges and school districts are working to bridge gaps in accessibility.

Also in this week’s EdNC reads you’ll find updates from the Governor’s commission to study public university governance. Hannah’s article recaps last week’s meeting, which included the commission’s plan to host six public listening sessions across the state. We also have an update about the state’s new bipartisan HBCU Caucus that looks to expand NC10’s impact. EdNC’s Liz Bell lifts up a new child care model in Yadkin County that could expand child care access – particularly in rural areas. 

The State Board of Community Colleges will meet Thursday and Friday. You can view the agenda here. The presidential search committee will provide an update during the regular meeting on Friday. 

EdNC team members attended N.C. State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues annual forum yesterday. This year’s event examined “ways to overcome barriers that have historically and systematically prevented underrepresented groups of workers from finding employment and staying engaged in the workplace.” Look for a recap article from our team this week. 

We’ll see you out on the road,

Emily and Nation


EdNC reads

How N.C.’s dual enrollment program elevates students, families, and the state

North Carolina’s dual enrollment program (Career and College Promise) impacts more than just students. Those who participate in CCP are more likely to enroll in a N.C. public college or university, and students have higher high school graduation rates. A recent study also found economically disadvantaged students and those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups benefit most from participation.

Students are also earning credentials that can move them into the workforce quicker – a particular interest to the state as they work toward their attainment goal. At the end of the 2021-22 academic year, students in CTP and CTE pathways earned 2,861 credentials across the N.C. Community College System (NCCCS).

So what does CCP look like across the state?

We highlight some promising practices and opportunities our team discovered during our Imapct58 Tour.

Check out the full article here. 

Lessons learned on the road from N.C.’s Cooperative Innovative High Schools

EdNC visited all 58 community colleges over the span of four months last fall. We called the campaign Impact58.

We met with faculty, staff, and students about some of the issues that will be an important part of this year’s legislative session for community colleges, like dual enrollment opportunities including Cooperative Innovative High Schools (CIHS). Here’s an excerpt from Alessandra’s article this week on some of our findings:

Given the research showing the many benefits of CIHS and recent legislative changes to the funding model for these schools, we took the opportunity to visit as many CIHS as we could to witness their impact firsthand.

CIHS include early colleges, middle colleges, and STEM and career academies, which are all united under a common goal: to provide students with the opportunity to gain tuition-free college credits, including an associate degree or industry-recognized credential, while in high school

Part of what adds to the unique high school experience for these students is their size and location. These schools are required to have no more than 100 students per grade level to ensure an intimate learning environment, and they are often located on the campus of their partnering institution of higher education. Students not only experience college in their coursework but in their day-to-day lives on campus as they interact with professors and other college students.

Of all students enrolled in a CIHS in the 2021-22 school year, 89% attended schools that partner with a community college.

Research has consistently shown that CIHS students outperform traditional high school students on a variety of metrics.

Click here to read more.

Governor’s commission on public university governance to host six public listening sessions across the state

Gov. Roy Cooper’s commission to study public university governance will host six public listening sessions across the state over the next three months, the commission announced at its second meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The public sessions, meant to gather stakeholder input on improving public university governance, will begin on Feb. 21 and run through mid-April. Commissioners will use input to develop recommendations on university governance reform, due in a report to the governor by July 1.

“The purpose of the Forums [is] to hear ideas and suggestions for improvement of our current governance structure,” says a draft public hearing letter. “The Forums are not an opportunity to air grievances or discuss past failures. Efforts to speak to such matters will be out of order.”

You can find more details on the sessions and the rest of the meeting here.

State’s new bipartisan HBCU Caucus wants to highlight, expand NC10’s impact

North Carolina’s new bipartisan historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) Caucus will hold its first official meeting next week to outline specific goals for maximizing the potential of the NC10, caucus co-chair Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The caucus is modeled after the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus in the U.S. Congress, which North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams, D-District 12, started in 2015. On Wednesday, the other Democratic Co-Chair, Rep. Zack Hawkins, D-Durham, said the creation of the HBCU caucus marks the first in a state legislature. The caucus also has two Republican chairs: Sen. Carl Ford, R-Rowan and Senate Republican Joint Caucus Leader, and Rep. Jon Hardister, R-Guilford and House Majority Whip.

“We thank you for joining us as we embark on this extraordinary mission, but one that’s much needed, in forming an HBCU, historically Black colleges and universities, caucus,” Robinson said. “It’s something we’ve been working on a very long time, some of us, but we are excited to have a collaborative effort this time.”

