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The State Board approved a new presidential reelection amendment

A note from us

Hello and welcome to Awake58 — Nation here.

The State Board met last week to tackle an array of business items… Fayetteville Tech celebrated a record number of graduates at their most recent commencement… Cape Fear CC is launching new evening courses… A Southwestern CC graduate will join the ranks of Goodnight Scholars…

Last week at the State Board of Community Colleges meeting, the Board approved an updated amendment regarding the reelection process for local college presidents. The amendment will give the Board final approval in the reelection of local presidents as their contracts come up for renewal.

State law has historically given the State Board of Community Colleges the authority to approve or deny the hiring of college presidents by their local boards. The 2023 state budget, passed in September, added reelection authority to the Board alongside other governance shifts. Here is EdNC’s Hannah Vinueza McClellan’s reporting on the process to date:

In January, the Board interpreted that added statute as requiring State Board approval for any contract renewals, extensions, or amendments for local presidential contracts.

In April, the Board discussed an updated amendment. At the time, some Board members expressed concern that the new amendment is overly burdensome on local boards or gives too much authority to the Board.

The amendment, approved on Friday, would require the chair of local boards to submit “a letter notifying the State Board of Community Colleges of its approval of a proposed presidential contract renewal or extension at least ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of the Existing Presidential Contract.” The amendment also lays out a process for colleges that do not have a contract for their presidents.

The May version of the amendment is very similar to the one considered in April, with a few minor changes. The end of the amendment also includes two new clarifications:

  • The SBCC shall not approve the reelection of a college president unless it has received a request to approve such college president’s reelection from the applicable local board of trustees, in compliance with this Section.
  • In consideration of the approval of the reelection of a college president, it shall be the intent of the SBCC to ensure that such decision is properly supported by the materials submitted to the SBCC. It shall not be the intent of the SBCC to substitute its judgment for that of the local board of trustees in such local board of trustees’ reelection of its college president.

A 60-day period of public comment is now underway. At the conclusion of the comment period, the Board will review public comments and take a final vote on the amendment. To submit public comments on amendment revisions, visit the system’s webpage on numbered memos. As of Monday afternoon, the memo had not been uploaded.

The Board also heard updates on the pilot program to provide career pathway opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a five-year summary of college financial audit findings, the new Rural Postsecondary Practices Partnership, and more. You’ll find Hannah’s full article here.

As we approach Memorial Day weekend, I want to once again express my thanks for your ongoing readership and support of Awake58 and It means a lot to all of us. We will be taking a pause next week, and Awake58 will return on June 4. If you missed last week’s edition focused on graduation season, recommendations to strengthen our state’s nursing workforce, and Fayetteville Tech’s swift water rescue center, you will find it on our website.

I’ll see you out on the road,

Nation Hahn

Head of Growth —

PS — I bookmarked this recap of the education bills to watch this legislative session. House Bill 1069 would fully fund the system’s request for Propel NC.

EdNC reads

Students learn mural making in a city with a burgeoning culture of public art

My colleague Alli has a fun article out about the Guilford Tech Community College Foundation initiating a mini-grant to support faculty who designed improvements to college programs that also support the college’s strategic plan. Visual art instructor Douglas Cason was one of the award winners. Here is how it unfolded:

An artist himself, Cason noticed an increased demand for murals in Greensboro upon moving from Texas to work for GTCC five years ago. Having painted murals in the past, he knew it required a unique skill set that his students might benefit from learning.

The mini-grant allowed Cason to pay for all of the supplies needed to teach students how to create and paint a mural. It also helped him bring in a local professional artist to aid in the mural making and offer insights to students. …

Creating the mural on campus was a process. From ideating, sketching, digitizing, and eventually painting, students were able to gain an understanding of what it takes to make a mural. Professional visual artist Jenna Rice assisted Cason in teaching the students the process of creating the public art piece.

I enjoyed this story. Have you seen other programs underway from local college foundations to support creative efforts from faculty and staff? I would love to hear about them. Just reply directly to this email!

North Carolina community colleges expand programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities

In January 2022, the General Assembly allocated $500,000 to establish pilots at Catawba Valley and Brunswick community colleges to provide career pathway opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). At the May State Board of Community Colleges meeting, Finance Committee Chair Lisa Estep provided an update. Hannah has a recap:

Students who participated in the pilot at Catawba Valley and Brunswick enrolled in many programs, including: horticulture, manufacturing support, culinary/coffee shops, auto detailing, carpentry basics, furniture academy, custodial technician, manufacturing academy, early childhood education basics academy, and landscaping.

