Skip to content

EdNC. Essential education news. Important stories. Your voice.

Here's how one early college is making the most out of the COVID crisis

A note from us

Welcome to the latest edition of Awake58. We hope you will stay a while. If you received this email without a subscription, please click here to subscribe to this newsletter.

The State Board meets this week… The System Advisory Council heard updates related to the system’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts last week… Haywood Early College was named an Apple Distinguished School… myFutureNC released their attainment report…

Welcome back to Awake58!

The State Board of Community Colleges will meet this week. Planning sessions and meetings begin on Wednesday. You can find the agenda and related materials by clicking here. My colleague Anna will be covering the meeting. Look for her story next week.

Anna also covered the System Advisory Council and reports:

The N.C.Community College System Advisory Council heard updates related to the system’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts last week. The council members, which include State Board members, trustees, and presidents, discussed three recommendations:
– Eliminating the RDS (Residency Determination Service) requirement
– Adding DEI language to the State Board code to facilitate the implementation of these goals and strategies
– Eliminating student debt related to small fees and charges

The Residency Determination Service is mandated by the state legislature. The DEI report from the council found that it could be a barrier to students of color looking to enroll.

These recommendations are expected to come before the full State Board at its October meeting.

The RDS recommendation will generate a lot of conversation. For our past coverage on the issue, click here.

Haywood Early College was recently named an Apple Distinguished School. My colleague Mebane Rash has spent a lot of time in the school over the last year, and she has a feature out now that you should spend some time with to learn about the leadership style and approach of Principal Lori Fox and her team.

Fox told Mebane, “We are going to refocus, reset, recreate, and restart as many times as needed to get this right for students given whatever comes our way – pandemics, cyberattacks, floods.”

For the full feature, click here.

myFutureNC, the statewide nonprofit organization focused on increasing educational attainment, released their attainment report recently. Among the data points shared: “North Carolina faces a growing need for talent. Two thirds of our jobs require education after high school, yet less than half of North Carolinians have the level required. Based on the most recent data available, in 2019 North Carolina had an estimated 1,450,2492 adults ages 25-44 with a high-quality degree or credential. Based on those projections, North Carolina is 44,000 below where it needed to be to be on target to the 2 million by 2030 goal.”

We encourage you to spend time with the full report to deepen your understanding of the progress being made towards the attainment goal, recommended actions, and more.

Thank you for allowing us into your inbox this week – and thank you for reading!

See you out on the road,

Nation Hahn

Head of Growth —

EdNC reads

How Haywood Early College is making the most of the COVID-19 crisis

Haywood Early College was just named an Apple Distinguished School. In addition, the school’s proficiency rate for last year came in at 98.7% during a school year impacted by COVID. My colleague Mebane Rash has embedded with the school over the last year and provided us with a feature looking at how they hit these marks.

Mebane spent a significant amount of time with Principal Lori Fox, and this passage particularly stood out to me regarding her approach:

When she thinks about last year, Fox said, “We can’t lower expectations, so it required a special combination of loving people and cultivating hope along with hard work and fortitude and resilience.”

This school year, everyone is back on campus, and there is no remote option. But as students are quarantined, they will participate just as they did before, synchronously through Google Classrooms. She doesn’t want students missing seat time.

Fox hearkens Winston Churchill and his quote “never let a good crisis go to waste,” commenting, “I can’t say this is a good crisis, but I don’t think we’re letting it go to waste.”

For the remainder of Mebane’s piece, click here.

Around NC

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss. Knauss died during the recent attack on the Kabul airport. According to Mark Sorrells of Fayetteville Tech, Knauss enrolled in FTCC for the fall semester in the Associate in General Education program of study. He was deployed at the start of the semester. In addition, his wife Alena Knauss graduated from FTCC in the spring of 2021.

This spotlight from ABC11 shares more of Knauss’ story. Alena told the outlet, “He was right in the field of work he wanted to be in, and if he knew the outcome, he would do it again.”

The NC Community College System Office is looking for an Adult Learner Specialist. The posting may be found here. As a reminder, you may find other jobs across the system on the system’s job board.

A number of statewide events are coming up that you may be interested in attending, including:

As always, feel free to let us know about upcoming events that might be of interest to our readers.

Cleveland Community College’s new drone program was featured by the local news.

Cape Fear Community College announced a $400,000 gift from a local donor to support nursing students with two new programs — the Sheila M. Saklad Accelerated Nursing Fellowship and the Upward Mobility RN Scholarship.

WHQR, the local NPR affiliate, has a three-part series on Cape Fear CC that they have just released. Per WHQR: “In the first of three parts: a look at the history of the current administration and the fallout from WECT’s 2020 reporting on the college climate.” For the first part in the series, click here.

Central Carolina Community College announced a new grant from the RPM Foundation to support scholarships in automotive restoration.

Craven Community College’s plans for their Volt Building are changing after a recent vote by the New Bern Board of Aldermen. For the full story, click here.

Edgecombe Community College has a new mascot: the eagle.

Halifax Community College hosted Founders Day this week – including a keynote address from Congressman G.K. Butterfield and a ribbon cutting for their new Advanced Manufacturing & Corporate Training Center.

Pitt CC’s Bulldog Promise Scholarship is featured in the local news. The Bulldog Promise is serving 50 members of Pitt CC’s 2021 graduating class this fall — providing them with a tuition free two-year education.

Richmond Community College is now offering a bonus for employees who receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

From a recent Wake Tech press release: “Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Wake Technical Community College will require employees to submit results of weekly testing or voluntarily submit proof of vaccination.”

Other higher education reads

College students who experience food insecurity graduate at half the rate of their peers

The Counter is out with a look at new research on food insecurity on college campuses and the impact on attainment: “Public health researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that students who lacked consistent access to enough food were 43 percent less likely to graduate than their food-secure peers, and 61 percent less likely to get an advanced degree, like a master’s or doctorate, in the years that followed.”

Obstacles on the path to degrees

A study from University of North Carolina’s School of Law and UnidosUS, a Latinx civil rights organization, “argues that Latinx students disproportionately fear taking on student loan debt and face transportation challenges, which both pose formidable obstacles to completing college.”

A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost’

A new piece from the Wall Street Journal looks at the data behind enrollment declines — particularly the growing gap in enrollment between men and women: “At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline.”

The full article requires a subscription.

Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.