Read more on the caucus here.

Yadkin County innovation could relieve rural child care shortages

A new child care model created in Yadkin County could expand child care access — especially in rural areas. But there’s no licensing avenue for the model yet.

The state Child Care Commission approved a petition on Monday for a rule change to create that avenue.

The change would allow for a new type of child care setting that houses multiple small early childhood programs. The model would lower costs for providers and meet rural communities’ needs more than current options, said the cross-sector leaders behind the plan.

“If we do move fast enough, we could be the first in the nation to launch this model, which is very exciting,” said Sandi Scanelli, president and CEO of Shallow Ford Foundation, a community foundation serving Clemmons, Lewisville, Yadkin County, and northern Davidson County. “It’s very innovative.”

Click here to read the full article.


Around NC

Gov. Cooper announces $7.7 million in new funding to UNC System to support mental health programs. “The UNC System will collaborate with the North Carolina Community College System and the state’s independent colleges and universities to offer suicide prevention training to faculty and staff across all three education systems. These trainings will provide faculty and staff with the tools they need to better identify and support students in crisis.”

The Association of Community College Safety and Security Officials will host a conference in Wilmington this spring. You can find more about the association and conference here.

Johnston Community College received a grant to support their culinary arts curriculum program. The grant is part of a $5 million allocation to assist in the creation of high-cost workforce programs at 14 institutions in the N.C. Community College System.

Catawba Valley Community College announced the launch of a program connected to National Entrepreneurship Week.

The Cultural Events Committee at Robeson Community College is highlighting North Carolina Artist Sandi Carter during Black History Month.

The Belk Center announced 17 doctoral students as Belk Center Fellows. Several doctoral students are current NCCCS employees.

Halifax Community College hosted its inaugural Celebrating Black Excellence Program on Feb. 9.

Upcoming Webinars 

The North Carolina Teaching and Learning Hubs have a number of webinars this month. You can find a full list and how to register here. Want to know more about the hubs? Check out this page from the Belk Center.

The Hunt Institute will host a webinar March 16 about supporting learners impacted by the legal system. You can register here. 

As part of Financial Aid Awareness month, NCSEAA and CFNC are hosting a How to Pay for College webinar series.  Full details for the remaining webinars below:

Week 3 – FAFSA’s done – show me the money!

Completing the FAFSA is one of the most important steps you can take in accessing financial aid to help pay for college.  But there may still be steps to take once your application is submitted.  In this session we will share how to read your Student Aid Report, how to correct any errors, what to do if you get selected for verification and how to work with your college financial aid office if you or your family’s financial situation has changed.

Date and Time: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, 6-7 p.m. Register here.

Presenter: Lee Bray, director of financial aid, Pitt Community College

Host: Kathy Hastings McDonald, NCSEAA associate director for outreach

Week 4 – Evaluating financial aid award letters

The cost of going to a private college can be very different from going to a public college or university so it can be hard to understand the financial aid award letters you receive from each institution and compare apples to apples.  In this session we will help you consider the financial aid award packages you received so you can make the best choice for your education goals.

Date and Time: Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, 6-7 p.m. Register here.

Presenter: Timeka Ruffin, CFNC Representative

Host: Kathy Hastings McDonald, NCSEAA associate director for outreach


Other higher education reads

How research universities are evolving to strengthen regional economies

Last week, nonprofit public policy organization Brookings published a research report with case studies from the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Here’s an excerpt from that research:

When asked how to build a great city, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Create a great university and wait 200 years.” Indeed, America’s network of research universities is one of its greatest sources of talent, entrepreneurship, and research and development—three inputs that in combination can fuel prosperity in the regions that surround those universities.

Yet, while most strong regional economies have a leading research university, the reverse is not always true. That is because the link between university research, commercialization, and broader regional development is neither automatic nor immediate. Some universities are better at engaging with their surrounding industries and communities, and some regions have industries and communities that are more ready to translate the knowledge universities produce into economic development.

The reality is that regional economies are complex, and their outcomes are influenced by countless interactions between markets and institutions—including but not limited to large research universities. Many inputs matter to regional economic development (e.g., business growth, job creation, skilled workers, well-planned built environments), but each is determined by separate regional systems that too often remain unintegrated. In other words, economic development is a “multi-system” process, but regions struggle with effective multi-system governance.

Read the full post here, which includes data on how Build Back Better funds were used among colleges.

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is the Director of Postsecondary Attainment for EducationNC.

Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.