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These solution seekers are working to boost attainment locally

A note from Nation

Welcome to Awake58! If you were forwarded this newsletter, please click here to subscribe.

We wrap up our Solution Seekers series…The Dallas Herring lecture is one week from today…Join us Nov. 10 for a conversation with Paul Tough on postsecondary education and social mobility…K-12 average daily membership (ADM) is down 5% from last year

Friends, I am looking forward to returning to Awake58 next week, and I am grateful for the grace and support of our EdNC team. My colleague Molly Osborne is writing the rest of Awake58 this week, but I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you. As some of you may know, my mother passed away from an accidental drug overdose a few weeks ago.

As I wrote in her eulogy: Augusten Burroughs wrote, “I, myself, am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” I’d like to think he was writing about Melissa because she had her flaws — but they were stitched together with good intentions, a love that was boundless despite the many times her own heart was broken, an essential toughness, and resilience.

I have wrestled with these flaws, and her great intentions, since I found out she was one of the nearly 70,000 Americans who die annually from a drug overdose.

In this year, when more than 200,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. In this year, when too many people have had to bury someone they loved far too early.

Think about it for a moment… nearly 70,000 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, nieces, wives, partners, lovers, strangers die every single year in this country of ours — and not one of them set out to become an addict or a statistic. It is long past time that we tackle this crisis.

They all were people who lived, loved, and lost in the fullness of their humanity. They turned to drugs for a multitude of reasons, and I don’t think any of them said as they took their first hit that they hoped to die and leave the rest of us behind. In fact, I suspect that a great many of them — maybe all of them — suspected that they too had a future on the other side of the disease.

Thank you to the many members of the Awake58 community who have written to me in recent weeks. Your condolences have meant so much. Equally, I have appreciated the opportunity to be on the campuses of A-B Tech, Blue Ridge, Central Piedmont, and Rockingham community colleges in recent weeks and I look forward to sharing those stories soon.

As I told CCC&TI President Mark Poarch, whenever my mother wanted to try to have a second chance in life, it was always Caldwell Community College she referenced as her starting point. We remain thankful that you all do the hard work of expanding opportunity to North Carolinians just like mom.

See you out on the road,

Nation Hahn

Director of Growth, EdNC.org


EdNC reads

A look at Year Up Charlotte, Rowan County Education Collaborative, Carolina Cyber Network, and Cape Fear Collective

Last week we wrapped up our Solution Seekers series with a look at four more initiatives that are working collaboratively to bolster attainment in their region.

Year Up Charlotte: A partnership between the national nonprofit Year Up, CPCC, and several corporations, Year Up Charlotte launched in 2019 with the purpose of providing young adults the skills, experiences, and support needed to empower them so they can reach their potential through corporate careers and higher education.

Rowan County Education Collaborative: Composed of leaders from Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Catawba College, Livingstone College, and Rowan County elected officials, this collaborative aims to break down silos and align educational attainment and workforce development efforts in the county.

Carolina Cyber Network: Fayetteville Technical Community College and the Carolina Cyber Center have partnered to create the Carolina Cyber Network, a talent development partnership to close the workforce gap in the cyber field in North Carolina.

Cape Fear Collective: Calling themselves “the backbone of backbone organizations,” the Cape Fear Collective launched in 2019 with the goal of supporting other nonprofits in the area through data collection and story telling.

Find all Solution Seekers articles and videos here

Average daily membership is down 5% since last year across North Carolina’s public school districts

Many colleges are telling us they are facing enrollment declines this fall, especially in dual enrollment. EdNC’s Analisa Sorrells takes a look at the latest enrollment numbers from the Department of Public Instruction that show a 5% decline in average daily membership (ADM) compared to the same time last year. Read the full analysis, including a map showing each district’s Month 1 ADM this year compared to last year.

How Alleghany High is supporting FAFSA completion amid COVID-19

In years past, high schools across North Carolina relied on in-person events, such as FAFSA family nights, to provide hands-on assistance for students and families working to fill out the form. Now, counselors and college advisors are finding innovative ways to continue those efforts, including one high school that offered a drive-in FAFSA workshop in mid-October.

State Board of Community Colleges: Transfer agreements and law enforcement training

During their October meeting, the State Board of Community Colleges discussed an annual report on transfer agreements to UNC System schools and additional training for law enforcement. Alex Granados has the recap.

‘I felt like everyone had forgotten about us’ — One community college graduate discovered her life purpose from a childhood trauma

EdNC’s Alli Lindenberg tells the story of her aunt Mona, who turned a traumatic childhood experience into a lifelong career as a nurse. Mona, now the chief nursing officer and vice president of operations at Cone Health’s Annie Penn hospital, credits Rockingham Community College for launching her on the path to fulfill her dream.

‘I know what it’s like to be homeless’ — Forsyth Tech student body president shares his journey

Forsyth Tech student Curtis Walker came to North Carolina with a bus ticket and the clothes on his back. Eight years later, Walker is the SGA president at Forsyth Tech and about to graduate with a degree in supply chain management.

Lawmakers hear about micro-credentials and state apprentice program

Lawmakers at the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee heard about attempts to make micro-credentials a statewide system of professional development as well as an annual report on ApprenticeshipNC. The report showed that registered apprenticeships have more than doubled from 2016 to 2020.


Around NC

A conversation with Paul Tough on postsecondary education and social mobility

Is postsecondary education the powerful engine of American social mobility it once was? How can community colleges help people improve their lives and gain meaningful, family-sustaining employment? Join us Nov. 10 from 9:30-10:45 a.m. for a conversation with Paul Tough, Rachel Desmarais, Scott Ralls, and Thomas Walker.

Register here

2020 Dallas Herring lecture

Register for the 2020 Dallas Herring lecture featuring Bunker Hill Community College president Dr. Pam Eddinger followed by a response from Dr. Avis Proctor, president of Harper College, Dr. William Serrata, president of El Paso County Community College, and Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont Community College.

Register here

NROC Implementation Specialist

The NROC Project is looking for an implementation specialist to support and provide professional development to NROC members in North Carolina as they implement the Career and College Ready Graduate (CCRG) program.

Learn more

Nuvotronics Expands Manufacturing Center in Durham, North Carolina

Nuvotronics will invest $50 million over five years and create 150 jobs. Key partners in the project include the North Carolina Community College System.

UNC Board of Governors discuss equity and accessibility in higher education

UNC System President Peter Hans spoke about the need to make transferring from community colleges to UNC System schools easier.


Other higher education reads

How career and technical education shuts out Black and Latino students from high-paying professions

The Hechinger Report and Associated Press find a deep racial divide in who benefits from career and technical education that leads to a good job.

Racial Equity in Funding for Higher Ed

According to a study from the Institute for College Access and Success, in 2006-07, community colleges had only 59 cents for every dollar institutions offering master’s degrees could spend. Inside Higher Ed looks at the underfunding of colleges with disproportionate shares of students of color.

Study Finds Connection Between Public Community College Promise Programs and Enrollment Increases

A new study finds a 23% increase in enrollment at community colleges with promise programs compared to those without.

The Latest on Developmental Education Research: What States and Colleges Need to Know

This brief from MDRC looks at the latest research on developmental education and highlights evidence-backed reforms for colleges and policymakers.

SUNY Colleges Are Using Home-Grown Multiple Measures Systems to Place Students During the Pandemic

COVID-19 has accelerated the transition away from placement tests and towards multiple measures placement systems. The Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness looks at how SUNY colleges have responded.

Molly Osborne

Molly Osborne is the director of policy for EducationNC and the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.