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$9.6 Million in Grants To Boost Community College Completion in North Carolina

A collection of grants from the John M. Belk Endowment totaling $9.6 million aims to increase community college completion in North Carolina, create career pathways for more students and strengthen the state's workforce.

The bulk of the funds — $7.75 million — will go toward a program called Single Stop, which uses technology, training and counseling to connect students with community and government resources to help pay their college costs and keep them in school. The three-year grant will pay for "start-up and software development costs and implementation of services at more than a dozen sites, including community colleges, veterans' centers and historically black colleges in North Carolina," according to a press release.

Additional grants will fund "community college and state initiatives in leadership development, the creation of career pathways, and outreach to attract more students and entice adults who have completed some college to finish their degrees and other credentials," including:

  • $50,000 to Achieving the Dream to sponsor 10 North Carolina community college presidents' participation in a national leadership symposium to study new ways to help students finish college with a credential that leads to a good job.
  • $550,000 to The Aspen Institute to use its expertise in data gathering, site visit and feedback techniques to help selected North Carolina community colleges enhance their completion outcomes.
  • $150,000 to Brunswick Community College for its "Project Finish Line," which aims to reengage students who have completed some college to return to complete their workforce credential or degree.
  • $175,000 to Davidson County Community College to work with a national marketing agency to create new branding and marketing approaches that attract students to high-demand careers.
  • $125,000 to Degrees Matter!, a partnership program to increase the number of adults with college degrees in the greater Greensboro/High Point area, to hire a volunteer coordinator to train coaches who will help connect adults with some college background to college programs that will help them complete their degrees.
  • $100,000 to the Foundation for the Carolinas to research and compile a menu of postsecondary education programs in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.
  • $525,000 to N.C. State University to partner with The Aspen Institute to infuse its community college leadership programs with new curricula and resources.
  • $200,000 to NC Works, a partnership between the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. community colleges and N.C. Department of Public Instruction, to develop a "pathways" program that will attract people to education and training programs for high-demand jobs within the state's new regional prosperity zones.

"The John M. Belk Endowment recognizes community colleges play a vital role in getting more North Carolinians into family sustaining jobs," said executive director Kristy Teskey, in a press release. "In a state with the America's third largest community college system, the Endowment will continue to invest in their efforts to get more students through credentialing programs equipped with skills they need to excel in the jobs of tomorrow."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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