Fifty-five of the students who participated received job offers following their training, the system said last October, roughly 35% of pilot students.

A total of $908,194 was retained by the system to pay for staff positions required by the budget, in addition to professional development, evaluation, and marketing. This spring, the system hired a state director of IDD programs, associate director of IDD programs, and a part-time associate director of pathways and partnership.

The system held meetings with each college in March to launch program implementation. In April, system staff and representatives from each of the 15 pilot colleges attended an IDD training program kick-off event at Catawba Valley Community College.

System staff have scheduled campus visits with each of the 15 colleges to offer individualized guidance and technical assistance regarding program implementation before the fall semester, and formed an advisory council for the program. The system is also working with local colleges to develop marketing contracts to make sure students and their families are aware of the program.

“With the pillars of programmatic design and administrative functions being firmly set, the coming quarters are sure to expose individual and programmatic achievements that will lead to transformational generational change for students, institutions, and communities,” the annual report says.

Estep said getting local businesses on board will be key to the success of programs and that the system is uniquely positioned to serve this population of students.

Hannah’s article has full details on the pilot and the remainder of the meeting. You can find it on our website.

Around NC

Alamance Community College celebrates $100,000 grant | Alamance CC held a check presentation at their trustees meeting last week to celebrate a $100,000 grant from members of their local delegation to support the creation of a “one-stop-shop” for student services at their Dillingham campus.

Cape Fear Community College launches evening courses for the chemical technology program | CFCC will launch evening courses for their chemical technology program this fall. The college says they believe this will offer flexibility for working students and adult learners who are interested in the program in their release.

Central Piedmont Community College receives $1 million gift | CPCC has received a $1 million gift from Coca-Cola Consolidated to support U.S. military veterans and first responder scholarships, provide program support, and assist with other critical needs at the college, according to a release from the college.

Fayetteville Tech Community College celebrates a record number of graduates | FTCC celebrated a record number of graduates for their 62nd commencement, according to a release from the college. They honored 3,045 graduates to be exact. This number represented a 47% increase over their 2022-23 graduating class.

Pitt Community College’s search for a new president continues | Pitt CC has moved into the next phase of their search for a new president. They will interview semi-finalists this week and then hold public forums with the finalists. Read more here.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College celebrates their 60th commencement | Rowan-Cabarrus CC celebrated their 60th commencement ceremony last Friday. According to a release from the college: “There were more than 1,200 students eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony who earned 1,587 associate degrees, diplomas and certificates and over 100 High School Equivalency/Adult High School students who completed their diplomas. More than 400 curriculum and High School Equivalency/Adult High School graduates participated in the ceremony. The graduates ranged in age from 16 to 65 (average age is 23).”

Southwestern Community College student named a Goodnight Scholar | SCC graduate Emma Rowe was named a Goodnight Scholar, according to a release from the college. The Goodnight Scholarship is awarded annually to 50 incoming, in-state students studying in the STEM disciplines or affiliated education majors at N.C. State.

Other higher education reads

A Growing Number of Community Colleges Are Building HBCU Pipelines

Washtenaw Community College in Michigan launched an HBCU pathway program recently. Inside Higher Ed has a feature on the program that drew inspiration from colleges across the country, including Durham Tech and NC Central. Here is an excerpt:

Washtenaw isn’t the only community college building pathways to HBCUs.

Its program drew inspiration from the California Community College system’s Transfer Guarantee Agreement to HBCUs, launched in 2014, which allows eligible students at any of the system’s 116 campuses to transfer to 40 different HBCU partners. These students have guaranteed admission, priority for on-campus housing and student success coaches (alumni of these transfer pathways) who continue to check in with them after they move over. Some of the HBCUs also provide students with in-state tuition or scholarships.

Other colleges across the country have since started similar initiatives. For example, Onondaga Community College in New York announced two new transfer agreements with HBCUs last year. Durham Tech Community College also partnered with North Carolina Central University on a guaranteed transfer pathway that gives students early access to university resources, such as the library.

The full article is on

Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.