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Help could be on the way for communities affected by recent storms

Welcome to another week of Awake58! If you were forwarded this email, be sure to subscribe by clicking here.

Many of the community college system’s priorities were funded through a bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor… The Storm Recovery Act of 2019 is making its way through the legislature… A new report highlights the “college completion crisis”… 

Thank you for welcoming us into your inbox again this week.

On Wednesday, members of our team will hold the second Here to Listen student town hall at Guilford Tech. We have several more scheduled in the months ahead, so please spread the word. And if your college would like to host one, reply directly to this email!

On Thursday, Molly Osborne and I will visit Cleveland Community College to better understand the opportunities and challenges it faces as we head toward 2020, and to explore its industry partnerships. Follow us on Twitter for real-time coverage!

Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law a bill that provides the funding that was allocated for community colleges in the budget he vetoed in June. While the bill does not contain salary increases (which are in another bill), it does address many of the system’s priorities, including short-term workforce funding parity and extra money for career coaches. Read the full bill here.

On Friday, we released an interactive map that allows you to explore the school performance grades of all K-12 schools across North Carolina — including early colleges. The map also allows you to alter the formula to give weight to different characteristics. Give it a go and let us know your thoughts!

We need your help: When a hurricane strikes, what information do you need? Let us know your thoughts by clicking over to take a brief survey that should take no more than five minutes. If you fill it out, you will have a chance to receive a $50 Amazon gift card. 

We are writing a series about students transferring from community colleges to four-year universities, and we’re looking to talk to students who are hoping to transfer and students who have already made the move. We especially want to hear from AAS degree holders, students of color, and those who have faced challenges in the process. Reply directly to this email with your feedback or thoughts.

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See you out on the road,


EdNC reads

Here’s how a bill could help students in Ocracoke and community colleges recover from storms

House Bill 1023, titled the Storm Recovery Act of 2019, would allocate more than $250 million to help residents, local governments, schools and state agencies recover from four recent storms, as well as prepare for the next one. It would allow local governments flexibility in spending money from previous storm allocations, fund repairs at Ocracoke School, and offer the community college system more flexibility around funding for storm-related enrollment declines. The Senate could take up the bill after it returns Nov. 13, and we will track its progress.

(Interactive) How would you grade our schools?

Each September, the Department of Public Instruction releases school performance grades for all K-12 schools — including early colleges. How do your local schools stack up? How would you prefer to see schools rated? Check out the maps and then let us know the formula you prefer by replying directly to this email.

Awake58: Will community college faculty and staff see raises?

Since last week, a mini-budget proposal that contained most of the community college system’s funding priorities was signed into law by the governor. We will continue to monitor the progress of the other bill that would provide for faculty pay increases.

(SURVEY) We need to know more about your information needs during a hurricane

Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Dorian, and other weather events have deeply affected our state in recent years. And recovery is always an ongoing process. We are working to better understand what information people need during and after a storm. As a bonus, if you fill out the survey, you have a chance to receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

Other reads

Perspective | Education in a South ‘divided by design’

Ferrel Guillory wrote this week about a new report: “Race remains the issue that no one wants to address, even though it permeates almost every aspect of society — especially in the South.” That line appears in a report released last week by a new regional nonprofit, E Pluribus Unum, that set out on a year-long effort to engage residents of Southern states in conversations about the influences of race in their lives and communities.

The college completion crisis explored

The 74 explores a recent data set on college completion in this piece: “Just 40 percent of the freshmen enrolled in four-year colleges each year graduate with a degree on time. Roughly one-third of all college students in both two- or four-year programs never earn a degree at all. That adds up to almost 4 million college dropouts stuck with billions of dollars of debt for their troubles.”

The best way to help companies find workers with the right skills? Apprenticeships, a new report says

A new report explores how to close the skills gap within the American workforce: “(T)here’s a potential solution: Community college students, if given broader access to professional apprenticeship programs, would be able to develop the skills, experience and confidence to meet employer expectations, thereby closing the gap in our job market.”

Around North Carolina

What degrees and credentials have had the highest increase in wages over the last 10 years?

Carolina Demography explores the programs from both community colleges and the UNC system that have led to the highest wage growth over the last decade. Information systems and accounting are two of the programs. What are the others? Click through to find out.

(Opportunity) Apply for the ZSR Fellowship

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation offers one two-year, paid fellowship to an individual who demonstrates an interest in philanthropy, public policy, community service and/or the nonprofit sector. This position is salaried and includes benefits. Please forward this opportunity to students or recent graduates who may be interested.

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Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.