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One college president shows you can go home again

Welcome to another week of Awake58! If you missed last week’s edition, click here.

We visited with Dr. Lisa Chapman of Central Carolina Community College to look back at the first year of her tenure … Last week marked five years of, and we shared more on our approach … Wake Tech and Wake County launched a new apprenticeship program … 

We visited Lisa Chapman and Central Carolina Community College last week. I first visited Central Carolina in 2012 when I toured the state with the Research Triangle Park Foundation. At the time, Chapman was part of president Bud Marchant’s administration. 

We caught up on her time in the community college system office, heard her thoughts on what prepared her to serve as president of the institution, and talked about why her return to Central Carolina as president is such a thrilling homecoming for her. 

We also discussed the challenges facing student success, funding, and, yes, faculty pay.  Give it a read!

Click here for our story

One piece that did not make it into the article was her advice to new presidents. Chapman told me she would encourage them “to be very deliberate in learning their college culture, and learning the culture of their community.”

She added: “There’s a difference between being a president and doing the job the president does. They really have to understand the college and the community.”

A special thank you to the whole team at Central Carolina for welcoming us!

And thank you for reading Awake58! This week I am heading to Davidson Community College. If you work at Davidson, be sure to say hello!

See you out on the road,


Director of Growth,

EdNC turns five

We began publishing on five years ago last week. As someone who was there from the beginning, I can tell you that five years goes fast. We are also now a year and a half into publishing content on community colleges.

The first piece I would recommend spending time with if you are curious about EdNC, where we came from, and our theory of change is our annual report. Mebane writes, 

“From early colleges to residency determination services to attainment to parity funding for workforce development, the work of EdNC ends up changing public policy.”

To read the annual report, click here.

Mebane also explained more around the theory of our work moving forward, as well as her vision for leadership.
In addition, I had the chance to reflect on a year of audience growth, as well as our focus on engaging all of you in a conversation around the future of our colleges and your community. I would love for you to give it a read and let me know your thoughts!

Articles worth your time

My colleague Molly flagged this interesting piece from Fast Company on the future of colleges, provocatively titled: “Will you still need a college education in 2040?” The piece looks at the need for colleges to adapt to meet the needs of employers (something you all are familiar with!), the rise of alternatives to college including credential-focused boot camps and apprenticeships, and the need for specialists as opposed to generalists.

“Free college” is a label we will hear a lot about in the upcoming election. The Tennessee Promise launched four years ago to great fanfare. The74 published a piece recently looking at the way the Tennessee Promise has begun to shift the college-going culture in Tennessee. The piece also explores concerns around equity that are emerging around the program.

Around NC

Wake Tech and Wake County are partnering on a new apprenticeship program called Wake Works, INDY Week reports. “The program, which offers tuition-free trade education through a salaried apprenticeship program, aims to not only help residents get a foot in the door but also to take a step up the economic ladder.”

Employee complaints about the Cape Fear Community College administration have burst into the public arena in recent weeks through coverage from WECT. The complaints were a hot topic at the Cape Fear board meeting this week. WECT also published a second piece looking specifically at faculty requests.

Halifax Community College requested additional funding from the Halifax County Commissioners. The request was turned down.

Senator Richard Burr and Erskine Bowles wrote an op-ed this week entitled “Strengthen the UNC system for future generations.” It included the following passage: “So how can we ensure the UNC system remains as strong as ever for future generations? That is a question we believe should be answered through genuine civil and public debate, one that we expect will focus in part on governance.”

The Hunt Institute just released a policy brief on the benefits of reverse transfer: “As states continue to focus on increasing postsecondary attainment rates, policymakers can look to an innovative policy strategy — reverse transfer — to better support those adults and help them receive the certificates or degrees they may have already earned.”

The Center on Education and the Workforce released a new report on the labor-market value of associate’s degrees and certificate programs that is worth your time.
MCNC and Facebook are partnering to bring high speed internet to western North Carolina.

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Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.