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Two million by 2030 and what it will take to get there

Welcome to Awake58! If you missed last week’s edition remembering Mark Story, click here. 

myFutureNC updates stakeholders on their work towards 2 million North Carolinians with a high-quality postsecondary credential or degree by 2030… Check out their statewide education dashboard and county profiles and provide feedback… Three finalists named for president of A-B Tech… Durham Tech launches their presidential search… Peter Hans writes an op-ed calling for NC to address teacher shortage through community colleges…

“Until February 2019, North Carolina was one of just a handful of states without a statewide postsecondary attainment goal. That changed when myFutureNC, after months of work as a cross-sector commission, established one: 2 million 25- to 44-year-olds with a high-quality postsecondary credential or degree by 2030.”

Last week, hundreds of education leaders from across the state gathered together to commemorate the anniversary of North Carolina’s attainment goal and learn what myFutureNC will be doing moving forward. My colleagues Analisa Sorrells and Molly Osborne recapped the event, highlighting the next steps for myFutureNC:

  1. Convening and engaging stakeholders.
  2. Catalyzing and supporting.
  3. Aligning and coordinating across educational systems.
  4. Advancing evidence-based practices and policies.
  5. Measuring progress towards the goal.

For more from the event, including information on their just launched statewide education dashboard, check out the story below:

Click here to read our story

Our team will be at Central Carolina Community College this week for our next student town hall. Stay tuned for more!

See you out on the road,


Director of Growth,

Community college enrollment increasing statewide

New data shows that enrollment increased at 53 of the state’s 58 community colleges in 2019. Enrollment in the North Carolina Community College System was in steady decline since it peaked in 2010 due to the recession.

Systemwide, enrollment at community colleges increased 4.4% according to a press release from the North Carolina Community College System. Short-term workforce programs saw a 9.4% increase in enrollment with traditional curriculum programs getting a 3.8% boost.

The largest increase in enrollment was 24.2% at Robeson Community College. To find out additional details on the enrollment increase, click here.

Presidential searches continue for A-B Tech, kick off for Durham Tech

The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech) Board of Trustees just announced three finalists in its search for the college’s seventh president.

The finalists include: Dr. John Gossett, President of McDowell Technical Community College in Marion, NC; Dr. Gregory Little, Superintendent of Lexington County School District I in Lexington, SC; and Dr. Beth Pitonzo, Senior Vice President for Instruction and Student Support Services at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC.

The Durham Technical Community College Board of Trustees continues their search for their next president. The college has selected RPA, Inc to serve as the search firm. A group of representatives from the college and the community will oversee the nationwide search for the next president, including William Bell, former Mayor of Durham; Geoff Durham, President and CEO of Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce; and Justin Hall, who serves as the student representative on their board.

States can’t boost attainment without better serving adult leaders. Here’s how.

Have you ever heard the word andragogy? I have not. Neither had my colleague Mebane prior to attending a talk from Sarah Ancel, the founder and CEO of Student-Ready Strategies

As Mebane writes in her piece:

“She used the word,” educators behind me whisper. There is a collective gasp from the audience.

Andragogy. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t. Know what it means? I didn’t.

Turns out it’s an important word if North Carolina wants to meet the myFutureNC attainment goal of 2 million North Carolinians with a high-quality postsecondary credential or degree by 2030.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, andragogy is “the method and practice of teaching adult learners.” And it is distinct from pedagogy, “the method and practice of teaching.”

For more on how colleges should be student ready, check out Mebane’s piece by clicking here.

Peter Hans’ op-ed: NC needs a stronger teacher pipeline. Community colleges can help. 

Conversations around the teacher pipeline continue to be a critical part of the debate around education in North Carolina. Peter Hans joined the conversation with an op-ed sharing his views for how community colleges can play a role in bolstering the teacher pipeline. 

Hans writes, “North Carolina’s children need competent, well-trained teachers in every classroom if our state is to keep growing and prospering… The NC Community College System stands ready to help. With 58 colleges serving 100 counties, the community colleges are in the best position to quickly build a teacher pipeline in underserved areas and attract a more diverse teacher corps.”

Hans highlights specific ideas, including a new associate degree in teacher education that would be designed to serve as a specialized transfer degree as well as courses designed for working adults who might want to be lateral entry teachers.
For more, check out Hans’ op-ed by clicking here.

myFutureNC aims to measure progress

myFutureNC rolled out their new statewide education dashboard monitoring progress towards the 2030 goal. The dashboard aims to present data showing where North Carolina is progressing towards the overall attainment goal through key transition points. The dashboard measures progress towards the eighteen educational performance indicators previously identified.

In time, myFutureNC, working alongside Carolina Demography, will roll out county profiles for all 100 counties showing how those counties can contribute towards the goal along with where they stand currently. To access the six county profiles now available, click here. 

Buncombe County is one of the first counties to have a county overview. Check out their profile to see how the data is laid out and presented. myFutureNC and Carolina Demography would welcome your feedback through this form.

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Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.