Perspective | Announcing the North Carolina Postsecondary Leaders Program

During this strange time of staying at home, in between the seemingly endless video conference meetings, I find myself thinking hopefully about the days when it will be safe for us to gather and see our friends from across North Carolina again. The meetings that we host for policymakers and thought leaders in education policy have always been a hallmark of The Hunt Institute’s programming, and we have kept busy planning for the time when these meetings can resume in a responsible way.

In the spirit of looking forward, The Hunt Institute has announced the creation of the North Carolina Postsecondary Leaders (NCPL) program: a new opportunity that will launch in Fall 2020 for North Carolinians who are involved in the state’s higher education landscape. Through the course of four meetings, three in North Carolina and one out-of-state visit to Tennessee, the NCPL Leaders will engage with leading national resource experts on a variety of higher education policy topics. The NCPL program will also create a space that allows leaders to develop meaningful relationships with one another – forming the foundation of a network that includes some of the state’s most prominent voices on higher education policy.

The NCPL program is an exciting new development in our partnership with myFutureNC to drive progress toward reaching the state’s postsecondary attainment goal: #2millionby2030. Throughout their time in the program, NCPL leaders will use the information they learn to create an action plan that is tailored to their policy role and the needs of their local community. The NCPL program will enhance the ability of leaders to serve as active, informed champions of increasing postsecondary attainment in their home counties. This network of leaders will carry the torch of statewide efforts to boost attainment to all corners of the state, serving as the local actors who steer implementation of statewide strategies.

For the past year, The Hunt Institute has partnered with our friends at the State Collaborative for Reforming Education (SCORE) in Tennessee to administer a similar program: the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute (CTLI). That program, now in its sixth cohort, has been a key part of Tennessee’s effort to make progress toward the state’s first-in-the-nation postsecondary attainment goal. We are excited about bringing a version of this model to North Carolina. And as I mentioned, the second NCPL meeting will be held in Tennessee in conjunction with the CTLI program – allowing leaders from North Carolina to compare notes with their counterparts from another state.

We have already started putting together an exciting group of leaders and are looking forward to considering additional names – maybe yours will be on that list! We are currently accepting applications and nominations for the first NCPL cohort – I hope you’ll visit our website and fill out an application, or nominate a friend who may be interested in the program.

It is hard to overstate how excited I am about the NCPL program, which we hope will be a crucial piece in the effort to help North Carolinians succeed in higher education for many years. I hope you’ll join us in this effort, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Former Virginia Secretary of Education, Dr. Javaid Siddiqi is the President and CEO of The Hunt Institute. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows, which partners with senior-level political leaders who have the knowledge, skill, and will to be effective, reform-minded education policymakers at the state level. Under his leadership, the national, nonpartisan Fellowship has garnered praise from former governors and generous financial support from major funders across the country.

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